10 to 1 Public Relations Receives New Review!

At 10 to 1 Public Relations, we know it’s your reputation on the line, so we help clients build and protect their credibility before, during, and after a crisis. It doesn’t happen overnight. You need 10 good things to be said about your company for one bad thing said. That’s why we focus on creating a bank of genuine, positive awareness to build trustworthiness – so you can grow your business today and be more resilient in the future, because your reputation is your credibility. We believe that the best results are those intentionally delivered, working overtime to control the story.

The best product launch PR plan starts with experience. Strategy, execution, media relations – we’ve done it.

Making sure we provide our clients with the best services possible is our number one priority. That’s why we decided to create a profile on Clutch, a B2B ratings and reviews site. This makes it easy to browse real reviews from our clients on their experience with us! In fact, we just received another 5-star review on our profile! An excerpt of the review, along with a project summary can be found below:

“10 to 1 Public Relations’ professionalism and punctuality were impressive.” –Production Manager, Afterthought

Our team helped Afterthought manage a crisis by drafting PR statements that would help to improve the negative situation. We also assisted with customer and community interactions.

Here are some other recent reviews on our profile:

“I have complete confidence in their ability to write content that matches our tone.” –VP Sales & Marketing, Worzalla

“They truly are a team of good people – they’re in it for the long run to get the best results.” –CEO, Envoy America

The value of creating a positive brand image and perception is impossible to calculate, but possible to make the difference when clients are deciding whether to hire you or a competitor. Clutch’s sister site, The Manifest lists top companies and agencies to help you with your search for the perfect partner. Browse through PR firms and read through company descriptions, former clients, and notable projects to find the best fit for your business. See why The Manifest listed us as #2 among 100 of the top PR firms around the world.

Ready to get started or simply looking for more information? Fill out the contact form on our website and someone from our team will get back to you shortly!

We’re the 2020 Agency of the Year!

Each year, the Public Relations Society of America Phoenix Chapter hosts the Copper Anvils awards to recognize the best public relations campaigns, tactics, agencies, and teams in the Greater Phoenix area. While the event was virtual this year, we were still happy to join colleagues in the industry to celebrate the great work we had done over the last year.

As the awards for campaigns and tactics were coming to an end, it was time to announce the 2020 Agency of the Year (or the public relations agency with the greatest accomplishments of the past year).

And the winner was… 10 to 1 Public Relations!

We are truly honored to be recognized by our industry peers with this award, as we are very proud of how far we’ve grown as a firm in just the last couple of years. Here are just a few highlights:

  • Grew our client list to more than 20 clients
  • More than doubled our staff count since 2017
  • Moved into larger offices in a prime location in 2019
  • Generated more than 2,500 news stories for our clients in 2019 (not wire stories, but direct placements)
  • Handled crisis issues for numerous clients, including one being attacked by Presidential candidates
  • Won the 2019 The Greater Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce Sterling Award for top local business
  • Won 4 AMA-Phoenix Chapter Spectrum Awards in 2019, sweeping the public relations category
  • National third-party review website Clutch.co named 10 to 1 PR to the top if its Leaders Matrix of top PR firms, including several individual categories including Healthcare and Crisis Communications

In addition to the recognition of Agency of the year, we walked away with an additional five Copper Anvil awards, a record for our firm! Here they are:

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A Copper Anvil Award of Merit for our community relations campaign for Worzalla to build a better relationship and recognition between the 125-year-old book printer and the local community.
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A Copper Anvil Award for our crisis communications work to help a group of Mesa police officers oust a sexual predator from the department.
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A Copper Anvil Award of Merit for our crisis communications campaign for Havenpark Communities to correct the record and rebuild their reputation.
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A Copper Anvil Award of Merit for our reputation management campaign for Rosendin, building the company’s reputation in key markets across the country as they celebrated their 100-year anniversary.
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A Copper Anvil Award of Merit for our reputation management campaign for Platinum Living Realty, helping the independent real estate brokerage to build and maintain its reputation under a new brand.

Thank you again to PRSA Phoenix and our fellow public relations professionals for all this recognition given to our agency and clients. And our heartfelt congratulations to all our peers and fellow agencies that were recognized with a Copper Anvil award at this year’s event.

5 Tips to Improve Your Awards Entry or Nomination

by Josh Weiss

Similar to receiving media coverage, awards provide third-party credibility to your business or organization.  It’s someone else saying that you’re good, worthy of recognition and praise.

Which makes it surprising that a lot of companies fail to apply for awards. Some may be intimidated by the process or fear the time it will take to gather the requested information.  Others simply don’t view themselves worthy of recognition.  No matter the excuse, it’s a missed opportunity.

The good news is that it “thins the herd,” often reducing the competition for the companies willing to put in a little extra work to submit their nominations.

