It seems that in the design trade, there is no shortage of awards to go around. Our clients are constantly notifying us of upcoming design trade award ceremonies and call for submissions from industry publications or organizations that may or may not be worth pushing forward.

Recently the ASID Northern California Awards were featured in the California Homes July/August issue. For the winners, being featured in print is great for short-term recognition. But in the long term, we started thinking: “how can designers leverage these awards to gain prospects, and ultimately, clients?”

Award wins serve as great content and thus should be shared with your audience not only on your website but also in social media. We took a quick peek at the winners featured in California Homes and found that only one designer had listed both the award received and media visibility on their website. What we found disappointing was that we couldn’t find a Facebook page for this one firm, so we couldn’t gauge their audience reach and influence in social media. (Correction: Yes, they do indeed have a Facebook page. However, the firm utilizes a personal page for the company page and that is a big no no in the eyes of Facebook.)

In order to leverage industry and award recognition to gain prospects, three are different tactics firms should consider:

1. Place Award-Winning Projects in Future Editorial Features 

de Reus Architects AIA Honolulu Award

de Reus Architects features their AIA Honolulu Award for Makai Residence in Western Home Journal Magazine

Gaining coverage in print editorial is no small feat. All firms should use this coverage wisely and strategically. By simply creating a color overlay with body copy, we leveraged previous award recognition within editorial content further building the firm’s brand identity and credibility.

2.  Celebrate Award Wins on Social Media

Philpotts Interiors Houzz Award

Philpotts Interiors wins Best of Houzz 2012

Social media is all about staying current and developing fresh content that gets shared. Philpotts Interiors made sure to remind their fans on Facebook about their win at the “Best of Houzz” 2012 by creating customized graphics that was not only branded for the firm, but also the designer.

3.  Create Section on Awards & Press on Firm’s Website 

Tucker and Marks Press

Suzanne Tucker (Tucker & Marks)

The sole firm that featured their win from this year’s ASID Awards was Tucker & Marks as seen on the firm’s website. It is worth noting that when you’re seeking to place press coverage on your website, do not, I repeat, do not upload these articles as PDFs. If articles or press releases are pdfs, they are not able to be crawled by search engines and won’t help increase the chances of your site being found by users on Google. These files tend to be large, will increase the size of your website, and slowdown the websites loading time. Instead, customize this content with your firm’s brand assets and have it be a part of your website rather than a downloadable item.

How does your firm promote industry awards and accolades? On your website? Social Media?  Marketing Collateral?