It’s award season in the American entertainment industry. You can barely get through a news cycle without hearing about this actress, that producer, or some pop star talking about his or her craft and how simply being nominated for an award is an honor.

NOTE: for those who have been sleeping under a rock for the last month or so, the Oscars (which recognize artistic and technical expertise in the film industry) take place February 9; the Golden Globe awards (which recognize excellence in film and television) already took place on January 5; and the Grammy’s (which recognize achievements in the music industry) took place on Sunday, January 26.

That said, all this talk about awards got me to thinking about the value of awards in business, as in, is it worth it to try for recognition in your field or industry? Is there a benefit? Is there danger in striving for an award and not getting it?

Let’s take a look:

  • First of all, receiving an award in your field or industry can be very beneficial for your business and/or your career. Receiving an award offers instant credibility. After all, in a contest with your peers, you’ve been identified as being superior and award-worthy. That can’t hurt, especially if it’s something you then publicize to constituencies both inside and outside your company or organization.
  • Likewise, simply being nominated for an award can bring well-deserved recognition and build up credibility. As with winning an award, being nominated means others have recognized your talents, abilities, and the results you have achieved. That’s all good stuff, and certainly something you can tout publicly.
  • Beware, though—there are some times when awards can hurt you, especially when they come in the form of what I call “pay-to-play” awards (also known as vanity awards). This is where you (or a client) receive an announcement that you’re being recognized and will be listed publicly as an award recipient for free, and all you have to do is pay dues to an association or become a member of an organization to take advantage. By their very nature, these kinds of awards lack credibility because—duh!—they really aren’t awards at all. Most consumers and competitors are able to see them for what they really are, making them pointless to pursue. Proceed with caution.


In an addition to the satisfaction derived from being recognized for a genuine award (or for being nominated), there are a number of other benefits that come with the territory:

  • Competing for an award in your industry, whether you win or not, can provide valuable information to how you stack up with competitors. If you win, what about your company/business set you apart from competitors? If you come up short, what do you need to do differently going forward to win the award next year?
  • Simply applying for an award competition can provide valuable insight about what your field or industry considers important to a top-performing organization. What information is the award entity looking for? What processes, policies, and systems does it expect you to have in place in order to compete?
  • To compete for and win an award requires a highly functioning team. Thus, seeking an award can rally a business team around a singular purpose to improve processes and performance to achieve a goal. When individuals and teams compete for awards, they are more likely to collaborate and less likely to let one another down.
  • Simply knowing that you or your team are being considered for an award can motivate individuals to do better work and improve quality. This drives employee engagement, employee satisfaction, and can boost your bottom line.
  • Being involved in seeking an award, whether you win or not, can be a boon to your PR efforts. You can use the award process to showcase quality, innovation, your customer focus (and much more)—and if you win, that’s all the better!


Barrel O’Monkeyz can help you explore how to seek an award in your field or industry and determine what doing so might mean for your business or your career. We’ve done it before . . . and we’re happy to do it again by routinely partnering with businesses and leaders on planning and strategizing, digital marketing and social media, product development, ecommerce, and ways to craft and communicate their brand stories. Interested? Contact us today.