At Tonic Towers, we’ve been cautiously mulling over that introduction, in the hope that our own moniker will follow it. Because in a modest and very British way, we’re graciously ecstatic to be shortlisted for Best New PR Agency in a national industry awards. And proud to be in some very good company as a PR Moment 2015 finalist.

Rather than navel gaze on our journey as an ambitious consumer PR agency (blood, sweat, tears and joy!), the shortlisting of The Tonic makes us sit back and take stock of the value of an award. Aside from a pricey dinner at a flash hotel, that is.

Awards can be an important tactic as part of a wide-ranging PR strategy. So here’s a few pointers about what to consider:
• Research – it may seem obvious but reading the relevant industry trade titles and national media and researching the awards your competitors have entered is a natural place to start. Many industry relevant awards will be profiled on media’s websites and the opening of awards are normally pushed out through their social media channels, so ensure you are following the media titles, on Twitter especially.

• Brand fit – while entering every single award under the sun may be tempting if you’re desperate to grab a gong, consider how well the award fits your brand and whether winning or being shortlisted for this award will benefit your business. It makes much more sense to enter fewer awards that are credible, complement your business offering and profile the excellence of a product or service, rather than entering an award for vanity!

• Resource and cost – awards can be costly, not only from the submission fee and attending the event, but from a time investment perspective too. Therefore, it makes sense to plan a few throughout the year, ideally well-spaced out, reaching a cross section of audiences and within budget.

• Choosing the right categories – while you may consider your business proposition, goods or service is the best on the market, when it comes to entering into an award it is essential you can quantify your successes with hard facts and endorsements. If you don’t feel your submission is backed up enough, it is potentially not best suited to the category. Consider the results you can shout about first, and then work back into which category is the most natural fit.

• Profiling your successes – if you are one of the few to be shortlisted for an award (like us!), or you are named a winner, ensure you maximise this news to its full potential. Winning awards should be branded on your website, included within company signatures and profiled through the news, both trade and local

If the PR Moment awards were voted on by the public, this is the point at which we’d be gently canvassing for your support. But as it’s industry-judged and in the hands of the (PR) Gods, all we can do is be pleased we’ve achieved a finalist position, and hope our hard work and commitment to getting results for our valued clients sees us up on that stage on 4th March.

Wish us luck!

P.S We’re equally as thrilled to be sharing a finalist place at the ceremony with Vision Express, one of our valued clients managed from our Nottingham PR agency. Vision Express is up for Healthcare Campaign of the Year for it’s innovative ‘Vision Van’, which toured the UK last year offering the public free eye tests. Fingers crossed for them too!