‘Our Editorial [Wants] to Build These Relationships’; Making the Most of Awards and Recognition Programs

“Taking out the trash isn’t everyone’s favorite chore, but for Shanique Borteley Alabi, our cellular garbage disposal could be the key to fighting disease. At Monte Rosa Therapeutics in Boston, she’s developing molecules to send cancer-causing proteins to the scrapyard.”

That excellent lede comes from the American Chemical Society’s c&en Talented Twelve, where a well-crafted article is posted for each winning scientist. It’s an example of why we love awards and recognition programs. There’s a sponsor—ThermoFisher Scientific; it gives positive notoriety to members and ACS; it adds future speakers to their roster; increases their diversity and gender representation; and an offers an impetus for more people to get involved.

But the work required to make awards programs—and your honorees—all they can be should continue, not end, with their selection, with new content, speaking gigs and other opportunities. Here are five examples of association and media company awards programs with something they do particularly well highlighted.

Talented Twelve’s coverage of each winner. We learn that Derya Baran began her life in a small village in Turkey and is now an associate professor trying to broaden access to solar power in Saudi Arabia. Emilie Ringe, a lecturer at the University of Cambridge, works with plasmonic nanoparticles that can be used to trigger chemical reactions or kill cancerous cells. Cesunica Ivey, an environmental and chemical engineer at the University of California, Berkeley, is developing techniques for air quality monitoring and modeling. These articles provide added gravitas not only to the winners but to the awards program itself. Nominations for 2022 close on Monday!

Clear Channel’s Social Impact Award (and a nice display of their judges). Encouraging social impact in your niche with an award is growing in popularity. Clear Channel’s Outdoor Media Awards, run in partnership with Haymarket Media’s Campaign, celebrates the best campaigns in Out of Home advertising. Among the many categories, the National Social Impact Award under the heading A Platform for Good stands out. “This award is open to both organizations and individuals working in or using Out of Home media who are delivering projects at scale that communicate brand position or purpose to drive positive change for the environment and/or multiple communities in the UK at a national level.” Young people want to see companies they support take a stand. Also, kudos to Clear Channel for their stylish black-and-white 2022 Judges Lineup photos. Judges are the lifeblood to awards programs; anything we can do to prop them up a little more is encouraged. From Lauren Ogundeko, chief digital officer & co-founder, Bicycle London, to Bhavesh Patel, head of media, Sky, it’s an impressive group.

Aging Media Network’s new contacts and relationships. “[Our] Future Leaders program has provided us a way to connect with the next generation of leaders in the industry we cover,” George Yedinak, co-founder, executive vice president, Aging Media Network, wrote to me last year. “It provides brand awareness across our publications and also provides our editorial team with new contacts that they can work with in the years to come.” Getting new contacts in this age and day of beneficial—and expected—diversity is critical. “There’s a plan for our Future Leaders program to certainly develop an alumni network that can meet at our events as a start. Our editorial teams are looking to build these relationships for content and stories that align with their goals. There are a number of ideas around the program on continuing to extend involvement of the current and past classes of leaders.” Nominations for four segments just opened for 2022.

Crain’s Detroit Business’s diverse awards. The publication entity gives out a long list of awards to people and programs including: newsmakers, real estate executives, most influential women, 40 under 40, LGBTQ in business, executives in diversity, equity and inclusion, and 20 in their twenties. Under the LGBTQ notables, it says this: “The leaders on this list are change-agents, door-openers and role models, their peers and colleagues told us. They create safety and community where they live and work.”

The National Restaurant Association’s FABI Awards brings people to the conference. Given that I have not eaten lunch yet, looking at these tasty awards is hard to swallow. The National Restaurant Show, now run by Winsight, offers up delicious pictures to tempt our taste buds—and travel budgets. “Join us at the 2022 National Restaurant Association Show to taste several years of FABI award winning products. Preview the awardees from 2020 and 2021 that will be exhibiting below and check back in March for the full list of brand new 2022 FABI honorees.”


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