As a PR and marketing professional, awards have been a constant part of my career. It’s an easy formula: winning awards is good PR. However, throughout my career there have always been those skeptics and budget crunchers asking: do awards really matter? 

For Syneos Health Communications’ family of agencies, award season is off with a bang. GSW, powered by Syneos Health, was thrilled to receive six ADDY awards, including three GOLD and one Judges Choice for our campaign for the Columbus Museum of Art. GSW also received a short-list nod from Med Ad News for Most Creative Agency of the Year. And together with our client, Genentech, our PR team’s SPACES campaign is shortlisted in four categories in the PRWeek US Healthcare + Pharma Awards! We are so proud of our teams and these amazing accolades. It’s a tremendous way to kick off awards season. 

For those of us in the advertising and marketing industry, this is exactly why awards matter: 

1. Award-winning agencies recruit top-tier talent 

At the end of the day, Syneos Health Communications is a group of agencies full of top talent, but it’s no secret that hiring and retaining talent is a fierce challenge in today’s market. Awards help sell an agency. Awards are a clear indication that the agency and its people produce excellent work. 

2. Potential clients pay attention 

Potential clients see when agencies win awards. That awareness keeps your agency top-of-mind when it’s time for them to find a new creative partner. GSW has experienced this outcome many times—one example was when we won an Emmy for our Super Bowl spot with St. Elizabeth Healthcare. We were able to highlight our award-winning work to new clients, which was especially powerful since the Emmy’s are typically dominated by non-healthcare work. 

3. Awards boost morale  

Being recognized for work feels good! Positive morale boosts creativity and employee engagement. Awards give teams a chance to reflect, celebrate their hard work, and refill their motivation bucket. Motivation is contagious and good for all involved.   

4. Healthcare is creative 

Awards underscore that healthcare is just as creative as any other industry. At Syneos Health Communications, we are a collection of agencies spanning across advertising, public relations, medical communications, and naming, all focused on health. It’s a distinction we thrive by, especially in such a regulated industry often besieged by the status quo. We’ve made it our mission to make the world a healthier place, one award-winning idea at a time.   

5. Awards provide validation for your client 

Clients love to show their bosses when the creative for their brand wins awards. Creatively awarded work is validation that they picked the right agency to work with. This can also lead to retention and growth in the client-agency relationship. 

I’m not the only one who sees validity in awards. The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) conducted a study that claims that ads that win creative awards are 11 to 12 times more effective than ads that don’t. Although the study is older, the data spanned more than two hundred case studies over eight years and looked at business metrics like market-share growth, sales, profits, return on investment, and emotional appeal to determine effectiveness. The report concludes that two factors are responsible for the link between creativity and effectiveness: an emotional connection, and the buzz spawned by engaging content.  

Ultimately, there’s no doubt that creatively awarded campaigns are good news for clients. If you’re already doing excellent work, it takes minimal additional effort to tell your story and submit that work for an award.  

In the meantime, I hope to see you at the next award show.  


About the Author:

Elizabeth Stelzer is the Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations, Integrated Brand Expression at Syneos Health. She has more than 20 years of experience in executive and corporate communications, public relations and marketing. She has a deep understanding of media relations, issues mitigation and a passion for reputation management.