Public relations (PR)
How to enter and win business awards
Winning a business award is an excellent PR opportunity. It raises the profile of your business and highlights your expertise.
Types of business award
Awards may recognise excellence in a particular industry sector or in business practices across all sectors. There are local and UK-wide business awards for industries and areas such as:
- consumer products
- tourism and hospitality
- food and drink
- corporate social responsibility (CSR)
- employment practices
- individual staff eg 'apprentice of the year'
Benefits of entering business awards
Winning, or being nominated or shortlisted, for an award has a number of advantages:
- raise brand awareness
- highlight areas of excellence
- boost staff morale
- networking opportunities at award events
The application process can help you reflect on your business practices and identify strengths and weaknesses. Even if you aren't successful, this can help you consider how to improve your business and make useful comparisons with your competitors. See measure performance and set targets.
Business award entry dos and don'ts
Avoid these common pitfalls when completing award applications:
- Not following the rules - make sure to carefully read the terms and conditions before you start your application. Does your business fit the criteria? Be sure to adhere to rules like word counts and deadlines.
- Using internal jargon - many businesses use abbreviations and terms that won't make sense to outsiders. This could make your application confusing to the judges. Try to write your entry in plain English that is easy to read. Ask someone who doesn't work with your business to read over your application and check it makes sense.
- Making assumptions - award judges may have different levels of knowledge and expertise in your industry. Be cautious about going into complicated, technical details.
Follow these tips for a completing a successful award entry:
- Deadlines - check when your entry must be submitted and make sure you give yourself plenty of time. Other people in your organisation may want to read over the entry so factor this in.
- Provide evidence - be sure to back up what you say with measurable evidence. For example, did your activities increase sales or reduce sickness absence? Include meaningful statistics. It is better to present hard facts about your business than subjective opinions.
- Structure your answer - make sure to explain the context, the action you took, the reasons why you did it and the outcome. Respond to everything the specific question is asking.
- Explain the context - give the judges relevant information about your organisation, the environment and the situation.
- Objectives - compare measurable objectives with actual outcomes. This will help demonstrate the impact your initiative.
- Presentation - check your spelling, grammar and layout before submitting your entry.
Business award PR
If you win or are shortlisted for an award, you'll want to share the good news with customers and potential customers. Use social media and public relations to promote the message. See online public relations and write an effective press release.