Marketing Matters

Blog archive

5 Creative Ways To Make the Most of Your Microsoft Partner Award

Congratulations! You have earned recognition from Microsoft for your contribution to sales or service excellence. Receiving the award at the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in front of your peers is exhilarating and gratifying. Well done.

Once you have written the press release, posted a LinkedIn announcement and added a line to your e-mail signature, what's next? Here are a few more ideas to help you get the most value from the hard work that won you the recognition.

1. Host an Award Party
The majority of the people on your team aren't able to attend WPC to experience the excitement of the event and winning the award. You can build the same enthusiasm in the office with an award party of your own. Celebrate the contribution that your team made to earning the recognition. Hold an award ceremony to call out and appreciate special contributors.

2. Write About the Meaning, Not Just the Award
While it's great to announce the win on LinkedIn and Twitter, those posts move down the page and are forgotten quickly. There are reasons that you won the award. Microsoft recognized that you are doing something differently -- better -- than other partners. There is a story there.

Writing the story behind the award is far more interesting to people than a self-serving announcement. Write about the people on your team who worked long hours to solve a customer problem or the sales person who made one more call to get a meeting with a prospect. Explain the relationship with Microsoft that makes the partnership valuable to you and your customers.

Once you have the story written, there are a number of ways that you can use it, including:

  • A blog post, or better yet, break it into a series focusing on one aspect of the story in each post.
  • An article for your customer and prospect newsletters.
  • A "success story" presented through a three- to four-page PowerPoint, turned into a PDF and posted to your Web site.
  • Post on your Web site's "About Us" page to explain the meaning behind the listed awards.

Keep in mind that the audience you most want to impress are prospects and existing customers. Visitors to your Web site are looking for reasons to do business with you. The award story provides third-party validation that you excel at what you do.

3. Share the Process
Your leadership team may be the only ones who understand the process of earning recognition from Microsoft. Explain it to the rest of the team.

An internal presentation to your entire team to explain the relationships with customers, and Microsoft that led to earning the award may spark new ideas. Even the programmer in the deepest depths of the back office may be able to contribute to more honors if she understands what is important to your partners.

4. Local or Industry Press
Sending out a press release about the award through the regular distribution channels may miss your most important audiences. The local paper, chamber of commerce and professional organizations serving your industry are where your prospects get their news. They are the ones you want to tell.

The best way to get the attention of the reporters and the leaders serving your target markets is to send them a personal note. Explain the importance of the award and the reasons that you won. Offer to speak at the next meeting about the value of business partnerships.  

Microsoft Contacts
Don't assume that your Microsoft contacts are aware you won the award. Send out a separate announcement to your Microsoft contacts, crediting those who helped you succeed (they like recognition too). Invite them to your award party and celebrate their contributions.

How are you making the most of your latest award? Add a comment below or send me an e-mail and let's share the knowledge.

See Also:

Posted by Barb Levisay on July 19, 2012