As public relations professionals, often when we think of earning attention for our clients, we think of media relations. In today’s highly competitive landscape, high-profile media placements cannot be your only tactic to gain brand recognition. This is where an awards program strategy comes into play.

The media marketplace is so saturated with every company trying to get its news heard that it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. A PR pro knows that an award also builds credibility with your clients’ customers, prospects and future employees, and provides quantitative proof of just how great the company and employees really are.

Here are three reasons why you should consider adding an awards program to your PR strategy:

  1. Third-party validation: A lot of award submissions go through an intense vetting process so being named a winner is not an accomplishment to be taken lightly. Winning a company award such as “business of the year” or a product award like “best new product” builds your credibility and validates your business to both the marketplace and new customers.
  2. Long shelf life: A feature article, even in a prestigious publication like The New York Times, can have a very short shelf life and within a day or even a few hours is already pushed out of the news cycle. Winning a coveted and prestigious award can have a much longer shelf life, giving you the material you need to promote through various marketing and PR efforts throughout the year.
  3. Valuable content: A win provides fresh content to help better tell your company’s story to your target audience. Award wins can be woven into your sales and marketing materials, promoted through social media, and included in news releases.

Though there is a considerable investment of time and in some cases money to submit for an award that has no guaranteed results, this shouldn’t be thought of differently from any media efforts. If executed effectively, an award win can be more valuable in the long run than a few sentences in an article.

Have some tips of your own? Let us know!

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RH Strategic is a Seattle and D.C.-based communications firm providing strategic public relations for innovators in the technology, public sector and healthcare markets.