My team has submitted hundreds of award nominations for our clients (and ourselves) over the years.  In this process, we’ve developed our own internal cheat sheet to maximize the chance of our entries.  

Allow me to share a few of those tips here.

  1. Fill out the entire form.  Ask any awards judge, there are always entries where the nominee leaves out requested information.  Even when it says an item is optional, complete it if possible.  Don’t give the judges any excuse to think you don’t want the award or weren’t willing to put in the time. Don’t create an opening for another nominee to look better than you simply because they filled out the entire nomination form.
  2. Go for the points.  Nearly every award application clearly says what answers judges will be grading you on, and within each question it will specifically list what you are to answer. Most judges are instructed to give each answer a point value (such as one to five). If you fail to answer even a single requested fact or detail, you are likely to lose a point. You won’t gain the point back by answering another detail that was requested twice.  This ensures that everyone is judged equally, against the same criteria. With winners chosen by who gets the most judges points, you need to fight for every point, taking every point available to you. 
  3. Highlight your answers.  As you write your nomination, highlight every detail/response which directly answers a specific element of the question.  For example, a question may ask you to share the problem that you had to fix, followed by examples of tactics used to achieve the desired result, followed by your budget for the project. In your answer, highlight the phrase: the problem was; the tactics we used were; our budget was, etc.  Force the judges to see you answered every required detail within the question to ensure you get the full points available for each answer.
  4. Have a “judge” review your entry before submitting.  It’s always good to have someone review your writing to look for typos or to offer feedback.  When it comes to award submissions, we recommend asking a co-worker or peer not directly involved in the project to review your nomination as a judge would.  Ask them to tick off each detail you answered from the application’s questions. If anything isn’t ticked off, then you need to go back and add it into your application to make sure you get all the points available to improve your submission.
  5. It doesn’t matter if you think you actually deserve to win. We often hear from a client that they want to wait until next year when they think they’ll be more worthy or have a better chance to win. We strongly discourage that approach.  Apply now, and let the judges decide if you’re worthy.  If they don’t choose you, how is that worse than never having applied in the first place?  If they do choose you, all the better. Winning now doesn’t mean the company stops continuing to improve. Plus, applying now might improve your chances of winning next year. I cannot tell you how many companies we’ve nominated are named a finalist the first time they apply, only to win the year after when they demonstrate the improvement front one year to the next.

Once judging is complete, most awards announce their list of finalists to then start promoting the awards event.  When recognized as a finalist, I strongly encourage you to quickly and loudly celebrate this achievement. Immediately put out a press release to celebrate and promote this validation of your company and staff right away.  Add a logo of the award to your website stating that you’re a finalist.

A few weeks later if you learn during the awards ceremony that you won the top prize, you get to start the celebration all over again with a second announcement. If someone else is chosen for the top prize, you already got your moment in the sun and everyone already views you as a winner. And the finalist logo you already added to your website can stay there, continuing to promote your recognition for years to come.

Here’s another nugget we tell our clients. Sometimes it’s better for companies to only be a finalist and NOT win the actual top prize. Why? Because if you’re only a finalist, you’re likely allowed to apply again the next year whereas the winner cannot apply again for several years.  I rather put out several press releases over a couple of years for a client saying they were repeatedly recognized as an excellent company, than a one-time announcement.

Finally, I simply encourage you to apply. Worst that happens is you’re not chosen- which is the same result than not having applied at all. Plus, even if not selected, by completing the nomination it reminds you and your team all that your company is achieving, regardless of if the judge sees it or not. It might just be the morale boost you or your team needs at that moment to internally recognize your successes.

Awards Add Credibility to Your Business – Here’s How to Win Them

How do you stand out in your industry? One way is to apply for industry and community awards that recognize your business savvy, your community involvement, or your individual leadership. Anyone can apply for these awards, but to actually win them takes a lot of planning, effort, and time. We would know, as already this year we have submitted dozens of award nominations on behalf of our clients and ourselves.

Just this month, 10 to 1 Public Relations swept the PR category at the American Marketing Association’s 2019 Spectrum Awards, the Valley of the Sun’s only award ceremony dedicated to recognizing both the art and science of marketing. Of the four award nominations we submitted for different public relations campaigns, we won them all!

10 to 1 Public Relations went four-for-four sweeping all the awards in the public relations categories at this year’s AMA Spectrum Awards in Phoenix!

