Why Awards Should Be an Integral Part of Your PR and Marketing Plan 

While there are numerous strategies to gain attention and attract customers and potential employees, one often overlooked tactic is leveraging awards. Winning awards is a powerful communications tool that can enhance your brand's visibility and credibility. Here’s why incorporating awards into your marketing plan is a smart move, along with some tips for how to get started.

Capturing Your Campaigns and Case Studies

Awards provide a tangible way to showcase your achievements, whether it's for a successful campaign, innovative product or exceptional service. This can be instrumental in building trust with potential customers and distinguishing your brand from competitors, especially since awards provide a platform to highlight your specific strengths and accomplishments.

In a fast-paced environment, it’s difficult to capture all the hard work you’ve done in the past year or so, and trying to collect materials and information—even a couple years after the work occurred—can be frustrating. Having an awards program implemented throughout the year requires you to collect and access your campaigns, since many awards submissions require a thorough synopsis and proven results.

Award submissions can be repurposed for case studies that can be published to your website or included in new business and sales pitches. Essentially, having an awards program holds you accountable to keep an updated catalog of successful campaigns and results.

Displaying Your Achievements

Whether displayed on websites, in the office or on product packaging, awards serve as compelling evidence of quality and excellence, reinforcing your value proposition to customers, partners and stakeholders. Awards expand to almost all industries including restaurants, hotels, agencies, retailers, etc. Whichever industry your company falls into, displaying certificates, trophies or medals in your building is a quick way to catch someone’s eye and immediately provide validation.

Businesses should also proudly display awards wins on the banner of their websites, in advertisements and any promotional materials to serve as a testament to your company's excellence. It should also be included on all social media channels, and it can be as simple as dedicating a Story Highlight on Instagram.

Boosting Visibility and SEO

Participating in awards galas not only offers the opportunity to win, but it also provides an outlet to network and further promote your brand in a unique way. By capturing behind-the-scenes photos and videos of your colleagues and company, your audience will be intrigued by the buzz these events can generate. Plus, many other brands will most likely be promoting the event and awards on their channels, boosting visibility and program recognition.

With everyone talking about the award, it’ll increase media coverage and can be leveraged to boost a website’s SEO. Any media coverage of award wins can amplify reach, exposing a brand to new audiences. By including award-related keywords and mentions on a website, you can attract more organic traffic and enhance your visibility in search results.

Retention and Recruiting

Awards aren't just for external marketing; they also have significant internal benefits. Recognizing and celebrating achievements can boost morale among employees, fostering a positive work culture and increasing job satisfaction. Whether it's acknowledging individual contributions or celebrating a company-wide win, awards can inspire and motivate your team.

Showcasing awards and accolades can attract top talent and retain existing employees who take pride in being associated with a winning organization. Highlighting a company's achievements during the recruiting process can also help an organizaiton stand out to potential new hires.

Client Recognition

Agencies or solution providers can nominate clients for awards, strengthen these relationships and demonstrate a commitment to their success. Clients will appreciate the effort in highlighting their excellence, and it can position yourself as a valuable partner invested in their growth.

Tips for Success

To make the most of awards in your marketing plan, consider the following tips:

  • Research Competitors: To understand the landscape, identify competitors and see what awards they've won—so that you can get your name out there among theirs.
  • Choose Credible Awards: Focus on awards that are respected within an industry to ensure credibility and relevance. For example, the Great Place to Work certification is widely recognized and thoroughly surveys employees to ensure responses are valid and truthful. Be wary of award programs that’ll just take your word for it and charge more money for the submission—it’s mostly likely pay-to-play, in that case.
  • Budget Effectively: Create an award plan that strategically aligns with your marketing goals and budget. Even if you make it a goal to submit one or two awards per quarter, that's a start! Identifying the awards to apply for with deadlines and entry fees outlined in advance can help in planning your wider marketing calendar and budget.

Incorporating awards into communication strategy plans can yield significant returns for businesses of all sizes and industries. By leveraging awards effectively, you can differentiate your brand, strengthen relationships and achieve long-term success in a competitive market.

Valeria Carrillo is an Account Executive at UPRAISE Marketing + Public Relations.