Tag Archive for: Award Submissions

FCA Regional Award submissions open soon

CMPoolWerx

With regional categories for the Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) Excellence in Franchising Awards set to open in the coming days, it’s time to start thinking about how your franchise measures up.

We’ve discussed in the past what it takes to write a strong award submission and how to leverage an award win. For brands in the franchising sector, there is no better opportunity to highlight individual success stories within your system than by submitting a regional entry for the FCA Excellence in Franchising Awards.

The variety of categories allow you to showcase the role women play in your franchise network, highlight top-performing franchisees across multiple levels (multi-unit, two or more staff or up to one staff member), prove the strength field managers add to your system or shed light on community service franchisees perform.

Success in these awards can boost visibility in the media, increase morale and engagement within your franchise, and increase recognition as a leading franchise within the industry as well as in front of prospective franchisees.

Having developed a number of successful submissions on behalf of our clients over the years, there are a few things we’d like to share about FCA Awards…

1.    It’s not all about turnover – while financial performance is a great indication of success, it’s not the only indication. Improvement in performance and the systems in place that promote growth, business tracking, marketing efficacy and community contribution are equally as important as turnover and profit growth.

 2.    Strong submissions take time – the criteria for each award category is comprehensive and responses take time to develop. A typical submission will take 2-3 weeks to develop including gathering supporting materials, financial figures, proofing, editing and final submission. The process always takes longer than expected, so don’t leave it until it’s too late!

 3.    Gather input from everyone – input may be required by everyone from the franchisee and field support through to marketing team, operations and franchisor. The greater the contribution the better chance you have of unearthing information that adds strength to the submission.

Good luck with your regional submissions this year.

Ignite PR has written successful FCA award submissions for categories including National Franchisee of the Year (Multi-unit), National Field Manager of the Year,  and National Established Franchisor of the Year. For more information about entering the FCA Awards and developing a strong submission, please contact us here.

Driving award success with PR

Late last year we gave you tips on how to prepare a great award submission. Last week we put together a list of some of the business awards coming up across a number of categories this year including the BRW Fast Franchises List, Telstra Business Awards and Franchise Council of Australia Excellence in Franchising Awards. We also talked about how entering awards can benefit your business but what we’ve only touched on is how to maximise award success and leverage the credibility that comes with it. 

We’ll touch on a few common tactics used and you’ll learn that sometimes it doesn’t matter if you’re first or fifth. What does matter is timing, making sure your tactics are prepared and executed on time so you’re not announcing your success when it’s too late.

Before the winners are announced

“Congratulations”, says the email. “Your company has been shortlisted for the 2012 Amazing Company of the Year Awards”. Some awards will let you know you’re in the running which means it’s time to put your PR hat on.

 

Prepare your message. Be clear on what to say if you win. Firstly, the General Manager or CEO should be the nominated spokesperson for interviews. Some key information you should have prepared are company initiatives (ie the projects that won you the “green” award, for example), sales and profit growth (it might not always be appropriate to boast your exact figures but % growth still shows your company had a strong year) and the other elements contributing to your company’s success.

 

Prepare a media release. In the weeks or days leading up to the announcement prepare a media release detailing all the above juicy information about your company. What is it that really differentiated your company in the market that year. This is what you’ll use to send information to journalists and key media contacts and it should be ready to go out as soon as the announcement is made.

Look for relevant features. BRW sends all shortlisted franchises an editorial survey to complete prior to the announcement of its Fast Franchises List. If you get an email like this make sure you reply as your responses are used for feature stories. In fact, get in touch with any publication – print or online – that generally covers the award you’ve entered to ask about what feature stories it may be developing and if your company has experienced the trends or themes they’re writing about let them know.

After the winners are announced

Pitching. Get your media release out to all contacts relevant to your award. Everyone will be doing this so make sure your point of difference is clear. Continue to follow up with your contacts keeping in mind what it is about your company’s success that is most interesting to what they’re writing about.

Credibility of an award. Winning an award highlights you as an industry leader or innovator and has the potential to attract new clients and customers. Let stakeholders know – customers, suppliers etc. All suitable touch points of communication (company website, email signatures & business cards, company letterheads, newsletters, collateral and brochures) should mention your win also. Use the award’s logo and a brief line similar to as follows. ie. 2012 Small Business Awards Winner (logo).

Social Media. Social networking sites are another great way to reach out to your audience (ie. use hash tags likes #telstrabizawards on Twitter or announce your win on your business’s Facebook page) and share any exposure you may receive as a result of your award success.

Not the best but among the best

We encourage our clients to enter awards that are relevant to their respective industries. Often, companies won’t enter awards if they don’t think they’ll win. Our experience has proved it sometimes doesn’t matter if you win, so long as you’re seen among the best.

Two of our clients made the 2011 BRW Fast Franchises List last year. Pool and spa care franchise PoolWerx made the list for the eighth consecutive year while home appliance rental franchise Mr Rental made it for the first time and we achieved positive coverage for both of them for very different reasons. For PoolWerx, it was about what the company was doing to remain at the top for a number of years. For Mr Rental, it was about what strategies over that previous year had lead to its business success and resulting recognition among the top franchises in Australia.

Over the past five years, Ignite PR & Marketing has had success entering its clients  in awards including BRW Fast Franchises List, Telstra Business Awards, BRW Fast Starters, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, BRW ANZ Private Business Awards, ActionCOACH My Business Awards, Franchise Council of Australia Excellence in Franchising Awards. If you’d like further advice on entering your company in business awards get in touch with Ignite here.

AWARDS – Generate awareness of your business

 

You’ve got to be in it to win it

It’s that time of year again; award season. Unfortunately we’re not talking about the red carpet kind where women dress in beautiful gowns and men don tuxedos. We’re talking about the far less glamorous but nevertheless important; business awards.

Entering business awards has the obvious advantage that if you win an award you gain industry recognition and publicity for your business but it’s not all about winning. There’s also the less obvious but significant benefit that award submissions are a great way to review your business and discover what you are doing right and what you could be doing better.

We’ve compiled a list of 2012’s business awards across several different categories. Entries have now closed for some of the awards listed below but this is all the more reason to put them in your calendar as you don’t want to miss out next year. It’s time to get cracking on those award submissions!

The Australian Business Awards

–          Registration currently open, entries open from 6 February, entries close 30 March

Telstra Business Awards

–          Nominations currently open, entries open from 6 February, entries close 2 April

Franchise Council of Australia Excellence in Franchising Awards

–          Regional Categories – entries currently open, entries close 1 March, award submissions due 15 March

–          National Categories – entries open 1 April, entries close 1 June, award submissions due 15 June

BRW Fast Starters

–          Entries currently open, entries close 9 March

Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year

–          Registration currently open, registration closes 16 March

BRW ANZ Private Business Awards

–          Entries currently open, further dates yet to be released

SmartCompany Smart 50 Awards

–          Currently able to register interest, dates yet to be released

ActionCOACH My Business Awards

–          Dates yet to be released

Australian Retailers Association Australian Retail Awards

–          Dates yet to be released

BRW Fast 100

–          Dates yet to be released

Cool Company Awards

–          Dates yet to be released

Anthill Smart 100

–          Dates yet to be released

Anthill 30under30

–          Dates yet to be released

BRW Fast Franchises List

–          Entries closed 8 December 2011

BRW Client Choice Awards

–          Entries closed December 2011 will reopen for 2013 later in the year

BRW Top 500 Private Companies

–          Entries closed July 2011will reopen later in the year for 2013