Awards and recognition competitions can be truly effective in promoting and marketing your business. The best competitions will, if successful, provide you recognition among your potential clients.
The Ontario Construction Report's Readers' Choice Awards is an excellent example of a competition worthy of entering. One nominee called me earlier in the week, expressing concern. "Is there any cost associated with this -- either to be nominated or if we win?" he asked.
"There is absolutely no charge or fee involved," I responded.
Some competitions, especially ones co-ordinated by associations and business groups, charge modest entry fees (they also often earn significant revenue from awards dinners and banquets). These competitions are usually worth entering.
A third group of "Awards" are operated by commercial businesses who earn revenue by structuring the competition so that the businesses which pay the substantial fees for 'entering' generally win the competition. Some structure their affairs so that you learn that you have been nominated, but you cannot share the news or announce your success without paying the high fees.
Obviously, I don't think much of the latter type of award but I see many businesses proudly proclaim their victory. And I suppose, if you budget it as a marketing expense, and can control the fact that you know you are going to win in advance, the cost may be justifiable as an advertising expense.
But our Readers' Choice Awards -- and many similar competitions -- are very different. You win if you earn your victory by the number of votes you receive (or if it is a judged competition, you convince the independent judges that your entry is the best.)
The key to winning the Ontario Construction Report's Readers' Choice Awards, of course, is getting out the vote. Some businesses email or communicate with their suppliers and clients and invite their support. This is fair game, as long as people don't vote more than once for the same businesses.
Or you can follow the example of George Stone & Sons Ltd. in Sault. Ste. Marie, Ontario, who parlayed their nomination into a news story in the local newspaper and its website.
The result, this posting on soonews.ca
The staff at George Stone and Sons Ltd. in Sault Ste. Marie have no idea who nominated them, but they are glad someone did.April Foster, administrative assistant at the local contractor told Soonews.ca that now that construction firm has been nominated, they want to win! People can vote by going to The Poll and cast your vote.George Stone and Sons is nominated in the "All-Around Best General Contractor" category.Another Sault firm, FICMAR Builders Inc was also nominated in the Ontario Construction Report Reader's Choice Awards for Best Residential Contractor."It would be great for Sault Ste. Marie to have us win these awards" said Foster. Winners will be announced March 1st - Good Luck to the two local companies nominated!