Awards: Five Ways to Vet Them

By: KCD PR Editorial Staff
Category: Uncategorized

Even despite COVID-19 making awards ceremonies go virtual, awards are increasingly a viable way for companies to get noticed in a big way. Award winners are no longer just celebrated during one night of the year in person or in one print edition of a publication. Now, award winners are often featured on panel discussions and in webinars throughout the year.

The impact of these awards continues to be amplified. For instance, the winners of Wealth Management’s aptly named Wealthies awards are now featured in webinars and covered year-round.

However, companies need to be judicious when deciding what awards to enter for three reasons. First of all, awards submissions can be extremely time-consuming. Nominations tend to require at least 1,000 words of content, time-consuming fact-checking interviews with executives, and scrutinizing lots of official company documentation. Submitting applications to the wrong awards can waste a lot of company time.

Secondly, illegitimate awards programs can also waste company money. Some companies create awards programs that you can only win if you spend a lot of money on an entrance fee or even if you give the company more money than other companies. Third, not all awards companies are a good fit for every company. Highly competitive national competitions will likely not help small businesses looking to grow their home base. Below are five ways to vet whether an awards program is worth entering.

Good award nominations are priceless (or close to it)

Most reputable awards programs will not involve exorbitant entrance or nomination fees. One of the most prestigious programs, the CNBC Disruptor 50, for instance, is free to enter. High entrance fees can indicate that an awards program is a pay-to-play scheme.

Good awards should be easy to find on Twitter

Reputable industry awards should have either a Twitter account dedicated to the awards program or a hashtag used to look up the awards. The CNBC Disruptor Awards has both, for instance here. You can then look to Twitter to see how much traction the award announcement ceremonies received from your desired audiences.

Many publications also Tweet out the winners of each of their awards. For example, Tearsheet made sure to tag each of the winners of its Tearsheet Acquire Fintech Marketing Award winners for its 2022 awards, such as its Best Content Series (B2B) Award winner Publicis Sapient. These tweets can increase brand awareness for companies and help companies obtain new customers. 

Good awards have impressive judges

Worthwhile awards programs tend to have judges that are both impressive and relevant to your industry. For instance, Benzinga created an entire press release to highlight the impressive judging panel it had enlisted to judge its Benzinga Global Fintech Awards in 2021.

“Before investing the time and money to draft an award submission, take a hard look at the judging process and panel,” Jenny Baranowski, Awards Director at the SIIA CODiE Awards,  wrote in a recent PR Daily piece. “Ideally, the awards feature an independent panel of judges to guarantee they’re not biased towards one company or another.”

Good awards are won by your competitors

A great way to vet potential awards is to see what awards your competitors are winning. These are the ones that your company will likely be able to win. Additionally, looking at the past winners of awards can also help you gauge whether the award will help boost your brand.

“The best way to determine the quality and value of a business or industry award is to research what company has received the award in the past,”  Patrick Barnhill, Founder, and CEO of Specialist ID, Inc., told Small Business Trends. “If these companies are successful and well known, then you will be able to associate your business with that brand should you win the award.”

Good awards list their methodology

Creditable competitions tend to provide a detailed methodology for entrants. A methodology indicates that awards aren’t chosen via favoritism or randomness. Additionally, a clear methodology can make it much easier for your company to fill out the application. For instance, InvestmentNews provides a detailed overview of the four areas in which they judge 40 under 40 award applications.


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