The Freedom to Win Awards

The Freedom to Win Awards

The Freedom to Win Awards

Industry Insights

By Donna O’Toole

‘FREEDOM’ TO WIN AWARDS

As we celebrated ‘Freedom Day’ to signify a return to some sort of normality for the UK, there is a sense of optimism that the business world is – finally – getting back on its feet.

The feeling of being free to express yourself once again has a definite parallel with the awards industry, where virtually all businesses are potentially eligible for a range of different awards – the opportunity to showcase your unique achievements and impact is there for the taking and all it takes is that leap of faith to start your awards journey.

However, with thousands of awards and individual categories out there, it’s a real minefield if you’re not sure which awards are right for you to meet your business’s core goals. That’s where we can help.

CRAFTING A BESPOKE AWARDS STRATEGY

With a clear awards strategy, becoming an award-winner will help you achieve your core business goals.

Our research shows that businesses with a bespoke annual awards strategy win more awards than those without. We will work with you on a one-to-one basis to plan your unique route to awards success. We will then present a detailed awards strategy that will kickstart your awards journey and raise your profile across your industry and beyond.

You will benefit from:

  • Full awards assessment, research and analysis
  • Exclusive awards insights
  • Guidance on which awards you have a good chance of winning, and why
  • Detailed information for planning and budgeting for each award

Then, with a full understanding of your best awards opportunities, you can either choose to work on all the award entries and presentations yourself, or instruct us to substantially increase your chances of winning and save you hours of valuable time by selecting one of our full awards service packages.

WORK WITH A LEADING AWARDS AGENCY

With extensive experience at getting recognition for our clients – in all sectors – we are well-placed to look after your awards needs. If you would like to learn more about getting a bespoke awards strategy created for your business, simply click here.

DISCOVER MORE

To find out more about the awards industry and how we work, head over to our handy FAQs page. Here, you’ll find eight different sections covering everything you need to know to begin your journey.

If you have a specific awards enquiry, simply complete our online form to contact us, and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.

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2019 New Year’s Honours List

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REVEALED: The 10 Awards Personas – which one are you?

REVEALED: The 10 Awards Personas – which one are you?

REVEALED: The 10 Awards Personas – which one are you?

Industry Insights

By Donna O’Toole

WHAT’S YOUR AWARDS PERSONA?

Most people who have considered entering awards – or have actively done so – typically fall into one of the following 10 Awards Personas.

Ultimately, ‘The Athlete’ will enjoy much greater success due to their logical and carefully planned approach, combined with a winning mindset and a tenacious personality.

 

1. The Imposter

– Can think of 100 reasons why they shouldn’t enter
– Doesn’t believe they can win, so what’s the point of trying
– Avoids the awards ceremony and watches the results on Twitter in their PJs

2. The Ostrich

– Sees awards as an overwhelming task they don’t want to deal with
– Head in the sand, shies away from the challenge
– Knows awards would help them, but would rather not compete

3. The Bridesmaid

– Excited to enter awards and always makes an effort
– Always a finalist, but never quite makes it to the awards altar
– Just wants to be noticed first, for once

4. The Misfit

– Doesn’t know their unique strengths
– Willing to have a go, but ends up in the wrong race
– All the gear, no idea – throws everything at the entry, hopes for the best

5. The Storyteller

– Tells an engaging and entertaining story
– Avoids the boring (but essential) data and evidence
– Fails to substantiate the story

6. The Tourist

– Sticks a pin in the map and heads off in the wrong awards direction
– Wants a taste of every opportunity
– Jumps into an award because their friend went last year

7. The Politician

– Doesn’t answer the actual question
– Makes impressive promises, but the numbers don’t add up
– Tells the judges what they think they want to hear

8. The Mathematician

– It’s all about numbers, graphs, formulas, and forecasts
– Logical, reliable, and a little bit dull
– Causes death by PowerPoint during the judging panel presentation

9. The Party Animal

– Decides to enter the award at the last minute
– Doesn’t really know how they got here, or where they are going next
– Puts more awards selfie photos on social media than the actual winner

10. The Athlete

– Knows what they want to achieve and what they need to do to get there
– Plans, prepares & trains to win the top award – no matter how long it takes
– Winning mindset lets them jump hurdles and keep going until they succeed

 

FREE Awards Strategy Guidance

If you would like to become ‘The Athlete’ and increase your chances of awards success, we recommend attending our Awards Strategy session, where I provide a wealth of useful tips and pointers about how to pick the awards you could win and build an effective awards strategy for your business.

