Award submissions

30 August 2023

There is a common perception that entering industry awards is an onerous process with very little return if you don’t land a win. However, award submissions can benefit practices in multiple ways, from capturing expertise to strengthening client relationships and promoting exceptional projects, writes Alicia Brown.

Awards programs offer practices the opportunity to strategically select the most relevant program to showcase their expertise. Whether it’s to highlight excellence in a specific discipline, market sector, capability or client service, entering the right awards program provides many opportunities to elevate a firm’s reputation.

In the competitive world of the built environment, publicly showcasing expertise is a core ingredient of success. This article explores the various ways in which awards can benefit businesses working in the built environment.

Developing client relationships

Entering a project into an awards program can speak volumes about your firm’s commitment to excellence and the importance you place on your clients and their projects. Seeking client input during the submission process allows for positive discussions about project outcomes and the services provided, nurturing the relationship while giving you a legitimate excuse to gather feedback and client testimonials. This process not only serves the purpose of the awards submission but also generates content that can be used in project sheets, on your website and in future tender submissions to enhance your firm’s reputation and credibility.

Capturing thorough case studies

Participating in an awards program forces you to create detailed case studies of your leading projects. These case studies are immensely valuable for new project opportunities, providing base content that can be drawn upon to demonstrate relevant parallels in tender submissions and interviews, showcasing your problem-solving capabilities and innovative approaches. Additionally, the content generated from these case studies can be repurposed as PR articles and social media posts, creating a treasure trove of strategic and engaging content for your target audience/s.

Providing an excuse to promote services

While awards programs may offer some promotion of the winners, self-promotion of a shortlisting or win can often be more effective. If you are shortlisted or declared a winner, don’t just tell people you won. Focus on why you won, sharing clever and innovative aspects, client testimonials and the judges’ comments. Whether you win or not, collating information for a submission provides the breadth of content you need to proactively promote your expertise, providing quality content to share with your contacts database, social media followers, and via targeted advertising.

Engaging your network

Awards programs often include a “People’s Choice” category, where public voting occurs. This presents an excellent opportunity to promote your project and engage those involved in your project and your wider network to support your entry.

Creating a compelling reference point

Winning awards or receiving recognition from reputable industry bodies provides a powerful reference point when procuring new work. In presentations, capability statements or tender submissions, you can confidently showcase that your projects have been acknowledged for excellence. Some proposal and tender criteria may even explicitly ask for proof of awards and recognition, making your accomplishments even more critical.

In conclusion

Participating in awards programs is more than just a formality; it’s a strategic approach to elevate your practice’s reputation, foster client relationships, and promote your services effectively. The awards process allows you to showcase your expertise, celebrate your hero projects, and collect valuable case studies and testimonials. So why not embrace the power of awards to position your practice as an industry leader and secure new opportunities? As they say – you’ve gotta be in it to win it! (or to enjoy the many rewards!).

Alicia Brown is a Marketing Strategist and Director of New Doors, a marketing agency servicing the built environment industry. The New Doors team have nearly 20 years experience writing awards and tender submissions, as well as providing business marketing and strategic advice for a range of medium and large practices.