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How to Win Awards & Accolades to Generate PR

When it comes to getting the attention of the media for your company, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with tooting your own horn. Winning awards and accolades provides a fantastic opportunity to draw positive attention to your brand. Here’s how to be a winner.

Start by Identifying the Right Awards

There are plenty of awards out there, if you know where to look. Some identify the best companies in a given industry, like the AVA Digital Awards, which honor excellence in digital communication. Others focus more generally on businesses of different sizes, like the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. The Small Business Influencer Awards target entrepreneurs and leaders in small business. Whatever your industry or specialty, there’s likely an award or contest for you.

It can be helpful to keep a calendar of deadlines, since these programs occur throughout the year and have different application dates.

Get your PR back on track! Read Cision’s free PR Starter Kit for a refresher on the basics!

Nominate Yourself

Awards-Voted

There’s no shame in nominating yourself or your company for an award you qualify for. In fact, most nominees do exactly that, and no one has to be the wiser! As long as you qualify, go ahead and nominate yourself.

Note: some awards programs may have an entry fee. It’s up to you whether you deem it worth the investment to pay to play, so to speak.

Draw the Support of Your Community

If the awards are based on votes, this is where your online community can rally around you and help you win. Use social media, your blog and email to ask people for their support. If they can vote more than once, this will need to be an ongoing effort that you coordinate with your marketing team.

Look for Promotion Opportunities

Awards-Horn

Here’s where PR kicks in. You should issue several press releases about your participation in these awards, including:

  • Announcement of your initial nomination
  • Announcement of voting period
  • Announcement if you win
  • Announcement of participation in awards ceremony

Many awards programs will have press release templates you can modify and publish for your brand, as well as logos you can post on your site, in your blog and in your marketing collateral.

Beyond those offerings, you should reach out to journalists in your city or industry to let them know of your recent achievement. Be available for interviews or more in-depth follow up.

Sometimes you’ve got to generate your own press by finding the right awards opportunities and then maximizing your publicity around it.

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Images: Brad K., Bill Roehl, Beth Ferrari (Creative Commons)

About Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory is the president of Egg Marketing & Communications, a marketing firm specializing in content writing and social media management. She frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Cision, Forbes, AllBusiness, Small Business Trends, The Marketing Eggspert Blog and Tweak Your Biz. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

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