Dust off your Sunday best and polish your smile, folks, it's awards season again! In August, we kicked off with the Sefika Awards for publishing and bookselling; next it's the advertising industry's turn with the Loeries (21 and 22 September), followed by the Bookmarks for the digital media and marketing industry (14 November) and the magazine industry's PICA Awards (also 14 November). Copywriters, directors, art directors, creative directors, editors, journalists, web developers, publishers, digital marketers and SEO's...right now, it seems everyone's clamouring for a shot at an award at one of these coveted events!

Why is Winning Industry Awards Important, Anyway?
Actually, not everyone feels awards are that important. Recently, the indomitable Russell Brand had a bit of a rant about awards ceremonies as he picked up a gong for 'being an oracle' (we don't know either!), at the British GQ Man of the Year Awards. He wrote about his outburst and his feelings afterwards, describing such ceremonies as 'absurd' and 'daft' and perhaps he has a point. However, provided you choose your awards ceremonies carefully - going for respected and prestigious awards with some longevity, history and gravitas behind them, like the Loeries, for instance - they can be immensely advantageous by:
  • Rewarding creativity and hard work - which boosts individual and team morale
  • Acknowledging an individual or team's capabilities, skills and talents - making them more desirable in the marketplace (think about how the fees of a certain actor or actress skyrockets after bagging an Oscar)
  • Enhancing your organisation's credibility by recognising it as a leader in its field
  • Distinguishing you from your competitors - which can help attract the best qualified employees and clients
  • Giving you, your brand and/or your organisation all-important exposure. 
Five Ways to Use Your Award for Maximum Effect
When the excitement of another glittering awards gala has died down, what then? Work those awards! Whether you're an award winner, a runner-up or nominee, you can:
  • Send a media release congratulating your team on their achievement to the local newspapers - keep it short and sweet and include a photo of the team
  • Add the award logo to your website, social media profiles and marketing communications
  • Tell the backstory to your award achievement in a blog post - link to it from your social media profiles
  • Be careful to pay attention to the language you use to describe your awards - for instance, instead of saying 'third best/fifth best/ninth best', rephrase it along the lines of 'one of the top three/top five/top ten best'. If you came second, proudly call yourself the 'runner-up' and if you were nominated but didn't win, don't be shy to mention you were a 'nominee of such-and-such-award'. 
  • Display the physical award at your offices or studio where it can be seen - take a photo of its new home and share it via your web and social media channels. 

Awards Ceremonies -  Just Bums on Seats at a Swanky Do or Real Value?