Blanket Coverage: How a Sleep Product Entrepreneur Became a hit with the Media
4 Oct 2011
Attention from the media is something one can expect on being selected as a Ruban d’Honneur in the European Business Awards, but attracting international recognition, sending Google into a frenzy and receiving letters from Ministers is something else.
When Berna Ilter, owner of BRN Sleep Products – Turkey’s leading mattress manufacturer - received a Ruban D’Honneur for the RSM Entrepreneur of the Year Award in this year's competition, she did not expect such overwhelming attention from the media and her stakeholders.
“There was a huge media interest after the announcement. The Google hit on the day of the announcement was around 170,000,” says Berna who is still in shock from all the interest she has been creating with her award win. “TRT, NTV (National Turkish Television and radio) as well as CNBC all came to interview me”.
The news of her prestigious award came as something as a surprise to Berna. When she hurried to complete the EBA entry form, she scarcely gave it a second thought as she had recently learned of her mother’s illness. The judging panel however did not forget Berna and she was announced as a Ruban d’Honneur recipient in July.
Berna told us that she really feels the pressure mounting now. The whole of Turkey is watching, and has high hopes for her in the rest of the competition. “I need to do very well in the presentation to the judges as there are national expectations. Everybody thinks this will encourage more women in Turkey to become entrepreneurs and to get into business. Even the President of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Turkey says I must come back as a winner from Barcelona!”
As well as generating hundreds of articles in the local, national and international press, Berna also caught the attention of Turkish politicians such as the Minister for EU Affairs Egemen Bagis who personally wrote to Berna to congratulate her of her success.
The European Business Awards journey has been a great experience so far for Berna. She is very proud of her achievements, having started from scratch a few years ago without any trade experience or capital and with only the dream and belief of one day to be a global company.
BRN Sleep Products is exporting 100% of production overseas and Berna has already scooped many prices that include an award for Women Entrepreneurs Contest by Economist Magazine in 2007 in Turkey and was voted Businesswoman of the Year and Young Exporter of the Year between 2006 and 2011.
Berna will discover if she has succeeded further when she attends the EBAs final awards ceremony in Barcelona, along with the rest of the successful businesses who have been chosen as overall category winners at the highest level in the European Business Awards.
The media attention generated by Berna’s success has highlighted the media coverage businesswomen tend attract when their successes are put in the spotlight. Women in business will feel encouraged to put themselves forward for recognition in the EBAs while this trend continues.