PUBLISHED ON JAN 10, 2023
Rolling Out the Red Carpet for Your Company, aka Preparing for Awards Season
It happens every year. You open your LinkedIn feed and see your peers announcing their most recent recognition in the form of an industry respected award. Whether it’s for their standout product, talented leadership, or nurturing culture, public recognition can go a long way in building awareness and credibility.
With awards season fast approaching, we wanted to share some of the most popular tech awards and five ways you can help make sure your company is standing on the proverbial red carpet:
- Inc. Best Place to Work (Deadline Jan 13th)
- Fast Company Best Workplace for Innovators (Deadline Jan 20th)
- People Great Place to Work Certification (Deadline Jan 23rd)
- Gallup Exceptional Workplace Awards (Deadline Jan 27th)
- Fast Company’s Innovation by Design (Deadline February 3rd)
- HR Tech Awards (Deadline March 17th)
- Fortune Best Workplaces for Millennials (Deadline March 15th)
- Inc 5000 (Deadline TBD; applications open in January)
And don’t forget to put these on your radar screen later this year (deadlines TBD):
- Fast Company Brands That Matter
- Fast Company Most Innovative Companies
- Fast Company World Changing Ideas
- Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For
- Fortune Best Workplaces in Technology™
- Inc’s Best in Business
- Built In New York’s Best Places to Work
- Select appropriate targets. Creating an impressive and persuasive awards entry is a commitment, so you want to make sure it’s worth your time and energy. This means zeroing in on where you have a strong chance of winning. Start by establishing what you want to achieve by entering the award (e.g., attracting new talent, raising your industry profile, selling more product, etc.) and focus on the awards that help you best meet your objective. Next, make sure that the award you’re vying for is credible. Do a little research to find out if they are well-established and recognized in your industry and whether previous winners are reputable.
- Prepare to gather and share required information. Before you start filling out your application, take a close look at the criteria. Make a list of the essential facts and figures you need to include and make sure you’re comfortable sharing what is required. Are you willing to share revenue numbers? Employee headcount? Success metrics? Client testimonials? Make sure that you provide the information requested, to the best of your ability. Not all of the data used for a submission will be published, but it is good to establish your comfort level with making this kind of information public ahead of time.
- Know the financial and time commitments. Crafting a winning entry can be time-consuming and expensive. For instance, most awards have entry fees that range from $250 – $1,000. And if you win, there could be travel and lodging expenses if you attend the awards ceremony in person. Awards also come with deadlines (see calendar below), so make sure you know the due date so you can build in enough time to draft, edit and secure the necessary approvals within your organization.
- Select a great storyteller to lead the charge. Once you’ve decided on which awards you want to be considered for it’s time to build your story. It can be helpful to identify a gifted communicator who can be accountable for collecting the necessary information and crafting an engaging story around it. Remember that the judges may be reviewing hundreds of applications, so keep your language punchy and concise. Avoid generic descriptors and fluff in favor of bullets, imagery and statistics to underline key points. Of course, a strong beginning, middle and end backed up with hard evidence, customer quotes, trends, or case studies can go a long way in convincing judges why your story merits recognition.
- Proof, proof, proof! Remember to stick to the word count and thoroughly proofread your entry. Some awards will actually penalize you for going over the word limit (but many have fields that don’t allow you to go over the limit). And typos can ruin an otherwise strong entry, effectively eliminating your submission from consideration.
Awards can be a powerful element in your communications strategy. With a plethora of awards being given throughout 2023, now is the perfect time to craft your plan and secure the recognition you deserve.
Want to learn more about how to execute a winning awards strategy? Let’s connect.
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