03 Nov How to make the most of PR’ing an award win
Winning an award can be great news for your business, but how do you capitalise on the opportunity? From communicating the news to the media, to utilising your own social media channels, here are four golden tips to help make the most of your success…
Be organised, maximise the exposure
If waking up the day after an awards ceremony is the first time you give any thought to PR’ing your win, then you’ve already missed a trick. There are various stages to any awards process, giving numerous opportunities to communicate your success.
The chances are you’ll be notified if you’ve made it through to the finals. You don’t have to wait for the awards ceremony to start sharing your news with the press, this in itself can make a nice story and is a good excuse to get in touch with your local paper.
When it comes to the awards ceremony itself, it’s a good idea to prepare a press release in draft before the event, with a couple of different versions reflecting the likely outcome, i.e. Gold or Silver. It can be worth including quotes from local dignitaries (such as the mayor) or business champions (BID, Chamber of Commerce etc.) to help lend weight to the significance of the achievement.
Get the story to the right person, in the right format
Before issuing a press release or picking up the phone to a journalist make sure you’re clear on who might be interested in the news. A business success story may make the pages of your local paper but a national news desk is unlikely to run it unless you’ve won something at a national level. Read our tips on what makes a great press release.
Timing is key. It’s likely that other winners will be contacting the regional press with their news too, so make sure you get the news out within the first day or two of the official announcement. And have a print-quality, high-res photo available to send, either one supplied by the event organisers from the awards ceremony or one of your own professional quality pics.
And a note of caution: Smaller local papers with less space to fill may do a round-up of local winners rather than a big splash just about your business, don’t be surprised if your big achievement isn’t front page news.
Make a splash on social media
Having your own social media channels makes you a curator of the news. But one tweet about your achievement isn’t enough. Think in terms of branding, and consider making up banners and headers for your social media accounts using the awards logo (free to use tools such as Canva make designing to the correct dimensions easy).
Tag the awards organisers so they share your posts, and include any official hashtag (i.e. #DevonTA). Journalists regularly use channels such as Twitter to research topical stories will use hashtags to search for people talking about them. It’s also a great way to get noticed by bigger tourism partners such as the regional tourist board, who’ll be talking to media and inbound tour operators about successful businesses in their area now and in the future.
Consider updating your biog on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to reference your win.
Think long-term (rather than one hit wonder)
It’s not the award, it’s what you do with it that counts! Don’t be a flash in the pan, eek out maximum value from your win by making it part of your everyday communications, rather than a one off press release. Add the logo to your email signature and your website; if you have a standard e-newsletter or press release template make sure you add a line about your achievement.
It can be helpful to think of PR as a gradual drip, drip effect. Use the latest accolade as a springboard: you may find the award itself doesn’t generate any immediate media coverage, but you can start to build a regular communication channel with the press. Think about what other stories you might have to tell, whether that’s a new activity or menu you can introduce or simply singing about things that you do differently to everyone else. You’ve got their attention, now milk it.