Our MD Stefan Lepkowski explains why he’s already eyeing up award opportunities for 2019, and he thinks you should be too!
Some say winning industry awards is all about ego. A moment to wallow in self-glory, a pat on the back, a bit of corporate indulgence.
Others say it is just a money spinning exercise for the event organisers of these large awards ceremonies, like newspapers and professional institutes, to establish loyalty with their members and audiences.
These detractors may have point, but to me, the benefit of awards begins twelve months before they are won.
Organisations that show aspirations towards winning awards inevitably have employee cultures where there is a desire to win. And, by winning I am not talking about beating. Rather, it is the desire to achieve, to go the extra mile, to take risks and to pioneer. That means it is the client who benefits.
Whether you win awards or not is missing the point.
The value in having ambition to win awards lies in its ability to bring focus. Awards are not normally given to those who simply do a good job. That we deliver value for money is the client’s right, it is to be expected.
Instead, awards are given to people, teams and organisations who set out to achieve a defined goal and then, in some way, excel. And, that excelling, is where the magic lies. It is what the client never has to pay for, and more often than not, it brings significant client benefits.
If you are lucky enough to be an eventual winner, awards, if used correctly, can also have another big benefit. No, I am not referring to publicity, I am talking about credibility.
At Karol we have a client who could see the benefits of raising its profile. The company was doing exceptionally well and had lots of great stories, but it operated in an un-sexy industry and, despite all our media contacts, our greatest efforts failed to attract the interest of targeted media in any meaningful way.
We needed a plan to turn journalist heads. A plan that would force journalists to question why they were inclined to ignore stories on this company. Our strategy homed in on business and industry awards.
By working with the company to help position itself for success (there is a science to writing award winning entries), we not only helped sharpen the focus of the business, but our client began scooping award after award. The result was that the business achieved real credibility, shaking off of a cloak of obscurity. It suddenly became the ‘darling’ of the media. The resulting publicity, and credibility, contributed to several major tender wins – tenders which the client had been struggling to crack for over ten years.
And remember, patience combined with persistence is a virtue. Learn from your mistakes. When Karol first began entering awards it took six years before we cracked it. In that time I nearly gave up on many occasions. I was told that awards were like jobs for the boys – you had to be in the club, and Karol, not being formed as a result of employees breaking away from some larger, more established agency, was certainly not in the in-crowd.
But, the nay-sayers were wrong. We did win an award, followed by another and another and another. Over our twenty five year track record, we’ve won nearly 80 in all.
Well, we are still at it. The end of 2018 saw Karol’s client work scoop a whole load more awards. We are the most awarded public relations and marketing company in the North of England and I am very proud of it.
I say, it is not ego… it’s the way to go!