Rewarding Excellence

By Frank, Luke | Landscape & Irrigation, June 2007 | Go to article overview

Rewarding Excellence


Frank, Luke, Landscape & Irrigation


Industry awards. Hmmm. Some people think they're frivolous. They insist that awards are rigged, they're based on favoritism, you have to buy your way in, and SO on ...

And that's fine--in isolated instances there might even be some fire beneath that smoke. But, from a consumer standpoint, potential clients are looking for some indication that a business has experience and respect in its prospective field.

You can include your experience in your marketing materials, but it's just that--advertising copy for a package of marketing materials that you pay someone to write and place on different pieces of paper. Advertising is great for sales, brand recognition and product or service information, but it's a tougher sell for professional legitimacy.

That's one of the key differences between advertising and public relations. What's more credible: you saying you're the best, or someone else saying you're the best? Ideally one should not be to the exclusion of the other. A healthy marketing mix of advertising and public relations enables you to reach several audiences through numerous venues with consistent, complimentary messages.

I mention awards because the American Society of Irrigation Consultants (ASIC) recently bestowed its annual National Excellence in Irrigation Awards at its conference in Charleston, S.C. The awards, which are open to all willing "submitters," are intended to recognize outstanding, innovative solutions to land-use water development and delivery challenges.

First, let's give props to this year's Excellence in Irrigation Award winners. Honor awardees included Jeff Bruce with Jeffrey L. Bruce & Company in Kansas City, Mo., in the Planning & Analysis category for Seattle Park and Recreation Department in Seattle; and Paige Gimbal with Land Image in Chico, Calif., in the Commercial & Municipal category for Chico City Plaza in Chico.

Merit awardees included Bob Scott with Irrigation Consultant Services in Conyers, Ga., in the Golf category for Belmont Hills Golf Club in Warwick, Bermuda; and Ivy Munion with ISC Group in Livermore, Calif., in the Commercial & Municipal category for the Pacific Shores Complex in Redwood City, Calif.

So what's the value in accolades for those in any industry willing to share their professional solutions with their competitors? Let's look at the potential:

* First and foremost, recognition for your abilities when submitting formal proposals;

* News for your industry that demonstrates your businesses experience, respect and competency;

* News for your local and regional communities that offer name and brand recognition;

* A tasteful plaque suitable for mounting in your company lobby for all customers and prospects to see;

* A demonstrated commitment to your industry and professional excellence;

* Your willingness and ability to follow industry standards;

* Cash or equivalent awards;

* Additional support in client interactions;

* Legitimized fodder for an advertising campaign;

* Legitimized fodder for employee recruitment;

* And possibly even some company- and self-respect. …

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