Discover what you can do after you’ve won an award for your hospitality business. Co-owner of the world’s best b&b, Andy Banner-Price, writes about work after winning.
By Andy Banner-Price at The 25
The 25 has won many awards, including the world’s best b&b award two years running!
Andy was recently part of the LBNB judging panel for the LBNB 2021 Awards.
The 25 was visited by Joanna Lumley for her TV series “Joanna Lumley’s Home Sweet Home”.
Having deliberated for hours over the judging of our very own Luxury B&B Awards this year, we got to wondering what you should do next if your business is lucky enough to win an award. Who better to ask but multi-award winner and fellow judge Andy Banner-Price from The 25 Boutique B&B? Here’s what he told us…
For us, it’s just as important what you do after you win an award as it is winning. After all, what’s the point in winning if no one knows you won? Though the process of applying can be useful in itself, many awards are bestowed upon you rather than entered. We always try to make the most of our awards to get the maximum publicity. Here’s my top 6 ways you can shout about your award:
You should be putting something on social media at least every few days. We try and do something daily, so it’s an ideal excuse for a post, and not just the one. Post when you find out you’re a finalist, post when you have the award ceremony (may be virtual at the moment!), post a photo of you with the certificate or trophy (it’s your business so put yourselves in front of the camera occasionally), if you get sent a logo, post that. Then periodically you can post it again or maybe twelve months later when it comes up on your timeline.
Even what my partner Julian calls “fake awards” can be useful – you know the ones – from a company who make up a hundred different awards so they can dish them out like smarties, that you never applied for, and if you want to receive the award it costs £300 to be posted or £1,500 to attend the ceremony. You can usually accept their award and get a free listing for no cost and be sent their award winner logo by email.
Always put these on social media – just because you know these companies are trying to make money, your guests don’t. They’ll be super impressed with you, whatever the award. If they’ve visited before or are booked in, they’ll love to brag to their friends.
If they’ve never visited, then you’re reaffirming how good you are and that they should get booked in.
Getting in the newspaper is not always as difficult as you might think. Sometimes it’s just about good timing. Never miss the opportunity to send out a well written press release. It should not be too short and not too long – somewhere between 350 and 650 words. Double check for spelling and typos.
Send at least one high res photo with it too. A local newspaper is often desperate for news features and a little light relief in between bad news is always useful.
Don’t worry if it’s only a local newspaper. People staying in your area may pick it up, read about you and decide to stay with you next time. Locals may need somewhere to recommend when friends and relatives come to see them. Estate agents may have people moving to the area and staying a night or two. Many newspapers also now have online versions and use social media heavily which gives them even more reach.
Back in 2019 I managed to get in our local newspaper 9 weeks out of 12! Be sure to include your contact details and your website in case they want more information.
Many of your guests won’t be on social media or may not follow you. Even if they do, it’s hard without plenty of engagement in your posts to make it onto their feeds. Therefore make sure you include your award win in your next newsletter. If you’re not sending a newsletter at least once a month – you need to be!
Be proud and display your award in your property somewhere prominent. It may be in reception or a corridor or the breakfast room – somewhere every guest has to go past so they see it. If you don’t receive anything physical, can you print off the logo and frame it instead?
Include it everywhere as social proof of how good you are. Include it on business cards, leaflets and brochures. Describe yourselves as “award winning”. Maybe add it to your signage on the road?
Don’t forget to make your award win prominent on your website too. Guests don’t know the inner workings of the industry. If you won a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence (now called Traveller’s Choice) then be proud and tell everyone about it – most guests won’t know that almost everyone receives one.
If a prospective guest is looking to stay with you, but also considering a very similar property nearby, you might just swing it if you are displaying a couple of awards you’ve won and they are not.