One of last year’s Optus My Business Awards winners has revealed the impact that walking away with the coveted prize has had on their business, and outlined their approach to putting together their victorious submission.
At the gala dinner on 10 November, not-for-profit The Ethics Centre took out the award for Education and Training Provider of the Year, beating a host of other deserving winners to the prize.
The centre’s education programs manager, Sally Murphy (pictured), told My Business that taking out the award delivered a huge “morale boost” to their team of around 20.
“That was probably the biggest takeaway for us, the morale boost we took away from the whole process really,” Ms Murphy explained.
“Even being informed that we were named a finalist, we felt like winners – that was amazing!”
But this morale boost started well before the awards night, Ms Murphy said, with the team bonding and acknowledging each other’s efforts while jointly putting together their submission.
“Investing across the team in putting the submission together, the different people from across the business having a say on what got put into the submission itself, and then submitting and thinking ‘we gave it a go’,” she said.
Ms Murphy said The Ethics Centre took key clients and contributors to the awards dinner as a means of acknowledging their contributions to the success of the organisation, and that taking home the win in their presence made it even more special and rewarding.
“We were so shocked – if you’ve got the video footage of our table when it was announced, it was like ‘cray, cray’,” she said, laughing.
“It was quite a surprise and everyone was boosted by that.”
The award has also served as a national reinforcement of their program and work, which The Ethics Centre has used on its social channels to enhance the power and credibility of its marketing.
Advice for lodging an award submission
As previously mentioned, Ms Murphy said that making the submission a team-building exercise is a great way of ensuring a whole-of-business approach so that nothing gets overlooked and the best highlights can be collated.
But, she cautioned that a key aspect of the submissions process is to then “narrow down” the details and examples to put forward.
“For us it was narrowing it down… we went out to the team as we looked at the category and we looked at the questions carefully, and for a while there, with a lot of different contributions from the team, the winning point or main focus got a little bit lost,” Ms Murphy said.
“We can’t talk about everything; it is going to be more powerful if we choose the key story and really take that particular situation and thoroughly dissect it, essentially. That seemed to be a good approach.”
“It’s not about copying and pasting off our website and using stories in that sense. We wanted to provide the information that you can’t find on the website but that we could verify.”
Ms Murphy added: “We certainly drew on a whole range of resources, whether it was materials around the actual course itself as well as feedback… We tried to really be specific in telling the story of why the program was so wonderful, in our opinion.”
Submissions for the 2018 My Business Awards are currently open, with a host of new categories launched this year, including Energy and Home & Lifestyle Business of the Year, as well as Social Media Strategy of the Year.
The deadline is fast approaching, though, with submissions closing at 5.30pm on Friday, 31 August.
Finalists will be announced in mid to late September.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.