Business Awards for 2022 – The Valorous Podcast

TRANSCRIPT:

[00:00:00] Hi everyone. My name’s Jonathan with Valorous Circle, and today I’ve got with me Sue Voyles from Logos Communications, and we’re going to chat about awards. So Sue was telling me the other day that she’s got a great process and a lot of experience in helping businesses identify awards that they might be able to win and then utilizing those to create credibility as well as a more awareness for them. So today we’re going to chat about that and how your business. Can succeed and win some awards as well.

[00:00:28] So thank you for the introduction, Jonathan, great to be here with you today and would love to talk to you about awards. One of the things that we love doing as a public relations firm is help clients get recognized in the marketplace and a great way to do that and to build credibility is with awards. So over 23 years of business, we have been thrilled to nominate clients and see them win awards, everything from the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame. Two Cranes Cool Places to Work to Crain’s 40 Under 40, Michigan 50 Companies to Watch, Inc 500 and on. And it just thrills us to see clients get this kind of recognition, often things that they don’t even think about in their everyday business.

[00:01:13] Well, no. And as you and I were talking the other day on a client call that we were on, I, one of the thoughts that immediately came to mind for me is, you know, I see other companies saying, you know, their Inc 5,000 or again, best place to work and things like that. And I admit, I, as a business founder and a leader, I have no idea what’s even available, or if it’s even worth pursuing. Talk to me a little bit about when you work with a customer or client of yours on that. How do you go about figuring out what awards might be applicable and what they need to do to treat me as a newbie? Cause I really don’t know.

[00:01:47] So one of the things I might ask you as a new client is, have you won any awards in the past? And then I might follow up that question with, are you interested in winning some awards and lots of times what I’ll hear is yeah. You know, My competitor has been named a best and brightest places to work for five years in a row and we are just as good as them. So how do you get those awards. Then I can start probing a little bit more to find out. Do you qualify? Do you meet the criteria? There is criteria involved in many of these awards. Sometimes you have to be in business for a certain amount of years. Sometimes you need to have a certain number of employees or certain level of revenue. So those are the things where I’ll do due diligence to figure that out and say, yes, you are qualified for these awards. Do we want to try for one of them.

[00:02:40] The good news is if this works, it’s not necessarily more work for us as a business that you’re stepping into that role. You’re helping us figure out what awards we might qualify for, what ones might help us. I’m guessing with our customers. In other words, which ones would really add credibility versus ones that might not. One of the questions I know that I always have, and I’m going to pick on attorneys for a moment, which is probably terrible, but I always see these best and brightest attorney awards, and I don’t, you don’t need to comment on that, but I believe that some of the awards out there are basically a pay to play. And obviously I’m always worried that my customers and clients might look at those and wonder is that a pay to play? How do you address those concerns with your customers and your clients as you’re looking at those awards?

[00:03:26] So another word another term that we use for those kinds of awards, Jonathan is vanity awards. Those are basically awards where sometimes you probably have seen this over the years. You’ll get an email saying, congratulations. You’ve been named one of the top digital marketing agencies in the Midwest claim your award here, and it’ll take you to a website. Where it will give you uh, several different packages that you will pay for to get that award. So those are vanity awards. Very often after we see clients maybe win an award or get some kind of media coverage, they’ll get pained for a vanity award. And I typically will avoid those. I feel those are not particularly credible. Now they, they have a place sometimes if you are a new business maybe, or a young business, and just want something on your website to show some kind of recognition, a vanity award might be good for you. But to me, I feel that clients find more value in knowing that they were in a competitive situation where they were selected based on their merits.

[00:04:35] No, that makes good sense. A lot is a good sense. From your perspective, Sue, having worked with a lot of clients on the award issue, what do you find the value to your client? Is it typically, is it a credibility issue? What value does winning those awards bring to the.

[00:04:51] So there’s a few different things that happen very often with these awards, there is a media partner, so you will get media coverage as an award winner. Often there’ll be a social media campaign for these awards. So you’ll be able to use the hashtag and the badges for social media. Also putting them on your website so people can see, yes, you are a Inc 500 winner or a best and brightest company to work for.

[00:05:18] Some of the other reasons awards can be valuable particularly right now, where we’re in a situation where people are having trouble bringing on talent into their organizations is that some of these best workplace awards can be a way to signal to potential employees. Hey, we’re a great place to work.

