Oh no, I hear you all groan, another article about why everyone should be entering awards, but hear me out just for five minutes.
Yes, I may be biased because I happen to run a company, which curates awards programmes across the planet for the global advertising/media industry, but I promise this article will at least make you contemplate entering by the end of it… If not, it will have at least stopped you from reaching for biscuits or snacks for five minutes from your home office/desk/working space.
As the world starts to move from merely surviving – unless you happen to sell bicycles, are Jeff Bezos or run a supermarket – to attempting to thrive, particularly with the development of a vaccine for Covid, the role of entering, being shortlisted or winning an award from an industry-respected and revered set of awards has never been more important. And I am not just saying this as someone whose business thrives on awards being entered, but as someone who really does want to bring cheer to the advertising industry, amplify the sector to the wider world and believes media has an important role to play in kick starting the global economy.
We all know marketing budgets are the first to be cut in any financial crisis as businesses look to make the inevitable savings where they can. This is swiftly followed by the workforce being made redundant and a glance at the rapidly rising global unemployment figures only seems to confirm this. For some industries such as travel, hospitality and events it has been a torrid time, but we also must remember that marketing is one of the first things that comes back as companies look to build up their business and amplify their work.
It’s here, despite what some of the naysayers think – and this is because there are a few rogue awards programmes around the world – where awards come into their own.
One of the key objections to entering in times like these is some companies don’t feel it’s appropriate to be seen to celebrate success when they are asking staff to take a pay cut or worse still making employees redundant.
There is nothing wrong with this perspective and is a very sensible way to look at it. However, it can be argued that recently being part of a successful team who produced work, which has been admired and revered by its peers and competitors is the extra bit of sparkle a CV needs for someone who has just been made redundant. Recruiters currently have the pick of the bunch, so any mention of being part of a lauded piece of work could be the deciding factor in finding new role. To be part of creating lauded work as judged by your peers and competitors is as good as someone leaving a comment on your LinkedIn profile. There is also the added bonus of the current having something to cheer and revel in during these dark times and that can only be a good thing.
The other major objection, which is completely understandable, is a lack of budget. Again, if there is not budget there is no budget, but what is worth explaining is that entering awards is arguably the most cost-effective marketing tool. For less than it costs for a paid for ad on a social channel, or a conference ticket, content can be generated with greater longevity from the moment of entry to being shortlisted, while winning adds yet another layer of PR and marketing. Everything from social and video content to content marketing can be achieved from an award nomination, amplifying what a business does and who it does it for. It’s a fantastic calling card for new clients and brings a smile to face of current ones.
We’ve also all heard – multiple times – the one about how award wins can help win business, but it’s not a myth and has helped many, particularly in the advertising space, persuade new clients to sign up. One global media network openly talks about how Festival of Media Award wins help win and retain work across a very hectic APAC region.
What’s also important to remember is the work being judged is done so by a jury who are looking to gain insights and inspiration and look for new business partners and this is something which is often overlooked. It’s the perfect way to get your business in front of clients who wouldn’t normally pick up the phone or answer an email from your company.
If that is not good enough we recently discovered – after discussions with a number of global brands – procurement departments’ during media pitches are more likely to lean towards an agency who has a number of respected award wins reasoning a company winning awards has a more stabilised and happy team with a lower turnover rate and more likely to produce a higher standard of work.
All of the above is why Festival of Media took the decision to run its awards programmes in around the world despite the pandemic. We spoke to the industry and of course entries were down, but the standard of work was not and that in itself deserved a virtual stage to be celebrated.
Hopefully you’ve made it to the end and if so it’s time to treat yourself to that biscuit and think seriously about the most cost-effective way to amplify the fantastic work is produces.
If this has sparked your curiosity you can find out more about taking part in our Awards programme here