Even if you don’t win, you won.

When I submitted my first Image entries in 2007, all four of my entries were disqualified. Anyone who has competed knows how crazy submitting four entries is. (I didn’t know what I was doing!) My entries were disqualified because I didn’t precisely follow the rules, teaching me an important lesson.
I want to congratulate those of you who entered the Mid-Florida Image Awards competition on Feb. 27. I hope you celebrated your job well done and don’t fret.
Even if you don’t win, you won. Here’s why:

  1. The Image competition isn’t for the meek or mediocre. Judging is subjective, but the rubric is precise and detailed. Having all elements to enter means you are already driving results for your organization. 
  2. Going through the process – as daunting as it is – forces you to be a stronger, more strategic and more consequential communicator, and lessons learned after every submission will stay with you.
  3. Your Image entry can double as your Accredited in Public Relations (APR) readiness panel project. Elements the APR panel will need to see – research/situational analysis, planning, implementation, evaluation and budget – are the same elements the Image judges will critique. That two-page summary and support PDF will live in perpetuity.  

You’ll look back in wonder: How in the world did I do this? And you’ll exclaim: It sure was a lot of work! But then you’ll exhale, and a relaxed smile will appear on your face. Brave is the person who shares their work to be judged by others. No matter the outcome, you’ll be glad you got into the Image arena – because even if you don’t win, you won.

With kindness,
Heather Danenhower, APR, CPRC

P.S., I logged a grueling 46.5 hours on my Image entry, and the perfect analogy came to me in the wee hours. Entering the Image competition is a lot like childbirth. You forget how painful it is, because if you remembered, you’d never do it again!