PR award entries – five reasons to make them perfect

As summer starts to fade, thoughts will start turning to the Autumn award ceremonies. Entries are valuable investments of your time. It’s easy to dismiss them as a vanity project, or prioritise any one of the other hundred things on your to do list, but at BakerBaird we’ve found a shortlisting or winning an award brings many benefits.

BakerBaird is currently shortlisted in the Chartered Institute of Public Relations PRide 2018 in the not for profit award for our work with the NWG, a charity making a huge difference to tackle child sexual exploitation across the UK and beyond.  It’s a cause close to our hearts at BakerBaird, so we are proud our and their efforts have been recognised, but it also brings more profile to the wonderful work of our clients.

Read about BakerBaird’s award-winning communications and engagement work

As a leading Midlands public relations agency, BakerBaird has won  awards for public sector campaigning, digital engagement, best use of graphic design and even independent practitioner of the year.

Each one has demonstrated different aspects of our expertise. But the kudos is often only a small part of the positive impact of winning.

Marketing, communications & PR can learn from football

When Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest picked up the long-forgotten and even at the time, ignored, Anglo-Scottish Cup in 1977, people sneered.

To most it was meaningless. But not to Clough. “[I wanted] to let the team experience what it feels to win,” he said.

And wow! That winning feeling grew into two European Cup wins and a league championship, among many more honours.

During 26 years in communications, marketing and PR I have seen plenty sneer at awards. But I have also seen how individuals and teams have visibly grown in stature and professionalism as they have aspired to be the best of their peers.  And gone on to do better and better.

The benefits of a perfect PR award entry

Here are my top five reasons you should take the time to write the perfect PR awards entry:

  1. You can benchmark against peers: what does good look like? Award entries force you to evaluate, ask hard questions of yourself and others.
  2. Being scrutinised by your peers, especially a Chartered Institute such as the CIPR, gives your company and your clients credibility and authority. You know whereof you speak.
  3. Like Cloughie’s Forest – your team need to set the bar high, have a platform to build on and they need to experience what winning feels like. It’s addictive.
  4. Sometimes you don’t win. As Cerys Matthews once sang ‘Victory is empty, there are lessons in defeat’. Everyday is a school day, the process of awards and continual learning is reward in itself. (Does good feel good though…)
  5. We work hard, sometimes obsessively hard. Leaders and teams need to take the foot off the gas, share a moment, build a history together. Be human. And enjoy.

Check out the competition at the PR Week Awards and at the PRCA and keep an eye out for award ceremonies in Autumn.

Stuart Baird at awards ceremony

Taking the PR awards podium

Stuart Baird  has won three CIPR Golds, one silver and named Midlands Independent Practitioner of the Year 2016. BakerBaird is shortlisted for CIPR Pride Midlands Awards 2018.

Stuart worked on Government campaigns such as Think! and Change4Life for 12years. He worked in the Strategic Communications Unit at 10 Downing Street and led communications, marketing and engagement within the NHS.

He has been a specialist trainer and coach to Ministers, diplomats and NHS leadership teams for more than 10 years with work in Africa, South-East Asia, the Middle East and the USA.