What value should be placed on Business Awards?
We all know there is no such thing as a free lunch – so is there such a thing as free PR?
Recently I was contacted by an unfamiliar business publication familiar who said I’d been nominated for an award and had already reached the short listing stage of the competition. How exciting I thought – wondering who had been kind enough to nominate me and what had they said about me to beat off my some of my competitors!
I duly followed the instructions in the email and completed all the necessary information to go forward to the judges. This took a couple of hours, ensuring I included evidence of the quality of my work.
Within a few days a received a congratulatory email telling me I’d won! I was the Hypnotherapist of the Year – Tyne and Wear. The subsequent emails let me know how I could publicise this amazing achievement in their publication for a variety of costs. As a winner of this prestigious award I would get a free press release which could be used on my website which included links to their publication and a logo I could use should I wish to do so.
I sought advice from a close friend, who happens to be a marketing professional who has won awards from both the CIM and the CIPR. To say she was surprised by this approach from a publication would be an understatement. “It’s paid for advertising” she said, “pop it on Twitter if you must and let’s get on with growing the business!”
The emails kept coming from the aforesaid publication offering reduced advertising rates to promote my achievement in their competition for their publication – offers I did not take up. I felt a bit disappointed after my hopes had been raised by the nomination and, of course, winning the award. I never found out who had nominated me despite asking for this information, as I would liked to have thanked them personally.
Then, as if to restore my faith in the media, I receive an email from one of the many websites my companies are registered with telling me that through client feedback I am now rated one of the TOP 3 in Newcastle. Not to be taken in again I do my research this time and sure enough there is evidence that my clients have been so pleased with the outcomes of the work we have done together that they have taken the time to give their feedback completely unprompted by me! I’m given access to some hints and tips on how to use this latest accolade and a free logo I can use on my website – RESULT J
So here it is displayed in all its glory.
So the next time I receive an email telling me I’ve won something I knew nothing about I will treat it with caution and do my research before I spend an afternoon completing forms which in the end is only going to cost me money and time that would be better spent doing something else.