Awards…Do they Matter?

Kari Bretschger

February 20, 2015

I woke up this morning to an email that announced “Congratulations! You’re a Bulldog Reporter Award Winner—The Flower Fields Social/Digital Campaign Lose Yourself in Color!” Which made me smile and then think about what others would think…Do they matter?

As a society we are encouraged to do the best we can, that when we excel we get rewarded and maybe even recognized. For me that started early on…remember swim team? All of those ribbons! And some were just for doing better but the prized red, gold and blue ribbons were the ones you really wanted!

Fast forward to the business world where I always believed when starting our agency that the real prize was pleasing our clients and exceeding their expectations. I believe that client’s needs come first. Making sure that we are servicing and getting the results takes precedence to the time spent preparing the entries and submissions.

But I must admit that the trade organizations that set up these contests do appeal to part of us that still likes to win and stand out among the rest.

So over the years IMW has entered and annually receives awards in a variety of categories from advertising, public relations, digital, social media for both our consumer and trade campaigns. But, again, back to the main question…do they matter?

In short. YES. Drew McLellan who runs Agency Management Institute and his colleague Susan Baier published a study late last year at the Be On the Look Out Conference (BOLO) that polled 271 organizations (clients) across the country to get a better understanding about what clients are looking for. Not only did they find out that clients, like agencies, have “personalities” they also reported that awards do matter. The majority of clients said that they look for agencies that have won awards. Why? While its not the only thing a client looks for, the awards add “proof” that the agency is capable and just like what we were taught long ago, they want an agency that stands out from the crowd.

So who wouldn’t want to be with a winning team? I guess that’s why we will keep entering award events that are sponsored by notable organizations like PRSA, AAF, Bulldog Reporter, Produce Business and others.

OK. And I must admit that at the end of the day it is nice to be honored by one’s peers and share that recognition with some great clients who do care.



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