Every year, my email marketing company, VerticalResponse, applies for awards in several categories: company growth, best customer service, best product, best executives...the list goes on.
Why do we do this? If we win, we get press, we have another piece of content to release for people to talk about, and it's great for employee morale because it just feels awesome to be a winner. Not to mention people want to work for winners, so our HR department is a big fan of all our hardware.
What's our approach? We make sure that, for the most part, we spread the recognition around to as many departments as we can. For instance, this past summer we launched a new social media platform called VerticalResponse Social, which lets small businesses publish and manage their social media posting more easily. It was a big deal for the company and for our customers. We were pretty darn proud of ourselves. So, earlier this month, we submitted an entry for the "new product" category in a well-known American business awards competition ... And got bronze!
We've also entered our Twitter feed and Facebook page for social media categories, our green and volunteer programs (which are headed up by our HR department) for corporate social responsibility awards, and our creative and marketing teams for best web design awards.
Once we win an award, we try to take it one step further by inviting the people at our company who contributed to these functions to the awards dinner, if we can.
We did this a couple of weeks ago for a new product and technology awards ceremony that was held close to our office in San Francisco. Everyone got dressed up. (It was great to see our engineers in a suit and tie!) I thought it was a huge hit and was personally stoked that they attended. They seemed pretty excited to be there (hopefully evidenced by this photo), and people at the office were all talking about the event the next day.
So if you have some people or projects that deserve an award, apply for one on their behalf. Recognize them and include them every step of the way. You might be surprised by how excited they might be and how proud they are to work for a company that cares!
JANINE POPICK is the CEO and founder of VerticalResponse (a Deluxe company), a leading provider of self-service email and event marketing, online surveys, social media, and direct mail solutions. The company was ranked No. 2,802 on the 2012 Inc. 5000. @janinepopick