Click here to secure your FREE place on our next session, which takes places on Thursday 27 May 2021 at 1.00pm.

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2019 New Year’s Honours List

2019 New Year’s Honours List

Congratulations to the 1148 who people have started the New Year with an incredible accolade; an honour from The Queen in the 2019 New Year’s Honours List. The list features celebrities, sports professionals and extraordinary individuals, honouring them for their achievements, dedication to charity, and outstanding work in their chosen industries.

read more

Increasing Awareness of Mental Health & Wellbeing

Increasing Awareness of Mental Health & Wellbeing

Increasing Awareness of Mental Health & Wellbeing

Industry Insights

By Donna O’Toole

MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS

At this time – more than ever before – mental health and wellbeing is of particular importance as we recover from the global pandemic, which has severely affected millions of people across the world.

The current climate of uncertainty and doubt has impacted most of us in different ways and now, during Mental Health Awareness Week, we have the perfect opportunity to raise the profile of mental health and ensure that this message is spread as far and wide as possible.

In acknowledging this, the awards industry has reacted with the introduction of more dedicated awards and categories that recognise individuals and businesses that have launched effective, engaging mental health programmes.

POSITIVE MENTAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACE

One such example is the Great British Workplace Wellbeing Awards, which have recently been launched to champion the outstanding steps taken by employers, service providers and individuals in response to our global wellbeing crisis. Categories such as ‘Best Support for Furloughed Workers’, ‘Best Support for Remote Workers’ and ‘Best Covid-19 Company Response’ identify specific circumstances that have been directly influenced by the pandemic. Other categories celebrate more general mental health-related accomplishments like ‘Lifetime Commitment to Wellbeing’ and ‘Best Wellbeing Service Provider’.

In addition to awards themselves, the team at the Great British Workplace Wellbeing Awards has organised a series of events for business leaders to explore workplace wellbeing hot topics including ‘Maintaining a wellbeing culture post-pandemic’. These are a great way to learn and discover new strategies for approaching this hot topic.

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Awards are purely focused on recognising exceptional wellbeing initiatives that have transformed lives and had a huge positive impact. Entries can be made for categories including ‘Innovative Mental Health Intervention, ‘Support During the Pandemic’ and ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Mental Health Sector’.

Other awards outside the wellbeing sphere have added new categories for 2021 to reflect the challenges that many businesses have faced with regards to looking after their employees’ mental health. For example, the European Contact Centre & Customer Service Awards now feature ‘Best Health and Wellbeing Programme’ and ‘Best Flexible Working Approach’ as part of their awards programme.

WE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU

If you have implemented a successful mental health and wellbeing programme within your business or organisation, we would love to hear your story as it could well be an award-worthy project. With extensive experience at getting recognition for our clients – in all sectors – we are well-placed to look after your awards needs. If you would like to find out more and get in touch with us, simply click here.

DISCOVER MORE

We are all in this together and it’s vital that we can look after our peers – whatever they might be going through.

For more mental health information and access to a wealth of resources, head over to the Mental Health Foundation website.

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2019 New Year’s Honours List

2019 New Year’s Honours List

Congratulations to the 1148 who people have started the New Year with an incredible accolade; an honour from The Queen in the 2019 New Year’s Honours List. The list features celebrities, sports professionals and extraordinary individuals, honouring them for their achievements, dedication to charity, and outstanding work in their chosen industries.

read more

Celebrating the achievements of women across the world

Celebrating the achievements of women across the world

Celebrating the achievements of women across the world

Industry Insights

By Donna O’Toole

When it comes to talented, determined and successful women, one of the leading ladies is Whitney Wolfe-Herd – the Bumble founder and world’s youngest female self-made billionaire.

Her story of overcoming adversity to make it right to the top is a great example of what can be achieved with a burning desire to make a positive impact.

If you are a female business leader – or if you know a woman who is driving change and success in her role – then our list of Women in Business Awards should provide the inspiration to getting much deserved recognition.

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the National Business Women’s Awards and the WISE Awards (amongst many others) offer a platform to improve your personal brand, grow your profile and gain external credibility.

INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN IN BUSINESS

Since launching our Winning Awards podcast, Donna O’Toole has interviewed many women who have either received recognition or been influential within the awards industry itself.

SARAH AUSTIN

Our first podcast featured Awards Director, Sarah Austin, as she gave useful pointers and advice about putting your brand on a national platform.

