Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding pr firm OFD Consulting. As a highly sought-after speaker in the wedding industry, she is the exclusive Wedding PR Education Expert for WeddingWire as well as the national Communications and Marketing Director for WIPA. To learn how OFD Consulting can assist you, as well as more about our new wedding PR kits, please visit us today.
Whether you realize it or not, awards should play a prominent role in your wedding PR campaign. They not only provide brand recognition, but they also speak to your expertise and act as a source of outside credibility. Winning a few quality awards can grow your revenue, in addition to boosting morale in the office.
“That’s great. But where do I apply?”
The number one key to a successful award application is to only submit to those that fit your business. Sending applications out to any and all awards you can find is a waste of time, as well as damaging to your integrity. Remember – every story is different, so don’t assume that you’re a fit for every award that your competitor has. Stick to the ones that your company truly qualifies for and put all of your effort into it.
Aim high, but be realistic as well. While you certainly may deserve some of the top-tier awards, you’ll need to work on building your brand recognition before you reach that point. Start out by applying to local and regional awards before going for the larger national ones – this way, you can start developing your award-winning portfolio.
Once you’ve narrowed your focus down to one or a few awards, be sure to read and reread the guidelines. One mistake may cost you the win, so do your due diligence and know what is required for a completed submission. Give yourself enough time to complete the application and submit it prior to the deadline.
Map out your approach prior to writing – the last thing you want is to fill out an application online and lose it from faulty Internet or one wrong click. When writing up the copy, it’s best to use your own voice to make everything flow together into a coherent story. This means that you need to “speak” with the judges – stay away from jargon, acronyms, and other terms that may confuse them. Don’t assume that they know everything, so connect the dots and make it easier for them to understand. Using facts and figures, as well as images, are great ways to support your story.
It should go without saying, but it’s also imperative to tell the truth. Lying will get you automatically disqualified and, even if you do win, it won’t be worth the lie. If you get caught fibbing in an award submission and word gets out, it could do irreparable damage to your brand.
As you tie up the loose ends, have someone review and proofread your submission before sending out. The best practice is to have an industry peer who is outside of your company to review, as they’ll be able to understand the content without being biased. Once all is set to go, hit send and wait to hear back!
One of the biggest mistakes that professionals make is giving up after getting a rejection from the first award they apply to. Don’t expect to always win it on the first try – there are numerous stories out there vying for the same recognition. And it’s important to remember that the opinions of a few individuals don’t fully speak to your performance – reviews and referrals will speak volumes about that.
So map out your strategy and give it a go – with the above in mind, you’ll be well on your way to building that trophy room.