The PR Guru

March 7, 2010

Give your business Oscar fever!

The Oscars are just around the corner. The A-listers will be hitting the red carpet at about 1am tonight (our time), and we’ll all be waiting with baited breath to see who will pick up those golden statuettes.

Who will win Best Film? Will it be the bookies’ favourite Avatar, or The Hurt Locker? Or a dark horse like Inglorious Basterds?

Will James Cameron come out on top for Best Director, or will it be his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow?

Best of luck to Colin Firth, Dame Helen Mirren and Carey Mulligan, who represent our best chances of Oscar glory. And Nick Park, of Aardman Animations, who’s up for his fifth Oscar for A Matter of Loaf and Death.

The conventional wisdom suggests whoever wins will get a boost at the box office. While that may not actually be the case, the winners will certainly benefit from hours and pages of media coverage.

And the same is true when it comes to awards for businesses. It’s a great marketing boost because you are getting that third party endorsement we all crave – and not just from anybody, but from someone in authority.

Not just that, it represents a great opportunity to promote your business as award-winners. Your business will get plenty of media coverage for your win, whether that’s in your local press or trade mags (or sometimes both).

Finally, think of the boost to staff morale from winning, or even being nominated. We all love being told we’re doing a great job, but if that comes from someone in authority it gives us a little spring in our step and makes us that little bit more productive.

All this just from spending a couple of hours on your application! It doesn’t even have to cost you anything!

You should give some serious thought to building awards applications into your marketing plan for 2010.

Here are some suggestions of awards you might like to go for:

British Chamber Awards: £50k up for grabs for the overall winners!Categories include Most Promising New Business, Excellence in Customer Service, and The Green Award. As you would expect, only open to Chamber members. Deadline 25th June.

Sentinel Business Awards: just for businesses in North Staffordshire/South Cheshire (The Sentinel‘s catchment area). Categories include Training Excellence, and Business of the Year. Deadline is usually in November. 

Business in the Community Awards: operated in conjunction with the Financial Times, these concentrate on those who have shown ‘innovation, creativity and a sustained commitment to corporate social responsibility’. Some deadlines have passed for this year, but there are still some opportunities left, if you’re quick.

Lord Stafford Awards: covering the West Midlands, East Midlands and East of England, these reward businesses involved with innovation and technology. Deadline 29th April (East Midlands) and 25th June (West Midlands). East of England deadline tbc. 

Switched-On National Awards: categories include Woman in Business with B*lls, Man on a Mission, and Against All Odds. Deadline 18th June.

And there are hundreds of others around the country, or specific to your industry – all you have to do is Google.

Good luck to everyone up for an Oscar tonight, and for any of you going for your own gong in the next year.

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