By Lea Hensel, Business and Community Services
Congratulations! Your business has won an award.
But now what? Unfortunately, many people just sit the award on a shelf and let it get dusty even though there are multiple ways you can share the news that won’t take too much time off your plate. Not to mention it demonstrates an expertise in your industry, boosts your brand image, and even provides a little morale boost to your staff when they see their hard work being recognized.
Email to All Staff
Especially if you have more than just a few staff, others may not hear about the award so make sure your first step is to send out an email (or mention it at the next full staff meeting, if those happen regularly) to the entire staff letting them know about the accomplishment. If particular individuals were highly involved or part of the awarded program or service, be sure to give them a shout out. Plus, if you follow the next few recommendations, it will be nice for your staff to hear about the award from you, rather than the newspaper.
As soon as possible, get a press release out about it. As much as I hear or read that, “The press release is dead,” I haven’t found it to be true. Many journalists will tell you that they still rely on releases in order to get their stories, especially when you’re talking smaller communities or local news. And if you’re not comfortable with writing a full press release, pitch a story to your local journalists. Does the award bring some larger scale attention to your community? What sets you apart with this award? Is it the first time it was given? Are you the youngest company to receive? Or maybe it was for something innovative that is changing your industry. They’ll want to know that. Look up the journalists that cover local and/or business news and let them know about your award. At the very least, many print outlets have Business Brief sections that are made to share news like this with the community.
Outside of your local media, are there any regional outlets or industry associations? If you’re part of an association, they typically have a newsletter or an area on their website for member updates and news. One of the first ones that come to mind for me here in Iowa is the Iowa Association of Business and Industry. They often share this type of member news.
Do you have a newsletter that goes out regularly? Take the great information you shared in the press release and share it in the newsletter too. This will be a great way to get it the news directly to your clients. And be sure to take a picture of the award itself to include. Bonus points if the picture includes yourself, co-workers, and/or the President/CEO/owner.
If your business is on social media, this should be one of the biggest ways you can share with your followers the news and there are actually a few ways you can do that. First and foremost, a post. Go ahead and share the news in a regular post, more than once. Schedule out some posts periodically over the next couple weeks to share the news. More bonus points if the pictures from the newsletter are used on social media; you’re more likely to get some engagement on the post if it has something visual added to it.
Additionally, use other sections of your social media accounts to share the news. On your Facebook Page, add the award as a milestone (in your About tab) and in your descriptions (also in the About tab), include that it’s an award-winning company. If you have a LinkedIn Company Page, add it into the Company Description.
Another place to showcase it is visually on your cover picture. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all have cover picture areas so incorporate the picture, specific name of the award, or just ‘award-winning’ into your cover picture.
Here’s one you may not think of - add your award to your email signature. Whether it’s adding a graphic of the award or simply some basic text showcasing that you’re an award-winning business now.
Regardless of how you go about it, get the word out there that you won an award. It’s a great way to set yourself apart from the competition, get your business out there, and can provide some good morale boost to your staff that their hard work is getting some recognition.