On behalf of a client, over the past few weeks I have been working furiously trying to craft text that showcases elaborate promotional campaigns in 500 words or less. Let me tell you, it’s a difficult task to undertake given our profession’s tendency toward flowing, flowery words and transitional phrases. Narrowing down a multi-faceted campaign to the basics is challenging. However, our client is seeking to win a shiny gold Cannes Lion, an Ad Age accolade or two and an industry status symbol Clio.

Why? Because as a burgeoning agency, an award could put them on an upward trajectory, open doors and garner new business. Unlike some of the many trophies that adorn the shelves in my son’s room, an industry award is hard-earned, you don’t get one for just participating.

In the PR world, last week’s SABRE Awards, which attracts close to 5,000 entries globally each year and showcases the best that public relations has to offer, handed-out coveted awards to some truly groundbreaking campaigns. Many of these demonstrated that PR could come up with big brand-building ideas, creative content, and strategic reputation management programs that impact the bottom line. PR has really stepped-up and is blurring the lines and competing with other marketing disciplines. We’ve come a long way baby!

But why submit to the sometimes complex and often puzzling rigors of award submissions? Philosophically the answer is that Public Relations agencies need to demonstrate that they are capable of creating and executing campaigns that are effective, groundbreaking and measurable.

The more concrete answer to getting some shiny new hardware to place in the entry lobby is:

  • Winning an award can elevate the status and visibility of your agency begetting more business
  • Rubbing elbows with other esteemed winners provides a great networking opportunity
  • An award can help establish or define an agency’s niche or specialty – setting you apart from the competition
  • Company morale improves – employees will be psyched to share the news and be more motivated and proud of their work
  • An award lends credibility to your efforts
  • Clients will look at the awards as a reason to stay on
  • Winning an award can attract new employees eager to work at a hot shop

So get those creative juices flowing, those applications written and dust off that empty shelf – it’s the perfect spot for an award!