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18th October 2018

How to enter the Irish Dentistry Awards

Awards – what’s in it for my practice? Chris Baker explains what to do before, during and after entering he Irish Dentistry Awards

Around this time of the year, many practices in Ireland will look to entering the Irish Dentistry Awards.

There has been some discussion in the past about professionals putting themselves forward for such awards and being compared to their peers. From a marketing and business perspective, awards are fantastic. People like winners. That’s basically why any kind of award is of value to your business.

Existing patients love the fact that their dentist is being recognised, as it vindicates their choice of you. New patients want to go to a practice that wins awards or is shortlisted.

Awards also give you the chance to look at your practice as an outsider would and see how it is doing. This knowledge can allow you to reappraise what you are doing and make any changes necessary to get to where you would like to be.

So, if you are now convinced of the need to enter, here’s what you should bear in mind.

1. There are a lot of categories! Which category should I enter?

Can you team compete with some of the biggest and best out there? Does your practice invest in high-tech with the capacity to train its employees? If so, Best High Technology Practice or Best Team are categories you should be thinking about, but don’t be afraid to look at your practice and say, ‘No, we won’t be in the running for that this year, but if we make changes, we can enter it next year.’ In this way, awards are useful for business development, too.

2. I have never written an award entry. Any tips?

You could get an external agency to do this for you. However, if you would like to keep this in-house, then remember:

  • Answer the question – make sure that you provide all the material that the category asks for
  • Pictures – they may not be worth a thousand words, but they can convey more about a practice or team member than text can. They also help break up overly wordy entries
  • Evidence – this is where so many well written entries come unstuck. You can never have too much of this. For example, if you were entering Best Patient Care, I would expect to see a number of patient video testimonials and five to 10 written patient testimonials, if not more
  • Beyond the call of duty – this covers a wide area but sums up that ‘extra mile’ that exceptional practices will have
  • Community – a dental practice is not just a business in isolation. It is part of a wider community. What part do you play in your local community?

3. We’ve been shortlisted – what should we do now?

Tell as many people as possible! Let patients know when they visit the practice. Feature it in your practice newsletter if you have one and let all your followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter know.

Online, do not be afraid to tell people several times – it is by its very nature somewhat transitory, so tell people more than once. Email your patient database and tell them how delighted and honoured you are. Write to your patients by post, let them know when they come into the practice! Frame the letter congratulating you as a finalist in your reception area. Make people pay attention.

4. We won! What should we do now?

Repeat above! I kid you not, the beauty of awards is that by their definition they have a shortlist and a winners’ list. This means that if you win, you get two bites of the cherry. Not only can you tell everyone that you were shortlisted, now you can tell them all again that you won.

5. Spread the news!

Contact your local press – newspaper, magazines, radio and television – make it easy for them and have a press release drafted with the important ‘who, what, where, when, how and why’ questions answered. There’s no harm in sharing your success and offering advice to future entrants. You’ve worked hard, now it’s time to spread the word.

We’ve an awards website (www.irishdentistryawards.com) dedicated to providing you with hints, tips and interviews in the run-up to the ceremony. It also features all the category guidelines you need to help write a top-notch, award-winning entry.

2018 categories:

Practice of the Year 2017

Best New Practice

Most Attractive Practice

Most Improved Practice

Best Team

Most Invaluable Team Member

Best Employer

Best Patient Care

Best Treatment of Nervous Patients

Best Child-Friendly Practice

Best Referral Practice

Best Community/Charity Project

Best High Technology Practice

Irish Dentistry’s Rising Star Award

Tips and tricks

  • Make sure to include clinical evidence for most categories – how can the judges judge Best Patient Care with no cases?
  • Pictures are vital to your entry. They show off team spirit, prove that your practice is accessible and attractive to patients, and help break up wordy entries.
  •  It’s not too late to enter! The deadline for the 2019 Irish Dentistry Awards is 10 December 2018. To enter, visit www.irishdentistryawards.com and check out this year’s guidelines.
  • Answer the questions! Each category has a list of guidelines that you must include in your entry. This could be the difference between you or another practice winning.
  • Do you go beyond the call of duty? It’s not just what you do within practice hours, it’s what you do for your patients and the wider community.

 

 Chris Baker

Chris runs Corona Design & Communication, a specialist dental marketing company. For more information, call +44 (0) 7947 470896, email chris.baker@coronadental.ie or visit
www.coronadental.ie.

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