Winning a coveted industry award can be a huge credibility stamp for your business and is a great way of gaining some much-deserved recognition, not to mention celebrating the success of your team and even getting on the radar of potential investors.
It is for these reasons we always recommend that businesses consider an awards programme as part of their marketing strategy. But we also know how time consuming the entry process can be and that often, companies just don’t have the time or resource to dedicate to it.
Well, we’ve written lots of award entries for our clients over the years and Represent HQ is also home to judges from the Marketing Society Awards, the British Agriculture Awards and the PR Week Awards, so we decided to put together a quick list of our insider tips and tricks to help you when it comes to writing that killer award entry. Read on to find out more…
Stick to the criteria
Not sticking to the criteria is by far and away the biggest mistake people make when writing an award entry. As nice as it is to read about the history of a business or the people behind it, if it does not fit the criteria then don’t include that information! We always start by understanding and virtually memorising the criteria before brainstorming what information should be included in the entry as a result. Don’t fall into the trap of including unnecessary material!
Start with the ending
Let’s face it, most awards are results-driven. You need to show the success of a campaign, the growth of a business or the impact of a particular initiative… don’t make the judges wait to get to that information. Include it in the executive summary if the entry allows it and if not, make sure you get it in as early as you can.
Watch the wordcount
It may seem petty to include such stringent wordcounts in award entries, but imagine you are the judge and have to read through hundreds and hundreds of applications. Judges will point blank ignore any content that is more than the wordcount so make sure you don’t go over!
Speaking of rifling through hundreds and hundreds of entries, make yours stand out! This obviously won’t apply if you have to submit the entry though an online portal, but for the majority of awards you can submit a PDF document, so put some thought into how it looks and make the information as easy as possible to read and digest. The judges will remember your entry above all the other boring Word docs they are likely to receive, which immediately puts you top of the pile. Don’t underestimate the importance of visual impact and good design.
Get lots of endorsements
It is all good and well you writing about how great your business is, but it is even better if you can get other people to do it for you. Ask a happy client if they would be happy to be quoted in the entry, ask a selection of employees if they’d contribute a paragraph about why they love working at your business (if company culture is part of the criteria of course!), seek out industry experts who have something to say about you and don’t forget to ask your investors for their input too. The more other people can rave about your business, the more chance you have of winning.
Results results results
Don’t get lost in too much detail. At the end of the day, judges will be looking for evidence of success so make it easy for them to understand the impact of your campaign or your business. We always put results in bullet point format so they are easy to digest and we always make sure they link back to the all-important criteria!
We know that award entries are lengthy and time consuming, but once you have completed a couple of entries, the process becomes much quicker and more streamlined. Given the potential benefit winning that all important industry award has to your business, including exposure, credibility and the ability to boost morale, we think they are well worth the time.
Need help crafting an award-winning entry? Get in touch, we’d love to help.