Public relations consultant Emma Bracey-Wright explains how you can make the most out of an award recognition
Every year the lucky winners of the coveted Aesthetics Awards leave the ceremony smiling and armed with their beautiful accolade; but what happens next? Once the news sinks in that your clinic, or a product that your clinic offers, has won an Aesthetics Award, or another award of high prestige, do you activate a plan of action to turn that award win into sales for your business? Or does the award just sit in an office or on top of the mantelpiece gathering dust?
If it is the latter, I hope the following might help you to make the most out of your award win this year, because whether you are a Winner, received a Highly Commended or Commended recognition, or even a Finalist, it is something to shout about. You should take pride in any recognition you have received and communicate this news throughout your business.
You should make sure you are singing about it from the roof tops and use this prestigious recognition to help you generate more sales. To do this, you can use the following playlist so that you can sing your own praises.
The following are familiar songs that might help you remember these top tips.
Make sure you are communicating that you are the champion instantly on all your business social media channels and perhaps ask your team to do the same on their own social media channels. This should include Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. I’d encourage using social media stories, which was examined in more detail in the December issue of Aesthetics,1 to film the win on the night. This allows you to broadcast to your audience live.
You should also be taking pictures while at the event – think about posting pictures that are eye-catching and fun. These will generate the most likes and it will advertise your brand and your success sufficiently; however, at events such as the Aesthetics Awards, there will also be a press board, where you can get great professional images taken of your team. Make the most of this! If you do not receive the organiser’s professional photos within a couple of days after the event, you should contact them to request these.
From the moment you win an award, the messaging used throughout the promotion of your business must include the fact that you are an award-winning clinic, brand or offer an award-winning treatment
You can then post the best images on social media, such as those that are of high-quality, to make sure they get the most comments. I advise to post at peak times such as 6-7pm on weekdays and 10am on weekends (although I have found that this is becoming less important as many posts are now seen due to the individual social media site’s algorithms, rather than posting schedules).
Try to make the text and images in your posts motivational, unique and they must be relatable to your proposed viewers. Authenticity is key.3
Also, if it is an award that had a voting element, it is nice to thank the people who voted for you. Often people will tell you if they voted for you, so to show your appreciation you may like to tag them in your post thanking them. This might help build loyalty with them and help to keep them as a long-term customer.
Even if you just do a general post and don’t tag individuals, the chances are that those who voted for you are following you on social media and will see the post and will appreciate the thanks. When doing any social media posting about your award, be sure to tag the awards organiser and use their designated hashtag so that they can re-share your posts to their social media platforms, broadening your social media reach even more.
You must let your local press know about your win. Local newspapers and magazines love to support local businesses and so they must be told that your clinic, team member or a service at your clinic has received an award. Some awards organisers, such as the Aesthetics Awards, will supply you with a winner’s ‘tool kit’, which will include a press release ready for you to send out to your local press that highlights why you are simply the best.
If you have a PR agency or representative, make sure they are writing a press release as soon as possible following the event so that it is still newsworthy, ideally the next morning. If the awards event was held on the weekend, in the ideal world, by the Monday the news should be distributed to the local press. If you don’t have PR representation you can distribute your press releases yourself by searching for the contact details of your local publication’s editors and emailing them a press release.
If you have sent your press release to a publication and they don’t want to include the news of the win, it might be of benefit to invite a journalist to review your services. Although it still does not guarantee coverage, it can result in positive editorial, that may drive new bookings and increase your revenue.
If the person you approach is not interested, do offer it to another member of their team. In my opinion, press treatments always need to be complimentary. If the journalists decide they want a package for their own purposes, perhaps offer a generous 50% discount for further treatments.
Don’t stop at press. Contact local influencers or those who are ‘on brand’ for you and invite them in to try an award-winning treatment or product in your, perhaps, award-winning clinic. These people could be bloggers, vloggers, socialites, celebrities, models or simply people who have lifestyles or platforms that influence your patients. Look out for ‘micro-influencers’, who are people that may not have millions of followers as they often have very specific posts that don’t appeal to a large audience, but they can often be more influential than those who speak to the masses.3
When searching for influencers to contact, make sure they have the right ethos and messaging on their social media channels by searching the kind of content they produce. Most influencers are very happy to hear from brands and companies, so don’t be shy. Their contact details or their agent’s contact details are usually on their social channels. If they are not interested to work with you, they will let you know politely.
Influencers can be hard to engage with, unless you have a relationship with them; however, if you suddenly have something that is award-winning for them to try, it might whet their appetite and they may be more likely to accept your offer.
If an influencer posts on their blog, vlog or social channels that your award-winning treatment is worth having, or that your award-winning clinic has impressed them, you might get a surge of bookings. Of course, there is always a small risk that they won’t like the treatment; however, most bloggers take no pleasure in posting terrible reviews, so your biggest risk tends to be not getting a review at all.
Nevertheless, if you won an award, you must be doing something right, so you can probably be quite confident that they will have a good experience. Just make sure you give them the VIP treatment when they visit. Offer them your very best therapist teamed with an unsurpassed professional service. You can easily tell if a blogger is the type of blogger who enjoys being negative by looking at their posts, if they are like that, avoid working with them.
Awards are a seal of approval and a recognition of excellence, so you MUST communicate this wherever possible – there is no limit! From the moment you win an award, the messaging used throughout the promotion of your business must include the fact that you are an award-winning clinic, brand or offer an award-winning treatment.
If you have won more than one award, you can also call yourself a multi-award-winning clinic! Don’t be afraid to use this term throughout your business communications. It might be that one treatment you offer has won an award, but you can still state that your clinic offers ‘award-winning treatments’ without misleading anyone.
Also, award wins don’t just last for one year, if you won an award, you are ‘award-winning’ and you can use that term for as long as you are in the business. Just ensure you do not amend the year you won in any marketing, as this would be advertising false information.
Being recognised at an awards ceremony means updating your marketing. This can either be done yourself, or you can delegate this to your design/website/marketing team. You need to include ‘award-winning’ and add the award badges to your website, newsletter, brochures, adverts, social media profiles, press material, conference or trade show stands, postcards that are in your patients’ deliveries, business cards, email signature, the windows of your clinic and all your point-of-sale material. This is ideally what you will do for all wins, but of course prioritise to suit your budget.
Being associated with a prestigious awards ceremony, whether you were a finalist or a winner, might be the reason why a person chooses your clinic, treatment or brand over another.
You should never underestimate the power of word of mouth. Tell everyone. Make sure all your staff tell their family and friends that you, your clinic or the treatments you offer are award-winning so that they can spread the word.
This goes for your clinic staff too! Patients can be told about the award over the phone, or you can get staff to format their email signatures so that each of their emails feature your award win. Do have a meeting with your team and highlight the key messages that you want to get across to make sure that the messaging is communicated correctly. Make sure they are all singing from the same hymn sheet.
Being recognised at an awards ceremony is a fantastic opportunity. If you promote this through social media, PR, local influencers, and other business communications as well as word of mouth, you will more than likely find yourself gaining additional business.
Don’t be humble, if you are good enough to be lauded as the best in your specialty, then make sure you sing it out loud for all to hear!