My HMO Journey: No rest for the wicked as we approach...
First things first – you’ve won an award, congratulations! Winning an award shows that you have been recognised as the prominent leader amongst a group of entries under the same criteria. It means that your hard work is being acknowledged by those who have an authority in the subject. Someone obviously thought you had a fighting chance to be entered/nominated in the first place, so don’t shy away from the limelight once you have earned your commendation.
There is no particular time when you shouldn’t mention your successes – especially highly prestigious titles – unless your announcement is anything less than humble whilst the other entrants are commiserating with complementary bubbly. Indeed, whilst the ‘when’ is less important, you must still be conscious of the surroundings and appropriateness of your jubilant messages. This manner should encompass not only those individuals and companies that may be affected, but the wider external audience.
When holding strategy days with franchisors, one service that Coconut Creatives offer is a fully tailored 12-month marketing plan within budget requirements. Any marketing plan should take into consideration your business aims and objectives, which is possibly where the plan to enter awards also started. The promotion of these awards, both as a nominee, finalist and winner, should therefore be channelled through each of your marketing activities, particularly those that have direct contact with prospective franchisees:
Promoting your achievements should be done throughout the franchise network, especially if the achievement relates to an individual franchisee. This demonstrates not only that you enter awards as a company, but that you support and encourage participation of individuals by way of development.
In the run-up to your award you may find that social media offers the best channel to broadcast your involvement, but ensure you are not conflicting with the wishes of the awarding body as they may want to make their own official announcements first. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are all great platforms to spread the word about your nomination, shortlisting and finalist status. Include photos to add interest.
Use press releases to promote your ultimate achievement so you can relay the entry criteria and who judged the finalist entrants. Quotes and testimonials will also grant a clear insight into the thoughts of those that attended the award ceremony – particularly if an individual winner is relevant – as well as judges’ comments or general thoughts. Case studies from the winning franchisee perspective are also a good way to add personality to promotional materials. Evidence aids credibility and understanding.
Some awarding bodies will provide you with a logo for use in your promotional materials. As well as adding this to your collateral, it should also be placed in a relevant place on your company website.
Remember that the fundamental reason to promote your franchise is for lead generation and conversion. By profiling your prospects, you should already be aware of commonalities that create interest in your franchise, so ensuring clarity and purpose of the content you release should reflect these attributes.
By demonstrating your efforts within the franchise industry, you give prospective franchisees a further reference by which to measure you against your competitors. It is often said that you only get one chance to make a first impression, so why shouldn’t you use every opportunity to shine?