PAULINE SAUNDERS

Episode 3 saw Donna interview Pauline Saunders from the Learning & Performance Institute, where she talks about their flagship awards programme – The Learning Awards.

DR REBECCA ZHI HERBERT

In Episode 10, the founder and Academic Director of Wisdom Spring Education, Dr Rebecca Zhi Herbert, tells her fascinating personal story that received recognition in a pandemic-specific awards category.


ALISON EDGAR MBE

Alison Edgar MBE, also known as “The Entrepreneur’s Godmother”, meets Donna in Episode 12 to explain how to turn your biggest challenge into your superpower and make it onto the 2021 New Year Honours List.


CHARLY YOUNG

Most recently, the co-founder of The Girls’ Network, Charly Young, appears on Episode 14 where she reveals how our campaign is supporting their one-to-one mentoring scheme. Read more about this initiative in our next story below!

 

EMPOWERING GIRLS IN THE UK

We have recently partnered with The Girls’ Network to offer our support to this extremely worthy cause.

Each time one of our clients wins an award, we will celebrate their success by making a donation to The Girls’ Network, which supports over 1,000 girls aged 14-19 each year across the UK to reach their potential.

By supporting this initiative with our Who Wins When You Win campaign, we are helping to inspire and empower girls from the least advantaged communities by connecting them to a mentor and a network of professional female role models.

If you want to recognise your success by winning awards and supporting The Girls’ Network, contact us today.

It’s time to stop waiting, and start winning!

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Contact us now to find out which awards you could be winning.

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You might also like

2019 New Year’s Honours List

2019 New Year’s Honours List

Congratulations to the 1148 who people have started the New Year with an incredible accolade; an honour from The Queen in the 2019 New Year’s Honours List. The list features celebrities, sports professionals and extraordinary individuals, honouring them for their achievements, dedication to charity, and outstanding work in their chosen industries.

read more

Why the savviest companies are putting awards front and centre of their SALES strategy

Why the savviest companies are putting awards front and centre of their SALES strategy

Why the savviest companies are putting awards front and centre of their SALES strategy

Industry Insights

By Donna O’Toole

Winning awards has traditionally been just another duty for the marketing department. Well, that’s understandable, awards do clearly fit into the ‘marketing and advertising’ remit.

So every year, marketeers were charged with finding, entering, and hopefully winning the awards that would shine a light on the brand. The sales department didn’t really get involved unless it was to recognise their internal achievements inside the business.

But nowadays, the savviest, fastest-growing, most forward-thinking companies are putting awards front and centre of their SALES strategy.

Why?

Because over the last few years, customer expectations have changed, and the need to show that you’re an award-winning business has sky-rocketed. Awards are no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ they are a ‘need-to-have’ for anyone who wants to survive and thrive in a competitive marketplace.

There’s a simple reason for this, and just like laughter, it’s highly contagious:

Certainty breeds certainty and uncertainty breeds uncertainty.

Let me explain how this works…

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. You want to buy a product or sign up to a new service, but how do you know you are making the right choice? What’s going to convince you to buy?

  • How do you know your money is safe and that company is valid and credible?
  • How do you know that you will get great service and not have your time wasted?
  • How do you know that the product you get will be the quality you expected?
  • How do you know that the product or service is really as good as it says it is?
  • What will it take to convince you that you’re making the right choice and press ‘buy’?

Now more than ever, customers want extra reassurance that they are making the best decision before they buy. That’s why we’ve seen the rise of review sites like Trustpilot, Tripadvisor and Google reviews. The more stars the better when it comes to pulling the trigger on the sale.

Well, now it’s the same for awards.

The Emma mattress, website pictured below, is a perfect example of how to use awards in your online sales strategy.

Emma mattress website

Emma has worked hard to win lots of great awards for their mattress and now lead their advertising, marketing and sales strategy with being ‘The no.1 most-awarded mattress” in the UK and across Europe. They have a dedicated awards page that substantiates what they are saying and reassures customers of their credentials.

Together this awards effort has the positive impact of triggering the purchase, and Emma shows perfectly that more awards = more customers = more sales = faster growth = more opportunities!

And another thing…

Award-winning brands not only make more sales, but they can also charge more if they want to as well! Customers of award-winning brands perceive their value to be higher than competitors and they’re willing to pay more for a product or service that has a badge saying it’s the best.

Together, the impact is that award-winning businesses are on average 63% more profitable than their non-award winning competitors. After all, why would you buy from a brand that hasn’t won awards, when there’s an alternative brand you can buy from that DOES have the credibility, certainty and reassurance that a list of awards brings?

