Why winning awards can be so good for your business or organisation
I first became involved in running community awards back in the mid 1990s when I was Editor of the Hastings Observer. I became friendly with a guy from NatWest, who wanted to raise their profile in the community, and the Hastings Achievers Awards were launched.
From there, I moved to the Eastbourne Herald as Editor in 1997, and that's where the Eastbourne Achievers Awards really took off, followed by the Eastbourne Business Awards which still run today. We ran them for eight years, for the community and with all the funds being donated back to local charity. Alas, that's no longer the case today but I guess that's life and organisers must make profit.
I can recall standing up on stage presenting them with the likes of Ambrose Harcourt (remember him from Southern FM, Mr Lurve himself) and our very own Bev. The audience was always moved to tears by some of the amazing stories we told, such bravery in the face of adversity. And audience? The Winter Garden was always packed, sometimes up to 800 people.
So who do awards benefit? Well, it's always a good ideal to be a sponsor. Remember that your money is going towards the profit of the organisers so make sure the deal is right for you. Don't pay too much.
Make sure you are guaranteed as much exposure as possible, both in print and online, and make sure you add to that exposure yourself. Don;'t expect everyone to do it for you.
And winning? Well, we get those who enter every category possible and I guess there's no problem with that.
The reality is that the organisers are never flooded with entries locally. Don't be fooled.
But winning is still great because it can be used as a very powerful message with your branding and PR. It looks good on the letterhead (do we still send letters any more?) and on the emails you send out.
So is it worth entering awards? Yes, of course go for it, and if you need help with your entry you know where we are......