Sanelma Helkearo 11/13/23 1:52 PM

Wow! Finland is full of awesome communication!

This was the thought the dominant thought I had when I finished evaluating my share of the Finnish Comms Awards 2023 entries at the end of October. This year, the competition received 104 applications, of which 53 made it to the final. Already in the qualification phase, it was difficult to distinguish between the good, the better and the best, and the final evaluation on judging day was just as challenging.

It was my first time as a judge, but experts in the field tell me that it has been the same for a long time: the quality of entries at the Finnish Comms Awards is high and it seems to improve every year. There is a lot of impactful communication in Finland, and people are getting better at telling others about it, too. Many Finnish agencies, including Netprofile, have also gained international success.

But why arrange or participate in competitions? Isn't it enough to know yourself, that your work has been good and impactful? Why compare communications projects with each other or even attempt to rank them?

It's important to be praised for your work – recognition builds the reputation of the entire communications business, and it boosts the self-esteem of both us professionals, and our clients.

Netprofile has long been actively involved in the development of both domestic and international communications competitions. We have been involved in planning competition categories and their evaluation criteria, and each year we also share our experience and expertise as judges. We invest in competitions for a number of reasons.

First of all, competitions are part of brand building for the entire comms business. It can often be forgotten how important a role communication plays in the success of an organization. There is external and internal communication, customer and stakeholder communication as well as change and crisis communication.

When communication works well, it often goes unnoticed, but criticism arises immediately when communication fails. As communication professionals, we want to emphasize that effective communication is the result of hard work and requires genuine expertise. All competition entries are excellent examples of skilled and impactful communication.

Secondly, as individuals, it is important for us that our work becomes visible. Amidst the daily hustle and bustle, we seldom have the opportunity to pause and analyze what it is that we are actually doing. And even if the thought crosses our mind, we don’t have the time to articulate our actions. Instead, we forge ahead into the next project as soon as the last one is finished.

When writing competition entries, we need to reflect on the work we are doing. We articulate what we have accomplished, why and with what results. It is often at this point that I myself have truly realized how impressive and valuable our work has been.

The third, and by no means least important, motivator is that the application is drawn up together with the client. During the process, the client also reflects on the importance of communication and the positive results it brings. At best, reading the competition entry provides valuable insights for the client on how their communication strategy works and how it could be developed in the future. The entries and potential success are a clear reminder of the value of the work that has been done, and it is nice – sometimes even necessary – to share this with others within the organization.

Cliché or not, the real reward is a working partnership and a satisfied customer

Over the years, Netprofile has performed very well in various competitions. A long list of honorable mentions and accolades is proof of this. This autumn we are again a finalist in both the Finnish Comms Awards and the international ICCO Global Awards. In the former, we have four entries, and in the latter, two. Over the next few weeks, we're looking forward to seeing how we fare among the other top players in the industry

But while it feels good to make it to the finals and win prizes, the real reward is the warm and effective collaboration with clients and colleagues. Writing a competition entry brings visibility to successful teamwork, but the best part are the shared insights and laughs. With those, it is easy to make it through many more busy weeks, even without a golden trophy.

Explore our customer stories, and if you are not already part of this prestigious group, feel free to get in touch. Let’s find out what we can achieve together in the field of communications and marketing!