Customers are now laser-focused on your awards – or lack of them. And so should you be.

There is no doubt about it, displaying high-quality awards logos on your website, social channels, email sign off, vans, stores and everywhere you display your brand name, will result in faster buying decisions and more sales than ever before.

Don’t take my word for it. Look around you.

How many adverts do you see that say a brand is ‘award-winning’?

How many social media posts do you see sharing award wins?

How many online and offline award logos have you seen on your travels, both virtual and real?

So if you don’t have any awards to display, you’re not shouting about being an ‘award-winning’ brand, or your awards logos are more than a year out of date, your potential customers will not have the certainty they need to buy and it’s time to think about your 2021 Awards Strategy.

But how are you going to use awards to drive more sales? Which awards should you pick? And how do you know if you can win?

Join my next FREE Awards Strategy session to find out what, how, and why you need to win in 2021.

Places are limited. Click here to book your place now or contact us to find out more.

It’s time to stop waiting, and start winning!

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You might also like

2019 New Year’s Honours List

2019 New Year’s Honours List

Congratulations to the 1148 who people have started the New Year with an incredible accolade; an honour from The Queen in the 2019 New Year’s Honours List. The list features celebrities, sports professionals and extraordinary individuals, honouring them for their achievements, dedication to charity, and outstanding work in their chosen industries.

read more

Does your business need a boost right now?

Does your business need a boost right now?

Does your business need a boost right now?

Industry Insights

By Donna O’Toole

As we begin January 2021 in the UK with another call to stay at home and save lives, there can be no doubt that the pandemic continues to make an impact on business.

Of course, this situation is very real for the awards industry too, but interestingly, this makes for some rare and very positive new opportunities that should not be overlooked.

I want to share some valuable insights with you now, so that you can take your business into 2021 with all the motivation and power you need to come out of this stronger than ever before:

  • Awards programmes have adapted to take any impact from the pandemic into account in your entries – so don’t let a blip while you pivoted or transformed put you off entering.
  • A new wave of categories has been embraced by awards, giving employers more opportunity to reward and celebrate their teams’ work during the pandemic, driving them forward with the boost they need to bring the business through the next wave.
  • More businesses than ever entered awards in 2020 – surprising but true! The most popular awards in the country received record entries, creating thriving, buzzing events.
  • Awards logos became more valuable than ever as the world went shopping online, seeking reassurance from award-winners’ logos on websites and social media, giving them the trust they needed to buy and know they were in safe hands. For example, one of our clients saw a 30% uplift in sales within three months of adding a logo to his site!

Many awards programmes took their ceremonies online in 2020 and will do so again in 2021. This means a few things:

  1. No hotels, no transport, no new LBD. So awards ceremonies have become better value than ever to attend and celebrate with your teams, suppliers and partners. You can even arrange awards hampers to celebrate in alternative ways together!
  2. Instant PR can be gained during ceremonies with screenshots of the events, teams, videos etc. and shared instantly online, which is where your target market is.
  3. Networking at awards has become easier than ever with opportunities set up for one-to-one and round table chats with entrepreneurs and leaders who can help you, and whom you might otherwise never meet… and who you certainly couldn’t take a screenshot with and share before now!
  4. International awards are more easily accessible than ever before as the pitches to judges and ceremonies are all online. This strengthens and grows your global audience in an instant, growing your reporting potential immediately.
  5. Even The Queen stepped up with an extra list of honours for people pulling together in business and the community during the pandemic!

So what do you do now? How do you make sure your brand stays alive and thrives in 2021?

I’d love you to come to my next FREE 2021 Awards Strategy Meeting. It’s just 1 hour, it’s all on zoom (obvs), and you can ask me any awards and business-related questions you like. I promise you will leave feeling braver, stronger and more inspired to take your business forward into 2021 with more power than ever before.

We have limited seats so click here to save your space now.

And if you don’t have time next week but you want to get started on making sure your brand still shines brightly in 2021, you can learn a lot from listening to inspirational awards stories on my podcast and you can start work on your award strategy and entries with our support at our next Awards Accelerator online training day on the 22nd January.

It’s time to stop waiting and start winning again in 2021.

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You might also like

2019 New Year’s Honours List

2019 New Year’s Honours List

Congratulations to the 1148 who people have started the New Year with an incredible accolade; an honour from The Queen in the 2019 New Year’s Honours List. The list features celebrities, sports professionals and extraordinary individuals, honouring them for their achievements, dedication to charity, and outstanding work in their chosen industries.

read more