How to write an award winning submission
When it comes to Business awards, winning a prestigious award can without doubt increase credibility, build profile and boost team morale. But writing a compelling submission takes time and careful consideration. So, is it worth investing the time to do it properly? Absolutely!
Before we get into the nitty gritty, and to convince you further here’s a few reasons why you should enter awards:
- PR Opportunities are plentiful. With the awards process running across several weeks you could have a constant source of traffic to your website and social media channels. Winning a business award can open new doors.
- Credibility is increased when you win, helping position you as an expert in your field, with the third-party endorsement of the judges. It will set you apart from your competitors.
- Differentiation. Awards can help you stand out from the crowd, especially if you do your research and choose an award closely aligned to your business and its core values.
- Staff Morale can get a definite boost when you win an award. Make sure you acknowledge their contribution to the business and ensure you celebrate the success with them.
- Networking opportunities could become available that you wouldn’t have been exposed to before. Awards are often judged by successful business owners and being shortlisted can give you the opportunity to discuss your business with leaders in the industry, and network at the same time.
Ok, so now we know why you should enter, but how? What do you actually need to do to ensure your submission gets looked at for all of the right reasons. Where do you start?
- Focus on awards that relate to your strength, matter to your clients and have some clout in your industry. Don’t just enter any old award for the sake of it.
- Research the awards. Who won last year? Can you talk to the judges? Make sure you have as much insight as possible.
- Timing is everything. Make sure you have enough time to complete the entry to the best of your ability, and don’t miss the deadline!
- Criteria, do you meet it? Be honest with yourself and scrutinise the criteria. Do you genuinely meet it?
- Application requirements must be met, for example, how is the entry to be submitted? Online? Email? Is there a word count? Make sure you comply with what you are being asked for.
Right, you’ve done your research, you’ve made the time and you are certain you meet the requirements. What now?
- The first paragraph has to say everything. What is it that the judges need to know? Why was the project/person amazing? Don’t use jargon as they may not speak your language. Remember the judges could have a high number of submissions to read. Less is more, get to point.
- Answer the questions and stay on track. What is the question actually asking you? Read them carefully. Not answering the questions could get your entry disqualified.
- Substantiate your claims with evidence. Facts, figures and comparisons against industry standards can also help. Tell a compelling story, but beware, pages of irrelevant info can be a definite turn off.
- Showcase your business. Tell the judges how great it is. Your answers need to explain why you deserve to win. A sure fire way of making an entry shine is to focus on why the work was different, innovative, an industry first? And remember, a quirky and creative campaign may appear impressive, but if it didn’t deliver tangible results it’s unlikely to strike a chord with the judges.
- Tell the truth! Never lie in an award submission. The judges will find out and it can cause considerable damage to your reputation. It’s just not worth it.
- Proof read, check your spelling and grammar. Mistakes will not leave a good impression.
- Don’t type directly onto the submission form. You could lose your work. Copy and paste into a new document, complete and save it there. Copy and paste it back onto the submission form when you’re sure you are done.
Have you been shortlisted? Did you win? Make sure you let everyone know. This is a huge PR opportunity, and a great way to ensure clients and other brand followers feel included. Your win is their win, let them know you couldn’t have done this without them.
Now what? Now you’ve won it’s not the end, rather, just the beginning. Use the excitement of your staff, clients and contacts to help in pursuit of the next milestone you want to achieve.
Didn’t win? Ok. Use this experience. What can you do better next time?