Award and reward

Mike WilkinsonModesty can stand in the way of celebrating people’s achievements, for fear of appearing boastful.

If it’s done in the right spirit and for the right reasons ‘blowing your own trumpet’ serves not just a marketing and PR function but also motivates those in our employ.

It’s also a good way to support your peers or individual employees for their good service within the industry – after all there’s reflected glory on us all if the region benefits from this additional positive exposure.

1. Paperwork is often the barrier to entering an award or for nominating others. Good application forms should be accompanied by notes on how to complete the application and, in the case of the Lancashire and Blackpool Tourism Awards, those leading on the awards will often offer personal support and guidance. Most would rather you asked for direction than didn’t enter!

2. Even if you think it’s ordinary or commonplace, think again. Carrying bags to rooms, drinks on arrival, assistance with travel plans, ‘Welcome’ trained staff and free guides aren’t universally available. Attention to detail could give you the edge.

3. Brochures, photos, feedback, reviews and endorsements bring your application to life. Judges often have limited time to review large numbers of applicants so keep it pertinent, eye-catching, easy to read and present it well (paying attention to the application notes and requirements). Organisers will notice if their requests aren’t adhered to – no matter how brilliant the content.

4. Enter your industry awards but also think about ‘green’, ‘skills’, ’quality’, ‘innovation’, ‘personality’, ‘web ’ and ‘business’ awards (there are awards for practically everything). Simply being shortlisted will give you additional PR and marketing opportunities. Winning one award may offer progression to regional or national awards, for very little additional effort. Keep copies of you applications to cut and paste useful content into your next winning entry!

5. As runner-up, highly commended or winner you’ll probably receive a certificate, souvenir photograph or trophy. Display it, promote it, talk about it, put it on your wall where people can see it. Use your new status symbol in your marketing materials with pride. Seems obvious but you’ll be surprised at the ‘special’ places people find to hide these useful, hard-working tools. Most importantly, we know tourism awards winners whose business spikes after promotion of their win – isn’t it time you entered yourself for an award?

Calls for nomination for awards are usually made in local press and industry journals, on tourism websites, through trade associations or business development partners.

Mike Wilkinson, chief executive, Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board.