Greg Simpson, founder of Press for Attention PR, discusses awards and how to take advantage of them.
I am writing this ahead of the 2020 East Midlands Bricks Awards taking place at the end of October, for which I am one of the sponsors.
It will be a little different this year as I won’t have to be balancing business cards in one hand and canapes in another, let alone politely declining a glass of fizz (probably) until I have introduced the shortlist. That’s because we are of course going ‘virtual’ for the first time.
So whilst this may mean there are fewer opportunities for physically meeting, there are actually even MORE opportunities to make the most of the awards. The problem is, whether it is the traditional black-tie shindig, a more informal soiree, or this new virtual venture, I just know that most people never make the most of these opportunities.
Around this time last year I was crowned one of the top 5 PR advisers in the UK. “Well bully for you Greg!” I hear you groan. Touché.
However, I want to show you what I did with this and what very few others who win awards (or make the finals) do. Then, if you win at the Bricks or in other awards, you can actually leverage them better.
You see, when I enter awards (for myself or for my clients), I already have a marketing and PR plan in place for whether I do WIN or I don’t, so either way, I will be making a song and dance about it. The problem is, when I see OTHER people and businesses winning awards or making shortlists, I don’t see them really leveraging the opportunity. So, in the spirit of transparency, here is what I did last year.
If you think about it, I’m doing it again right now with this piece.
- Announce that I have made the Top 50. Blog, social media, and newsletter. I also let some choice media contacts know, including of course this magazine. That wasn’t to jump the gun, rather, it had two motives – to flag it as a POTENTIAL story and get it on the radar should I win and also to flush out any other opportunities they may need for comment in the lead up and aftermath of the event.
- Planned and wrote a direct mail campaign which dovetails with a lead magnet – basically a FREE download – on how and why you should enter awards using myself and other clients as the case studies.
- Got ready to share the day and the evening of the awards on social media, joining in the chat to explore potential joint ventures and forge new alliances with like-minded business owners.
- Ensure I got a photo at the awards, win or not, so that I can leverage the opportunity on getting back to the office.
- Should I WIN (I made the top 5, not bad across the UK!), release the story to the press and across all social media channels – HERE IT IS. Seek to position myself further as an expert in my field.
This is by no means an exhaustive account of my media and marketing machinations but I wanted to show you what can be done at a MINIMUM so that when you are next up for an award, you can make the most of it.
So whether you read this straight after the Bricks Awards or a few weeks from the big day, please start to plan properly for truly award-winning PR results.