Awards Can Build Your Credibility

First placeTis the season.

No, not that season.

Awards season.

This year, I’ve entered more projects than ever before. Not because I’ve done some super awesome things, but because it’s a validation of what you are doing is good, especially when it’s judged by your industry peers.

You work hard all year. You constantly research the latest in innovative marketing and communications. You stretch budget dollars to get the biggest bang. Some days, your workday doesn’t end at 5 o’clock. You want to help your organization grow, and be an important part of your community and make a difference in your industry.

Your hard work deserves to be recognized. But, I know what you are thinking:

I’m a one-person marketing/communications department…I don’t have the time.
Yes, it does take time to fill out the form, gather materials and write up your entry. But this exercise isn’t just useful for winning awards. It forces you to think about your program or project in relation to budget, challenges and results. Once you do it, you can use this information for other marketing objectives. If it’s a recurring project, it helps to see where you can improve.

Everyone else is doing way cooler things.
There may be some awesome programs created by others. But did they submit an entry? Maybe, maybe not. This is your chance to show yourself – and your company – that what you do matters. And even if you don’t win, many programs give you back the judging sheets, so you can learn from the constructive suggestions.

It’s not in the budget.
National awards can be pricey. Enter a couple of your local award programs. And make sure to include it in next year’s budget.

It doesn’t really do anything for me.
Once you win an award, don’t just clap and forget about it. Leverage the honor on your LinkedIn profile, include it on your resume and mention it on during your next review.

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