[00:05:36] And here’s our awards to show it. So that can be another reason to do. And and then there are awards are company words, and there are words, their are individual awards. So a Crain’s 40 under 40, for example, that’s an individual award. It certainly can reflect on the person’s employer or company positively, but that’s an individual achievement.

[00:05:59] And then there are company awards. Recognize the whole enterprise. So that’s something else to think about. Is it important for example, that the founder gets some recognition or is it more important for the whole enterprise to get recognition? Those are all things, as we get to know our clients and we spend a lot of time in the beginning, just taking a deep dive into their business to understand, to see what kind of recognition they might be interested in and then encouraging them and research.

[00:06:30] I also want to touch on the idea that there are industry awards. So for example, and in an industry. Technology, there are multiple types of technology awards that can be obtained. Then there are general business awards that are like the D business 30 in their thirties, for example, or some of these notable women, notable construction professionals, things like that.

[00:06:57] So there are the trade and industry type of awards. And then there are more of the general business and then there’s the community award. For example, lots of community nonprofits have different awards where they recognize people in the community or companies in the community.

[00:07:16] Interestingly. So it’s certainly a lot more than just the award. We may personally be aware of there’s it sounds like there’s a lot of them out there. And that research really helps you determine which one of those awards the company may qualify for as well as which ones would help it move forward in its marketing and branding and things like that.

[00:07:35] Is that correct?

[00:07:36] Yes. And again, these are words that can be used. You a plaque in your office, a badge on your social media profile a little logo in your email signature. Those are all ways that you let people know you are an award winning organization or an individual.

[00:07:53] Thanks for sharing that. I was actually just going to ask, once you win the award.

[00:07:57] Without sounding I guess you’re beating your own drum. Maybe you have to, how do you share that with people? How do you let your customers and prospects know that as well as maybe know the importance of that that award, it sounds like those are some great ways to do it just that way. Is that something also that logos can help people with Sue is if we’re trying to figure out how do we maximize the impact of that award?

[00:08:19] Is that something that you and your team can have?

[00:08:22] Absolutely. As I said some often, so in word programs, there are some things that are good to know. Sometimes there is a fee to enter into an awards program. All awards programs have costs to them. So either the program will collect the money up front when you nominate.

[00:08:42] Or they get their money on the back end when they sell you packages and packages could be tickets to an awards event advertisements in a program book and so forth. So just keep in mind that awards programs do have costs associated with them. So be prepared for that. And then we will often help clients analyze those opportunities when they get the email.

[00:09:07] For example, with winners packages select from four different packages and we’ll look at those and say, we think package number two makes the most sense. And here’s why and then we’ll help them if they need to create. Assets to go with that, like a digital banner ad, for example, or print advertisement.

[00:09:26] Maybe they want us to join them at the event to help them celebrate, take pictures to post live to social media, for example. And then a press release can be very valuable to get out the word about your award. Certainly you can post that kind of information on your website, on your blog page to say we’re excited to announce, right?

[00:09:46] Just different ways to get it out, put it on your invoices, when you send out your invoices, when you send out your proposals, put that in there, right? Between you and I, Jonathan, we probably could think of many ways to leverage that award. You could think of many digital ways. I can think of many ways through public relations type of channels, but tell the world like, Hey, we are only one of 50 Michigan companies to watch and there were 550 companies nominated.

[00:10:18] That’s a great statistic.

[00:10:22] No, absolutely. And I think that’s part of the exciting part one it’s always, it feels good to win an award and be acknowledged, but I think then leveraging that to help grow your business and continue to keep you in front of your customers. And prospect is part of the real value of at least from my perspective as a marketer.

[00:10:38] It’s one of the things I see real value in. So one of the things should I be asking about, or would you want somebody to know if they were considering awards and trying to find out how their company could take advantage of that as, is there anything else they should know?

[00:10:51] They should know what are the requirements for the awards.

[00:10:54] So one of the areas that we help with is writing the nomination. So lots of times there will be a form and it will have. Questions and, tell us why this organization is worthy of this award. And it will ask a series of questions. So very often that’s where we can help lift that burden from the client.

[00:11:16] And we can write those responses and then give it to the client for review. And then actually go ahead and submit the nomination. Almost all of these award programs are run now through online platforms where everything is handled online. An account created a log in and then the form is filled out online and submitted.

