Singing your praises

Winning a trade award is not the time to be coy or secretive. Ask our customers – we’ve helped them win many awards.

Personnel are paramount to maintaining quality and the overall customer experience, which far too many companies seem to forget, taking their employees for granted, rather than nurturing this precious resource.

So it was with interest that I read an article in one of the better titles that I follow, featuring a business that had been honoured as ‘Employer of the year’ with a prestigious trade award.

After innovation and technology, employees are the only way that a service business can differentiate away from price, which is why it was good to see one recognised for looking after their employees.

The feature’s author confirmed the winner’s commitment to their employees’ by outlining initiatives that developed them professionally and others that looked after their employees’ well-being.

The initiatives sounded innovative and quite possibly unique for the winners particular sector, but the author didn’t provide additional detail, so it was not apparent how the initiatives operate, or what their outcomes are, which was disappointing.

Disappointing, but not unusual, as companies are often unwilling to share detail which may aid competitors.

(NOTE – I’m not suggesting that was the case here, as I don’t know the winner’s strategy for  communicating their success)

Trade awards are good.

Entering trade awards is usually free and they generate a lot of free publicity among your target markets.

A well crafted entry will bring projects to life, highlighting benefits along the way, so that even mundane initiatives can warrant an entry.

Simply being short-listed as a finalist provides plenty of publicity opportunities.

Winning a trade award is not the time to be coy or secretive.

It offers a significant opportunity to highlight points of innovation, commitment and differentiation, which is why you should use every channel available to you, to communicate your achievement to all your audiences.

Start with your own team, updating employees on their success, sharing the ‘winning’ communications plan with them, so that the message emanating from you is consistent.

Use case studies or testimonials to bring the initiative to life and articulate the end benefits, so that the audience can clearly see how it applies to them.

Issue short press releases with links to interview contacts and feature-length versions.

Post updates on your social feeds, reaching out to new contacts on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Update stationery, home page and email signatures to incorporate the award logo, hyperlinking to more detail on your web site.

Provide white papers, downloads and subscription options for additional updates.

Use your CRM to transmit tailored messages to customers, prospects, suppliers and partners, with linked content as appropriate.

Think about a hard copy piece to send out and use internally.

Printed material is always useful to dress reception areas and we tend to take more notice of our post box, than our InBox nowadays.

Put the award in your main reception and create physical assets for other offices and key locations.

If no certificate was awarded, design your own. It’s a piece of fun that gives all your team shared ownership of the award.

Depending on the nature of the award, it may support entering new markets, particularly government, health and education.

We like awards. You should too!

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