We’ve become masters of crafting the perfect award nomination, so we thought we’d share a few tips with you to increase your chance of winning that next one on your bucket list:

  1. Be strategic – Don’t waste time applying for every possible award available. Think about where you’d like to enhance your credibility and focus on awards that would highlight that area. For example, if you want to be better known for your excellent customer service, identify awards with that specific focus.
  2. Absorb the judging criteria – Every award will usually list specific judging criteria. Spend time really understanding what the judges will be looking for in an award application, and make sure to include all appropriate information.
  3. Bold or highlight keywords or phrases in your application – You never know who will be looking at your application and under what circumstances, so make it easy for them to give you a favorable review. By bolding or highlighting keywords or phrases, you make it easy for the judge to find the content that they are looking for in their judging rubric.
  4. Plan ahead – By doing research on the available awards that make sense for you and your business ahead of time, you can create an annual award calendar so you can plan around deadlines. A rushed award application is rarely a winner, so make sure you realistically allow yourself enough time to submit a winning application.

Bonus tip: If you’re selected as a finalist but you don’t win, know that you’re still a winner! You can market and brand yourself as a “Finalist” in that award category, which is still a great accomplishment and something to be proud of.

Then, once you’ve secured that Finalist or Winner award, don’t just put the award on the shelf and forget about it! That’s when the public relations campaign kicks in, where you can promote yourself as a leader in local and national outlets within your community and industry.

It’s also worth noting that our “batting average” on award submissions is nearly .500, proving that we know how to attract the interest of selection committee judges. If you want some help in putting together an effective awards strategy to differentiate your business from the competition, we are here to help.

By Erica Fetherston, Sr. Account Exec at 10 to 1 Public Relations

8 Tips to Submitting Award Winning Nominations

by Josh Weiss

It’s one thing if you say you’re good, but it’s something else when you can point to an award proving you really are good!  Awards are a great way to give your company third-party credibility and build trust.  The best part, is that you can win even if, technically, you lose!

Here’s what I mean—if you’re named a finalist for an award, before the ultimate winner is released you get to promote yourself as a finalist by putting out a press release, adding it to your website and company newsletter, etc. After the awards ceremony, if you win, you can do a second announcement claiming victory.  This gives you two bites at the apple of self-promotion!  But, if you don’t win and instead come in second or third, you can simply sit back and know that you at least got credit and recognition upfront from being a finalist and it will remain proudly on your website for all to see.

Several years ago, I wrote a blog sharing some tips when it comes to applying for awards.  I thought I’d revisit the list and share 8 tips and best practices when it comes to submitting award nominations.

1)      Take advantage of annually presented awards.  Someone has to win, even if the entries aren’t that strong.  You’re not competing against past winners, you’re competing only against the other nominees from that same year.  It may surprise you that when it comes to annual awards- like from a Chamber of Commerce- there are sometimes only a handful of nominations submitted.  So if you do the math, the odds are pretty good that you’ll at least be named a finalist.

2)     Read the eligibility requirements.  Don’t waste your time submitting if you’re just going to be automatically disqualified from consideration.  A simple example is if the rules say you need to have been in business for three years, but you’ve only been in business for one, then don’t waste your time applying.  Selection committees can look the other way for a lot of narrative text answers, but selection committees can’t award you the prize for prettiest cat when your nominee is a dog.

3)     Give them what they want.  Most nomination and eligibility forms state exactly what the selection committee will be looking for in the winner.  Make a list of each item that the selection committee is reviewing, and write your nomination to directly answer those questions.  Make it easy for the selection committee.

4)      Highlight the key phrases that will earn you points from the judges.  In boldface type, highlight the keywords that answer each question or scoring criteria.  Your goal is to ensure that the selection committee can find and properly score your answer for maximum points.

5)      Have someone else grade your nomination.  A great way to test your nomination is to have someone else read your submission. Have them literally check off each item they find related to a stated scoring criteria.  If they find any scoring items not explained in your answer, go back and add the needed details into your submission.  Don’t throw away any points that will help you win simply because you accidentally forgot to include an example.

6)      If at first you don’t succeed, apply again.  Just because you don’t win the first time doesn’t mean you shouldn’t re-apply the following year.  I’ve experienced cases where the awarding organization was so desperate for a quality candidate that a client has been called after a deadline has passed and asked to resubmit a nomination from a previous year.  Needless to say, the company was happy they resubmitted their nomination.

7)      Ask why you didn’t win.  If you don’t win, don’t be afraid to ask the judges how you can improve upon your nomination next year.  They may tell you what was missing from your nomination, or why they chose another winner.  You’d be amazed at how honest and helpful the response likely will be and how it will improve your chances for success in the future.

8)      You Must be present to win.  Make sure a leader from your organization quickly confirms that they will attend the awards ceremony and get your RSVP in early.  There are two reasons.  First, if the winner has yet to be chosen, judges will want to make sure that whomever they choose to win is actually there to accept.  If they know you won’t attend, they’ll give it to one of the other finalists.  Second, you need to take advantage of the media opportunities the awards event provides. Whether that be people seeing you on stage accepting the award, or in photos taken and shared with media of the winners afterward.  An award you win that no one ever knows about is basically only useful as a paperweight or doorstop.

