One thing which can take up a lot of PR time is entering clients for awards.
Awards entail a huge effort researching, interviewing, writing, liaising, interviewing, rewriting, liaising, rewriting before the entry is even close to being ready for submission. Phone calls are made to the award organisers requesting the inevitable extension. Then there’s ensuring payment is complete and all the proper documents are submitted.
So imagine my surprise receiving a phone call today from, what is ultimately, an award entering consultant, which could take care of everything award related!
I’ll be honest, I was intrigued by what was on offer. A company who could keep track of relevant awards using an extensive awards database. Who would even provide a copywriting service to complete your applications. It is a service that guarantees to win a brace of awards within a year! …sounds too good to be true.
And to be honest, it is.
It is clearly an interesting service. The abundance of awards does mean some can slip through the net. But paying good money for this solution shouldn’t really be necessary with a set database of key awards, calendar reminders and a good memory. There are also free email reminders for pretty much all the major awards, which come in very handy.
But the promise of guaranteed award wins, surely this is a reason to take on such a service?
Well…when you consider that there are countless awards for almost any sector/achievement/level of success then yes, you probably would win an award. But this scattergun approach (I was duly informed the more you enter the more likely you are to win) seemingly sails pretty close to the adage that awards might be more ego trips for bosses than good for companies.
And I don’t think this is necessarily true. The majority of leaders want to be recongised by awards specific to their industry with categories that will be entered by competitors and one’s they could actually win.
And to have a chance of winning, companies should turn to their PRs. With the knowledge of the sector and the proven track record of writing good copy for the client, PRs are ultimately vital because the entry needs to highlight the key messages.
Award entries, like press releases, case studies, press packs and blogs, need the key messages alongside well crafted copy highlighting the success of a particular campaign to stand any chance.
But my man on the phone did sell the service well. He made a lot of sense and touched on many of the difficulties we encounter entering awards. What he was offering was something that, in theory, works. But, like Communism, things that work in theory often have the habit of failing to work in practice. In this case, PRs should take the active role in the creation of award entries, to ultimately produce something a client would be happy with and potentially maximising the opportunity of a good win.