Do awards carve any significance in the life of a communicator?

So don’t go all rolling your eyes at the title and wondering what a silly question to ask! We as communicators are the first to understand the prominence of winning awards– whether as individuals or as organisations. There is definitely no doubt about the importance of being recognised and acknowledged for the ground-work, leg-work, midnight oil hard-work put in!

This didn’t need any help to establish, but what we probably need a blueprint for, is to plan how one ensures to get nominated and win the rightful award. Let me remind you, this might look simple to us, but a lot of my clients have often asked how does one really work towards bagging awards (considering all cant be bought out from the big media house!). And we have often worked for close to a year with brands to take them on a journey of winning coveted trophies.

Could we work at winning a little more strategically, especially who don’t have mentoring available? So, here’s my attempt to approaching this better.

Make your bucket list. Research for the awards applicable to your particular domain or brand or organisation. Keep your basics ready, like application dates, formats, requisites for the entry and anything that showcases the value you created. Spread it out across the annual calendar and then evaluate which award comes closer to you getting stronger in the professional journey. Go look at the winners from the previous editions and understand why they won and what was unique about their narrative. This could help you get a headstart to understand how the jury members think.

What does your personal brand look like? If the awards selected as an individual entry, then closely monitor profiles of previous winners, at what stage they were in their careers and if you saw any significant change after that (LinkedIn is your playground for this). Within the communication fraternity, its easy to reach out to anyone and have a dialogue, so probably use social media if not a personal connect to understand how the award helped them. Always remember, entering awards is the easiest task, however cumbersome the questions might seem to be. But the effort to create your visibility or impress the jury members, goes beyond just an entry. The work that you have been doing and personal brand that you create – are equally important tools.

Discuss with your managers & mentors.  The annual performance meeting is a great starting point to discuss with your managers on the awards you wish to apply for as an individual and as an organisation. Please be mindful one needs to keep a good budget aside for the same as well, nothing great comes for free in life. Understand and decide on the most critical one, which would definitely add value to your resume and the organisation. In this planning never forget discussions with your mentors, because they will help you view the success ladder from an outside-in approach. So, brainstorm and be sure to believe that you need to pick an award and start planning a minimum 6-8 months in advance, if not earlier.

Personally, keep learning new skills, upgrading from the last professional education graph and exploring as much as possible when it comes to what’s changing out there. Because these traits will help you design your move better. Professionally, understand which awards will benefit your organisation and that they match the eventual goal of inspiring and attracting new talent. It’s important that the brand values resonate with the award you wish to apply for, because this will stay for eternity.

Use this win as the elevator to your next big achievement and set an example for others to follow!

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Pooja Trehan
Pooja Trehan, AVP, Communications & Public Policy.

Bringing up a 7 year-old boy and building a career in Communications have possibly been the key driving forces in my life! Obviously, apart from the 6am runs and eternal love for black coffee. The reality of 2020 hit this industry with the worst storm, but gave me a silver lining through awards & recognition in the 40Under40 category for PR and Corporate communication professionals (three of them in one year!). My goal is to keep - Communications - as the big picture, whilst being the wanderlust traveller who is reading all the time!

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