10 great tips to leverage your industry award win

November 12, 2015

Winning an industry award is a great boost for your personal brand, as well as for the brand of your organisation. It’s a recognition for your achievements and for the services you deliver.

Recognition doesn’t have to stop at the conclusion of the award ceremony though. With a little bit of planning and communication, you can leverage an award for ongoing benefits to you and your brand. By being deliberate, you can continue to tailor the perception your stakeholders have of you when it comes to your reputation, skills, attributes, achievements and stature. Outcomes can also have positive impacts on your sales and engagement.

Here are ten great tips for leveraging your industry award win:

1. Be ‘award-winning’

You can now use ‘award-winning’ in your bio details. If it was an industry award, use it in conjunction with your role in the industry for which you won the award. For example, you can describe yourself as ‘an award-winning financial adviser’ or ‘an award-winning property developer’. You do not necessarily need to provide the name of the award in this description.

If your award was for something other than industry, such as for community involvement or personal achievements, avoid using ‘award-winning’. An alternative could be ‘I was recognised for my…’ in these cases.

2. Use the award logo

The awarding institution or association will likely provide you with an award logo for you to publish. Depending on the type of the award, publish this logo to your website, blog, and include in your marketing material if appropriate. Communicating the award visually through the logo is a great way to instantly leverage your achievement with your audiences.

3. Update your online presences

Update your online bios on your website and social media accounts to reflect your award and to make them consistent.

If you haven’t consolidated your online and offline presences before, you may find that you have many built up over the years. Delete accounts no longer in use. Update the ones you will continue to use going forward according to your channel planning above. Remember not to copy and paste the same content for every presence; some are more complete than others. A LinkedIn bio is more complete than a Twitter bio, but you can still ensure they’re aligned to reflect the same you.

4. Tell your stakeholders

In your next scheduled general communications, tell your stakeholders about your achievement. For current and prospective clients, this may be via your next newsletter. For staff, this may be via your intranet. This may also be via your social media channels, both personal and organisational accounts.

Be straightforward and humble about the award, and don’t ‘humblebrag’. A humblebrag can be thought of as a self-deprecating or ostensibly modest statement which is actually used to boast.

After winning an award, an example of a humblebrag could be: “Oh look what I just happened to get. #JustAnotherDayAtTheOffice #NoBigDeal #nbd.” Avoid this even if it seems funny or nonchalant at the time as it may affect public or professional perception.

5. Publish to your website

In addition to updating your bio, publish an announcement article to your website via your news channel or blog feed. The article will give you a bit more space to describe the event and link to the award provider website and social feeds.

6. Distribute a press release

Some awards may warrant announcing more broadly if you decide the PR of the event didn’t reach your key audiences. You and your company may potentially benefit from additional coverage if your achievement is announced in industry press, local press, and community news, particularly in regions where your current and prospective clients operate in.

Also research if there are influential bloggers and podcasters in your industry who would be interested in discussing your award with you.

7. Tell your backstory

Additional leverage opportunities extend beyond just the award. They also include you writing and/or talking about what led to the award. From a personal branding perspective, you can publish additional articles about the specifics in your career that led to the award win, lessons you learned along the way, significant success factors and what values you live by which helped you navigate adversity.

This helps you tell a narrative in a personal, personable and relatable  way.

8. Incorporate into proposals and pitches

Be creative in how you leverage your award win. If it’s possible to incorporate the achievement in your proposals, pitches and tenders beyond an inclusion in your bio, take advantage of this. While it won’t be a deciding factor, it will contribute to helping you stand out and cut through competition.

9. Be gracious

Being gracious and thanking the award and event provider, sponsors and also congratulating the other nominees and entrants is a great communication, particularly if used on the night or the next day. If using social media, tag the people or organisations you thank. Be careful with how you word this though, not just in terms of the humblebrag, but also in terms of how poorly chosen wording could reflect back on you.

10. Create a presentation

A presentation or slide deck is another communication channel you can leverage while incorporating visual and potentially audio engagement. Think of how you can add value to viewers – whether it’s outlining tips to win the award you won while providing examples from your backstory to the award or whether it’s highlighting the products and services for which the award was won and why they stand out and are award-winning. Use engaging imagery which ties into your organisational branding. If you create a webinar, you can record yourself talking about your award and your company, which adds engagement. Publish to Slideshare and LinkedIn, and promote via your other channels.