Why you should enter awards

Ben Smith recently caught up with Hope&Glory co-founder, James Gordon Macintosh, to talk about why they enter awards.

Ben Smith: Why do Hope&Glory enter awards?

James Gordon Macintosh: There are lots of reasons to enter awards as an agency. Clearly, the self-promotion doesn’t go amiss and it’d be a lie if we said otherwise – the reputation of the business has largely been built on awards showcasing our work to potential clients and the rest of the industry.

But we also think that awards shows are a great way to measure your work against the best in the industry, and there’s a real sense of satisfaction in other people saying your work was great, for the teams that delivered campaigns. Of course, clients also really value awards – again, being able to demonstrate to internal colleagues is one way to show how great an in-house team is relative to the competition.

And finally, they act as a beacon for talent. People want to come to an agency that leads its field and awards wins are a pretty good proxy for that. In the battle to find the best in the industry to join us, a decent run at the big awards shows is definitely something that attracts people to us as a business.

BS: Why are the PRmoment Awards so important to Hope&Glory?

JGM: There are lots of reasons why the PRmoment Awards are one of our favourites.

While some may eye-roll, the range of categories that are recognised is a win as far as we’re concerned – it means that work with clients is judged alongside brand peers, rather than a great campaign in a tough category losing to Greggs. Again.

But more than that, the range of work that we come up against, as well as the range of work that you get to see and hear about is a brilliant showcase for the industry as a whole.

And of course, we value them because we know that potential clients see the PRmoment Awards winners and value them.

BS: Do you think Hope&Glory has grown more quickly because you've won so many awards in the last 10 years?

JGM: Yes, without question. It’s not like agencies that do brilliant work all win awards. But you don’t tend to hear about it anywhere near as much.

BS: Do you think you've got on pitch lists because you've got a good track record of winning awards?

JGM: I think a lot of clients will select a handful of agencies they know and then add in one or two that have done well at the awards shows.

BS: You clearly know how to write a decent entry, any tips for people a bit newer to it than you?

JGM: Tell a story that will grab someone at the outset. Don’t dwell on the “internal challenges” and “process” of getting the work done – it was important to you at the time but gets in the way of a great story. Focus on the absolute core: what was your brilliant insight, what was your brilliant idea, what did you do, what were the results. If it’s a good campaign that should be an easy story to tell. And give results. Judges want to know the commercial impact.

BS: What's your process for writing an award entry?

JGM: I think the thing that marks our success in award entries is that they start as soon as the campaign is in the wild: making sure the measurement is built in when we run a campaign we’ve got a good feeling about from an awards perspective. As soon as it’s live we do some consumer research into awareness or speak to the client to get traffic or sales data. If you’ve done that and the campaign worked then three months later when you write the entry, you’re already half-way there.