[00:11:37] And sometimes if there’s a fee is paid, we can do all those things for the client. So writing those nominations after the award is achieved there, if there’s a media partner, there will be an editorial question. Because they’re going to write a story about the award winners. So then they can send us the questionnaire, the client, and they can say, please help us with these particular answers.

[00:12:02] And we can work on drafting. Those answers. For the client and getting it over. In fact, tomorrow I’m meeting up with a client to take a picture, a new photo. She is winning an award very nice or that not many get, and she wants a new photo. So we’re meeting up tomorrow to get a new photo and that’s something else we can help with.

[00:12:22] If we need to help with photography or some kind of graphic assets, we can help with that as well.

[00:12:28] Wonderful. I’m definitely hearing for someone like myself, that’s not familiar with the award system and how that works. The simple solution is just to talk to you and your team and let you handle those details.

[00:12:38] So we can keep working on the business while you help us, find, and maybe create some opportunities that we may not have been aware of in that award space. So that’s really exciting. Is there any. Anything special that one needs to do before they started investigating or is the best first step, really Sue to reach out to you and your team and say, Hey, I’m interested.

[00:12:59] What does that look like? Is each situation a little bit different depending on industry and.

[00:13:06] So sometimes we keep our pulse on a lot of awards programs that are going on obviously over 23 years. So I’m getting a lot of email pings for award nominations regularly, and I’ll share them, I’ll think about which clients are good fits for these awards.

[00:13:23] And I’ll share that with them. Sometimes they will get emails, maybe specific to their industry, and they’ll send them over to me and say, Hey, can you look at. Award program. Does this make sense for us? It’s a collaborative process. Jonathan, we want to be collaborating with the clients. So the award is something that they will feel good about potentially winning, and that they’ll feel good about telling people about in the case of the workplace awards, especially it’s a very collaborative process because those awards.

[00:13:56] Typically have an employee survey phase where employees, a certain number of employees have to fill out the survey for them to even qualify. And that part requires some collaboration between us, the client and the award vendor, and especially on the it side, because all of these, again, all of these work programs are done online or via email.

[00:14:19] Type of survey tools. So it’s a collaborative process, but we can be your point person. We can take care of a lot of things on our side, so that you’re just basically saying, approved or make this tweak here and there. And we’re good to go. And then the other thing is we keep you accountable for the deadline.

[00:14:38] So almost all award programs do have deadlines. They, because they have a certain times of year when they roll out the award winners and so forth. So we will keep track of deadlines where you say, Hey, April one is coming up. You need to get this in. If you’re going to go for it, what here’s where we’re at.

[00:14:55] We’re 50% of the way there. And we need a little push now to get to the rest of it or whatever. So that’s where we can help and just take some of that off your plate and keep you on track.

[00:15:06] No, that’s just I so appreciate all this information. It’s just feel like a sponge soaking all this up.

[00:15:10] This is great. So again, I do want to thank you for your time today and thanks for sharing your expertise about awards and all that. We’ll add your information and contact information onto the video here so people can see that. Do you prefer that they go to your website and submit a request, make a phone call.

[00:15:25] If they’re interested, what’s the best next step for them to take?

[00:15:28] Phone call is great. If I don’t pick up, leave a message. 7 3 4 6 6 7 2 0 0 5. Feel free to reach out to me, always happy to talk to anybody. Just asking about award programs. It’s always interesting to me how so many companies are not taking advantage of these opportunities companies.

[00:15:47] That would be good candidates for a lot of these awards. And I just love bringing those opportunities to them.

[00:15:54] It’s certainly exciting to think about that. There are awards out there that we can get. And from my perspective, as an entrepreneur, that I’m not the one that has to do the paperwork. I love that.

[00:16:00] That’s fantastic. So thank you again, we really do appreciate this and I encourage everybody watching. If you’re interested in awards, reach out to Sue and her team. I have worked with Sue now for a little over a year. If memory serves me right, and two and her team are just incredible at what they do.

[00:16:16] I cannot recommend them highly enough, a huge integrity. Great follow-through and tremendous knowledge about some of these areas that maybe we don’t know about. So if you’re interested in finding out what type of awards your business could be in line for talk to cylinder team, I really encourage that.

[00:16:33] So again, thanks very much. We really appreciate your time and we will be back in touch with everybody else on our next video. Make it a

[00:16:41] great day. Yes, absolutely.