And the Winner is…

It’s well and truly award season for businesses up and down the county as a series of ceremonies get under way and panels of judges are meeting behind closed doors to select the 2016 winners.

With such a wide range of business awards open for entries, including those for small businesses, family businesses and start-ups, there really is something for everyone. But how can awards help raise your profile?

Being shortlisted for an award is an honour in itself; you’ve been recognised among your peers as an organisation that is doing something extraordinary. This is a great opportunity to celebrate with a press release to your local and industry press, update your website with a blog about how far you’ve come and link with the relevant awards body on social media (if you haven’t already).

Creating a social media plan for the run-up to the awards is also a good idea, and encouraging the team to share content and post their own using the awards hashtag can lead to easier networking on the awards night and increased awareness of your nomination among a wider audience.

When it comes to the awards ceremony itself be sure to take photos of team who are representing you and share them on social media. It’s also worthwhile taking a couple of nice shots which could be used to accompany a press release if you win and get them nice and early in the night so people are allowed to let their hair down and enjoy themselves.

Nothing compares to the moment your name is read out by the presenter at an awards ceremony. Whether as highly commended or as the winner, for one glorious moment your peers are clapping to your success and as you step onto the podium to say a few words of thanks and have your official photograph taken you’ll feel on top of the world. But the high doesn’t have to end there.

Winning an award creates an opportunity to shout about your success, and it can also act as a conversation starter at networking events and used within new business proposals to show potential new clients that you have been recognised locally or within your industry.

Press releases can be used to chart your award journey from nomination to win and blogs can capture more of your company’s personality and give you a platform on which to celebrate with stakeholders, customers and suppliers.

Taking time to celebrate with the extended team will provide you with a chance to praise everyone who makes your business tick. Award wins often motivate teams as they feel like they’re being recognised for their contribution, which can often get lost in the day-to-day running of a company.

More often than not awards now carry their own ‘seal of approval’ in the form of a logo which you can use on your website, email footer, brochure etc. Using an award logo is a great way of letting current and future clients know that you’ve been rewarded for your hard work.

If you’ve left it too late to submit an entry this year, then put it in the diary and plan ahead for next year. Chances are there are projects, internal initiatives and processes that are happening or could be put in place now to lead to a stellar submission next time.

To those shortlisted for any of the Lincolnshire awards – I wish you the best of luck!