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And the Winner Is: Why Having a Comprehensive Awards Program Is Important for PR Agencies

Author: Alessandra Nagy
September 18, 2019
Award at Bospar

There’s no higher recognition for great work than winning an award—it means you’re the best at what you do.

There are awards for almost everything: Arts and Entertainment, Science, Journalism, Technology, Cooking, Sports, Business…you name it. This weekend, the Emmys are kicking off the entertainment awards season by celebrating exceptional work in television. 

At Bospar, we take awards very seriously. In fact, we have an entire task force dedicated to creating content and submitting Bospar’s work with many of our clients, as well as submitting Bospar as an agency for awards that recognize excellence in PR.

As part of the Awards Task Force at Bospar, I’m currently helping prep our submission for PRWeek’s Best Small Agency. And with the Emmys this weekend, I thought this would be the perfect time to give a few tips about how to create a winning award submission for some of PR’s most prestigious awards:

  • Client testimonials: Nothing says “you’re award-winning” better than clients giving you props. And if you’ve done work that’s good enough to win an award, chances are they’d be willing to give a statement. We’ve found that giving clients a guideline about what to say makes it even easier for them to accept. Do what you can to make it as easy as possible for them to contribute.
  • Get visual: Videos pull everything together. They give a visual representation of what you did with images and screen shots. We’ve found that our videos are what have won many of our awards because they bring our campaigns to life.
  • Prep, prep, prep: There’s nothing worse than missing a deadline—or scrambling at the eleventh hour to get something done. Most PR awards give at minimum three weeks to complete an application, and most give more than that. Grab the application right when nominations open and begin working on the application as soon as possible. That way you can revise it as many times as you need to, and it gives you time to prepare the best content possible.
  • Lather, rinse, repeat: Most awards have similar guidelines for entry, so once you spend time creating winning content, use that content for other awards. It saves time and energy, and you can finesse it as you go with each one.
  • Stay organized: Develop a grid with deadlines, links and contact info and set reminders in your calendar for when the big ones open. Life and work happen, and you might forget to check PRSA’s website in the fall to see when the Gold and Silver Anvil applications open—but if you set a calendar reminder, you won’t forget.
  • Do your research: Look at previous winning campaigns to see what they’ve done and what it takes to win. And apply for categories that you think might not have as many applicants. See what you can do to bolster your application and make it stand out among the rest.

Building a robust awards program takes work, and creating winning content is not easy. But it’s an integral part of an agency’s marketing efforts. And we’ve actually had potential clients come to us because of our award wins—so I’d say that’s even better than an Emmy!