05/21/2014 09:00 am ET

3 Ways Winning an Award is a Win For Your Public Relations

No doubt you know the saying "Everyone loves a winner." This could not be more true than when you win an industry award. As a winner, you typically receive love from the award sponsor, your employees, peers and colleagues, vendors and clients and there is a greater likelihood you'll receive attention from the media as well.

Not only is the announcement of winning newsworthy, additional story lines can come from it too -- and not just from traditional media. Don't be afraid to publish your own content with a focus on everything from how your employees were pivotal in winning, how new products and processes contributed, the drive of your customer service priorities, and your future growth plans -- just to name a few.

Below are three ways winning the award will bring you benefits:

1. Capitalize on the Award's Branding

We all know public relations requires time and effort. You have to be sure your pitch is newsworthy, and then you have to cultivate relationships with the media so that they are open to your message when you reach out to them. Winning an award and capitalizing on the award's marketing and public relations efforts can shorten this process and open doors to you that might not have otherwise opened in a timely manner.

Because the sponsor has already spent time, money and effort to build awareness and value for the award, winning gives you a certain cachet by association. You are now included in the award sponsor's public relations efforts each time the organization announces the winners. As a result, you will likely get press mentions in media outlets you might not have otherwise gotten on your own.

Now when you are out promoting your own business's success, you may find that the media is more receptive to your story as they have warmed up to you through the award sponsor's PR efforts.

2. Associate With an Esteemed List of Winners Now and for History

Not only does winning an award validate that what you are doing is on the right track and valuable, it tells the rest of the world that too. It gives you a recognition among your peers and colleagues. It puts you in a special club with other winning businesses. Now and forever you will have a link and camaraderie with past and future winners.

You may find a good networking opportunity among other business winners that can lead to new relationships. Winning an award can also help attract the best and brightest of new hires as they want to work for the best companies.

3. Earn a Third Party Endorsement

Many awards are given on a yearly basis with businesses and media anticipating the announcement of the deserving winners. Once announced, most winning companies put the award icon on every marketing and information piece for the next 12 months as a means to share the news. This way, it's the award that speaks for the value of the company, not just the company talking about itself.

Nothing beats a great review to help your customers build trust and make decisions about your products and services. Winning an award works in much the same way -- a third party endorsement from a reputable source.

If you find it difficult to create a newsworthy story that the media can't wait to write about you, consider entering a relevant industry award competition. You may find you get more traction with the media, and more to talk about with your employees, customers and vendors for a longer period of time.

This blogger graduated from Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Businesses program. Goldman Sachs is a partner of the What Is Working: Small Businesses section.