Good luck with your submissions.  If you follow these nine submission suggestions, you’re likely to walk away happy!

The secret to winning awards: Apply.

Josh Weiss at the Copper Anvil Awards presented by the Public Relations Society of America’s Phoenix Chapter on 8/23/12 where he co-accepted two awards with Liz Merritt from his work last year at Rural/Metro Corporation.
Josh Weiss at the Copper Anvil Awards presented by the Public Relations Society of America’s Phoenix Chapter on 8/23/12 where he co-accepted two awards with Liz Merritt from his work last year at Rural/Metro Corporation.

Josh Weiss at the Copper Anvil Awards presented by the Public Relations Society of America’s Phoenix Chapter on 8/23/12 where he co-accepted two awards with Liz Merritt from his work last year at Rural/Metro Corporation.

It amazes me that more PR pros and company spokespeople don’t take advantage of an easy way to generate free, positive news coverage that improves a company’s brand and community image. 

Awards serve as credible, third-party validation to target audiences.  Awards also provide an opportunity for your company leaders to accept recognition for excellence in front of peers and competitors and can serve as a point of pride for employees. 

During the past 15 years, nearly half the awards I’ve applied for on behalf of clients or companies have won, been named a finalist, or received an honorable mention.  I’m not trying to brag, I’m trying to make a point.  Few companies apply for awards.  Even fewer understand what to include in a nomination. 

Here are some suggestions for new nominators: 

1)      Take advantage of annually presented awards.  Someone has to win, even if the entries aren’t that strong.  You’re not competing against past winners who truly may be worthy of receiving the award again, you’re competing only against the other nominees that same year.  Often only a handful of nominations are submitted, giving you great odds to win or at least be named a finalist.

2)      Read the eligibility requirements.  Don’t waste your time submitting if you’re just going to be automatically disqualified.  Selection committees can look the other way for a lot of items, but selection committees can’t award you the prize for prettiest cat when your nominee is a dog.

3)      Give them what they want.  Most nomination and eligibility forms state exactly what the selection committee will be looking for in the winner.  Make a list of each item that the selection committee is reviewing, and write your nomination to directly answer those questions.  Make it easy for the selection committee.  In boldface type, highlight the keywords that answer each of those items, ensuring that the selection committee can find and properly score your answer for maximum points.  A great way to test your nomination is to have someone else read your submission and check off each of the items the selection committee is seeking. 

4)      How would the awarding organization benefit by your win?  Remember, many awards are presented during a ceremony that also serves as a fundraising event.  If you win, will the presenter sell more tickets—either from your organization or organizations/individuals that support the nominee? 

5)   Have you been approached by the awarding organization about becoming more involved in other aspects of the organization?  Most selection committee members are made up of board members.  If the awarding organization is trying to get your company more involved, what better way than to present an award to you in order to try to entice your organization to do more?

6)      Does your location give you a leg up? If the organization presenting the awards covers a wide geographic area, the organization may need to spread out the location of the winners.  For example, I’ve been told in the past that while the organization wanted to present us with the award, they had too many local area award winners in other categories and had to find an organization to win in another area instead.  If you are located outside a major metro area, your location might be viewed as a positive when applying for statewide or regional awards. 

7)      If at first you don’t succeed, apply again.  Just because you don’t win the first time doesn’t mean you shouldn’t re-apply the following year.  I’ve experienced cases where the awarding organization was so desperate for a quality candidate that I’ve been called after a deadline has passed and asked to resubmit a nomination from a previous year.  Needless to say we won the award that year. 

8)      Ask why you didn’t win.  If you don’t win, don’t be afraid to ask the awarding organization how you can improve upon your nomination next year.  They may tell you what was missing from your nomination, or why they chose another winner.  You’d be amazed at how honest and helpful the response likely will be and how it will improve your chances for success in the future. 

9)      Take advantage of the PR opportunity!  Several organizations choose to announce award finalists weeks before the awards ceremony, only to name the winner the night of the event.  Put out a press release days prior to the ceremony stating that you are a finalist.  If you win, you can always send another release afterward.  You can also add it to your company website and company collateral.  It really doesn’t matter if you win the big prize, you still gain independent third-party credibility simply by being a finalist or honorable mention.

10)   Must be present to win.  Make sure a leader from your organization attends the awards ceremony and is prepared to speak when accepting the award—and make sure they are willing to stay until the end because group pictures of winners are often taken after the event.  Don’t throw away a great opportunity as the organization presenting the awards is likely to share the picture and promote the winners separate from your PR efforts.   

Good luck with your submissions.  See you on the rubber chicken awards circuit!