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Fourth, take your own competence seriously. The sole proprietor category was sorely lacking in quality entrants, and if you had entered a site that was clear, functional, readable, decent-looking and businesslike, you could very well have had an excellent shot to win.
According to Anne Stuart, senior writer for Inc., material about their awards is among most-read stuff at their Web site throughout year, with awesome click-throughs to winning sites. The only cost of entering this sort of competition for such a publicity bonanza is effort required to submit a considered and complete entry.
Adds Dan Janal, author of several books on publicity and founder of PR Leads, "You will get mindshare from judges, who are very important, influential people who could write about your company or tell their audiences in speeches. I know -- I've judged many contests and have found many interesting companies as a result."
Remember this next time you spot an announcement for an award competition. A blue-ribbon credential -- and attention from media and public -- may be closer than you would assume.
Marcia Yudkin is the author of the classic PR guide, Six Steps to Free Publicity, and 10 other books. You can learn more about her new special report, Powerful, Painless Online Publicity, at http://www.yudkin.com/powerpr.htm