Yesterday, at the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association (GOHBA) annual general meeting, four individuals nominated by the association received Queen’s Jubilee medals. I sat between two of the recipients, architect Barry Hobin and Donna Hicks, executive director of the Habitat for Humanity’s Ottawa chapter, and could see their well-deserved pride and joy in receiving the honour.
In fact, thousands of other Canadians received the medal.With such a huge volume of recipients, some with less-than-great honour received the medal (and some unflattering publicity). Yet, the community groups and organizations who nominated deserving individuals for the recognition still received almost as much value from the award presentations as the recipients — they were able to connect with influential people and spread good-will, for no direct cost.
While you might think you are crass to ask or seek out these awards and recognitions, you certainly won’t suffer any harm by nominating, recommending and encouraging people who you like and respect. In some circumstances, you may be able to create your own awards program. We have, for example, developed the Ontario Construction Report Awards of Excellence and, closer to this blog, the Best Construction Blog competition. These initiatives allow us to share and spread good-will and provide worthy recognition to a diversity of individuals and organizations. (And it is quite okay to self-nominate or encourage nominations for awards where you think you are worthy of recognition — especially from relevant trade associations and community groups.)
Sometimes awards programs are set up as commercial enterprises. In one case, virtually everyone “wins” — but you have to pay several tens of thousands of dollars to be able to use the award program’s logo and announce your success. I’m not convinced this is really the right way to go, but it seems quite a few businesses have assessed the marketing cost of participating in this sort of awards program, and have decided the advertising investment is worth the price.
The value of participating is more than in the recognition you receive. You can enhance your relationships and reputation, and these are the cornerstones of client trust or, as marketers would say, your brand equity.