And the Winner Is …

Everybody loves a winner. Everybody loves to win. Winning something
– and talking about it – can be a marketing bonanza. Even just making
it into the qualifying rounds or final stages of a competition can get you
great buzz.


The first step is to find some awards you are eligible to win. The Small
Business Association is always a good place to start. Also, check out awards
offered by your national trade and professional organizations. Your local
chamber of commerce is another association that routinely gives out awards.

Do you have a resident on staff? There are several awards available for
O&P residents, too.

  © 2010

Research these organizations and others like them, but then go beyond
professional and trade associations and do a little research on your vendors
– big and small. Do you use Dell computers? They have a small business
award. Have a business plan? The Miami Herald has the Miami Herald Business
Plan Challenge.

Doing any renovations or remodeling or upgrading of computer or
fabrication systems? The Cleantech Open runs the world’s largest clean
technology business competition and are looking for the best clean technology
ideas from around the world, according to their website.

Toot your horn

Alright, you’ve found some awards for which you, your staff and/or
your company might be eligible. Submit the application and make sure you
monitor your progress. A Google Alert would be a great way to keep tabs on the
contest so you know when the winners are announced. Hopefully you win but even
if you’re nominated as a finalist or receive some kind of ranking you can
still toot your own horn.

Write a press release. Submit it to O&P Business News
(obviously!) and other news publications. You might not even have to write it
yourself. In many cases, the award organizers will actually supply the winners
with a press release template for the award.

Of course you are going to put it in your e-mail newsletter. This gives
you a chance to share the award and with the people who are most interested in
you and your business: your subscribers. You don’t have to be nearly as
politically correct as you have to be in your press release. Make sure you link
your announcement back to the original announcement or news story in which you
were featured.

If there’s an image or logo that goes along with the award, use it.
Whatever it is, if it has a symbol that people will recognize, make sure you
put it on your letterhead, your website, your front door, your window, your
service vehicles … use it.

Draw traffic

This where all that social media marketing comes in hand: Link, link,
link. You need to link to the website listing the winners. Link to your
announcement. Make a photo gallery of you receiving the award, of the award
itself. Tweet it. Put it on your LinkedIn page; your Facebook page. Use links
and use photos. People want to click and they want to look. Make sure they can
do both.

Last but not least, make sure you tell me. I am a one-stop
word-of-mouth-marketing guru. I’ll tell everyone.

For more information:

Elizabeth Mansfield

Elizabeth Mansfield is the president of Outsource Marketing
Solutions. She can be reached

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