How to win awards

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As Sheffield’s Summer Saturdays campaign scoops up a second industry award from Towns Alive, I’m thinking about why we like to win them, and how we can create award winning campaigns.

We’d all like to win an award. It makes us feel good – makes us feel like those late nights and hours of frustration in getting things right were worthwhile. It’s the recognition we all dream about. We all want a nice shiny award, but how do we shape and share our work to make sure it stands out from the crowd and gets recognized?

1. Winning content

First things first, you need a great campaign to enter with. Not just one that looks good, but one that achieved real results. Results that matter are changed behaviour, not column inches or facebook likes. Is your team working on something that could be magical with a little extra input? Are you tracking activity, visuals and results so that you can pull together an awards bid at short notice?

2. Awards strategy

Do you know the awards for your industry? When they are, how much they cost, and who won last time? Have you looked wider than your specific industry? Local government marketers tend to stick to the basics of LG Comms and LGC, but it pays to look much more widely, to private sector led PR, marketing and design awards.

Sign up for updates from companies that make money from writing bids for you, such as Boost Marketing or Awards Agency.

3. Bidding time

Set the time aside for your team to bid, and you’re half way there. We’re all so pushed for time that awards bids become another thing that hits the bottom of our to do lists. Allocate a dedicated awards lead in your team, who can develop your strategy and project plan, research winning bids, and collate content to create your team’s bids. The time and effort will be worth it when your team is adding the accredditation to their email signatures and issuing those celebratory tweets.

About the Summer Saturdays campaign and its awards

Summer Saturdays has won the Towns Alive 2014 Award for North Zone Impact, as well as being winner of APCOM’s Best Cross Media Campaign 2013. It involved creation of a brand identity, 6 sheet posters, large and small display graphics, leaflets, traditional and social media campaign, and radio and tv adverts.

Aiming to address declining footfall, low dwell time and poor average transactional value, it focussed on attracting new visitors, increasing return visits, and giving local people and businesses the chance to showcase themselves by providing new and unique animation and events.

The campaign achieved a 12.7% increase in footfall, 11% increase in dwell time, and 12% increase in average transactional value. It also showed what can be achieved by businesses working together.

 

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