26 October

Thinking about ... Awards

Actually, it’s more than that ... I am a winner of the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s Excellence Award.

Thinking about ... Awards, and why putting in the hard work is beneficial to you and your business:

  • Increased visibility and recognition. Being recognised by an award win can increase visibility for your business and help you stand out in your industry. This can attract new customers and help build your brand reputation.
  • Credibility and legitimacy. Winning an award or being recognised by an industry expert can enhance your business's credibility and legitimacy, which can be especially valuable if you are a new or small business. Customers and clients are more likely to trust a business that has received awards or recognition.
  • Networking opportunities. Awards ceremonies and events often provide networking opportunities for businesses, allowing you to connect with potential customers, suppliers, and industry peers. These connections can lead to new business opportunities and help you stay informed about industry trends and developments.
  • Improved employee morale. Winning an award can boost employee morale and motivation. Recognition for the company's efforts and success can create a sense of pride and accomplishment among employees and foster a positive work environment. Additionally, employees may feel valued and motivated to continue their hard work.
  • Differentiation from competitors. An award win can differentiate your business from your competitors and help you stand out in a crowded market. This differentiation can give you a competitive edge and attract customers who are looking for businesses that are recognised for their excellence. Additionally, being a recipient of an award can help you set yourself apart and establish a strong reputation in your industry.

All of these point to one thing .. winning an award means the potential for increased sales and revenue.

In the three years running up to the event, I had entered twice and been shortlisted twice. My submission was in the Corporate Reputation Category, and we (a 40-year-old oil and gas services company) were up against Barclaycard. Stiff competition indeed, and in every category, there were global and high-street names all vying for recognition from their peers.

Easy to say now that it was a ‘David and Goliath’ moment when our name was called, and we snaked our way from the back of the ballroom to the stage; but at the time, my good friend (and former Line Manager), Jenny and I genuinely felt we were making up the numbers!

The awards night took place at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Mayfair, and was hosted by comedian Russell Kane; he made the whole night memorable from start to finish. We were rubbing shoulders with senior executives from all the top advertising agencies in London, as well as from Diageo, Holland & Barratt, and First Great Western.

Our entry concentrated on the communications strategy around a crane toppling incident that took place the year before. It focused on how the external and internal communications were planned, managed, and implemented. At the time, we suffered little negative press, and this is because I was not afraid to talk to the media; a key lesson for any organisation large or small. Senior managers instincts are often to say, 'no comment' and walk away, yet by partnering with the local media and bringing them in on the story, we were able to control the flow of information and share with them news updates on our terms, which gave them what they wanted – the story behind it all. We watched award after award and finally it was our turn. It was the then Marketing Director of Sky Movies who went up on stage and announced the short-listed companies and showed a showreel that accompanied the entries.

And then it came. The CIM winner for Corporate Reputation is… Aquatic Engineering & Construction.

Jenny and I couldn’t believe it! We had won and, in such style too.

Great night, great applause, great reward for everyone’s hard work when that crane fell over!

See our profile on DesignRush