Friday, December 5, 2008

Nominating for Awards

One of the great challenges of being a Public Relations/Marketing Professional is nominating executives or other members of your organization for awards. While I've completed award nominations in previous years, they were mostly for products. Can that new media server get best in show, best product of the year? Some awards are very rigorous with evaluations, site visits, and large submission fees. Others are barely a page to write up. Here are some tips that I use when evaluating an awards process:

1. Bang for the buck (or minute) - weighing the positive publicity from an award vs the amount of time and money it will take to complete the submission. And how sure you are of the worthiness of the nominee. ABI offers its own awards - Women of Vision and the Anita Borg and Denice Denton Awards. And these awards are definitely worthwhile with promotion before, during and after the events. We've found those awards raise the visibility of the recipient and can help accelerate both their primary career and the secondary career as a speaker. One winner now charges thousands of dollars to do a speaking engagement. So yes it is worthwhile. Some awards however cause barely a ripple. It's best to research previous winners using Google to see the impact of the award before and after.

2. Make sure you have the time to write the very best application you can with detailed justification of their qualifications.

3. Be sure you can complete the process - some apps require letters of recommendations and those take time to get - don't wait till the last minute to do a submission. Procrastination is not your friend. A percentage of submissions we receive each year are incomplete. So set aside the time to make sure you have thoroughly completed the application.

And remember that marketers can win awards as well. Make sure to submit your own work for awards. And if your PR firm or Design agency submits your work be sure to put it on your resume if it wins.

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