I was involved in an interesting Twitter discussion tonight considering communication and social media. As the conversation, under the hashtag #commschat, developed the discussion moved to whether awards were important or not. There were a range of views but it set me thinking about why we enter awards and what we gain from it.
In short, I think there are five key benefits to entering awards for communications teams:
1. Entering awards will set you against peers from other sectors. It is all too easy to get subsumed by the sphere in which we work and awards can often be the chance to view what others are doing. Whether we decide to enter or not, looking at what others may be shortlisted or rewarded for can help us all to improve or just challenge conventional working.
2. Evaluation is important and critical to communication, but it is something that is often neglected. If entering awards encourages people to elevate the evaluation of activity then that is in itself one of the most positive things. And hopefully considering outcomes will become daily business.
3. I hope that awards may encourage people to be innovative and more creative in their work. When set a problem to tackle then communication professionals should try to push boundaries to try something new. Doing the same thing, the business as usual will never win awards.
4. Developing award entries can involve many disciplines bringing people together for a shared objective. The more we do this with our teams then the more improvements we will see in encouraging integrated communications.
5. Above all if we are shortlisted or win awards then it becomes an opportunity to promote the work of the communication team. This is something that is sadly lacking. There needs to be more PR for PRs so that bosses and decision makers can understand what communication professionals bring to the organisation. The award is also a reassurance to senior staff that the team is delivering.
It is important to ensure that developing and writing awards entries does not become a full time job for someone. But we should also not shy away from wanting to enter awards and gain recognition from our industry.
I am always incredibly proud of my team if we win an award for all the reasons I have outlined, it is an endorsement, recognition and gives a push to be even better ready for the next year’s awards.