by Debbie Allen, All Rights Reserved
People skills are the key to making it big with the media. You may have the best products and/or services in the world, but if you can’t communicate effectively, then your voice will not be heard.
Think about it: Hollywood is 100 percent personality driven. Marketing yourself effectively to the media is like becoming a star in Hollywood. The most famous people in the world do not sit back and wait for the media to notice them. No, they run out in front of them and yell, “Look at me! I’ve got a talent to share with the world.” After the media starts to notice them, they attract even more media attention sometimes to the point of frustration. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t mind holding back the media from noticing my business. Bring it on!
One of the best ways to gain media attention is by being nominated for, and winning, business awards. Once you have won an award, you can use it to your advantage to promote to the media over and over again.
Its easier than most people think, to win an award, but you have to understand it’s a game and know the rules.
Award Winning Rules:
1) Know how to fill out paperwork
2) Identify the awards that would give you credibility
3) Decide whether its worth the time and effort to obtain the award
Here is an example of the types of awards available out there:
- Best Enterpreneur
- Fastest-Growing Company
- Best Young Entrepreneur
- Employer of the Year
- Best Executive
- Community Involvement
- Mentor of the Year
- Best New Product
- Lifetime Achievement
- Best New Service
- Best Overall Company
- Customer Service Innovator
- Best Innovative Company
- Best Website
- Best New Company
- Best Company Brochure
You may not realize your own business success and accomplishments. When more than 50 percent of all small businesses fail, you have become successful and stayed in business despite your obstacles.
Therefore a good place to begin is to ask for the support from friends or business associates who can promote you and your expertise. Ask them to nominate you for an award … then reciprocate the deed by nominating them back.
What does winning an award do for you?
Boost your ego? Well, it might, but in business there is no room for a big ego. What it will do is give you the opportunity to promote your expertise over and over again and get free advertising for your business.
Is it worth all the effort? You bet it is!
But once you get the media’s attention you must work it to the MAX by sending out press releases and contacting the media as often as you can so that you get noticed.
Focus on the top 25 media contacts in your area and market to them over and over again, instead of hitting 100 of them just once or twice.
Begin to build media relationships with these contacts. Once you do, they’ll look upon you as “the expert of experts” within your industry.
Here’s How to Apply
- Obtain applications for awards and complete them in detail. Don’t rush. Take your time and get it right.
- Profile your business. It is important to respond as completely as possible. This will help to establish a relative benchmark for evaluating your success.
- Describe the major challenges that have threatened your business or opportunities that you created. For example, this may include challenges such as new competition that developed, loss of major clients, or a downturn in your industry.
- Give your solution and the results. Describe the resources and results that you used to overcome the problems. Award programs often look for insights into the management of your company’s resources in personnel, quality assurance, marketing, community, and financial areas.
7 Tips for Winning Awards and Promoting Your Business
- Seek out opportunities to get nominated. Opportunities are everywhere. Your local organizations, Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, and the media are just a few places to look.
- Show your professional best. The applications for awards are usually lengthy and detailed. It takes some hard work on your part to collect the data and put it together in a portfolio, but it will be well worth it. To win, your entry must stand out because of its attention to detail and professionalism.
- Follow the rules on the application. Read all entries thoroughly and prepare the documents in accordance with the contest rules. If you do not understand something on the forms, call and ask for clarification.
- Look at your entry from another prospective. Keep in mind that judging for most of these types of competitions is done on a matrix‑type scale; each item requested will have a point value.
- Get your entry in well before the deadline. Make it a priority to get the paperwork completed and mailed on time. Once you have an award portfolio and files saved in your computer, the process goes quicker. You can then easily go into your file, make adjustments and additions, and print out.
- Contact the media. Whether you win or get a nomination, this is your chance to work it for maximum exposure. Write a press release emphasizing the award, and send it to local newspapers, magazines, and radio and TV stations.
- Display your award proudly. Create a “wall of fame” that attracts attention in your office or sales area. In this competitive environment, nothing sets you apart or enhances your company more that winning an award. The media exposure you receive will be far more effective than any advertising ever will.
Debbie Allen is one of the world’s leading authorities on sales and marketing. She is the author of five books including Confessions of Shameless Self Promoters and Skyrocketing Sales. Debbie has helped thousands of people around the world attract customers like crazy with her innovative, no-cost marketing strategies and secrets to sales success. Her expertise has been featured in Entrepreneur, Selling Power and Sales & Marketing Excellence. Sign up for her FREE 6-week e-Course Business Success Secrets Revealed ($97 value) and take the online business card quiz to rate your marketing online now at www.DebbieAllen.com.
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