And the winner is… you! Top tips for writing an award entry
Red Marlin is no stranger to researching, writing, managing and submitting winning award entries on behalf of our clients.
However, while many awards have been postponed or cancelled due to current circumstances, there will come a time when once again they play an important role in recognising and celebrating the successes of organisations and individuals (plus provide a fantastic public relations opportunity should you win or be shortlisted).
Helpful as ever, we’re happy to divulge a few award entry tips should you decide to enter yourself. Of course, if you want to leave it to the experts then we’d be delighted to hear from you.
Among the main reasons for entering an award are raising your brand awareness, boosting staff morale, generating PR opportunities, having a third-party endorsement and providing speaker and networking opportunities. It could even attract new talent or funding for your business.
In it to win it
So, you’ve decided to enter an award. However, before you start writing anything, you need to select which category to enter.
While it might be tempting to pick something you are familiar with, will that actually give you the best chance of winning?
Also, just as we were always taught at school before an exam, ‘read the question’. Likewise, before compiling your entry, take the time to fully understand the judging criteria and any questions. If you are unsure of anything, then check with the award organiser.
Don’t delay, do it today
Planning ahead is crucial in submitting a successful award entry as it can often take longer than you think to gather information, research case studies and source third-party approvals, etc, so do not leave it to the last minute.
The good news is that many awards are publicised months, possibly a year, in advance, so you’ve plenty of time to pull together and finalise your entry.
If you are thinking of entering an award regarding international trade, fastest growing company, or anything similar which involves sales or business growth, then be prepared to have financials ready and for them to be shared with the judges.
Each different award will have its own set of criteria and different forms and sections to fill in.
Avoid waffle and pack it full of as many details and specific, relatable information as possible.
Most will have a word count, but don’t treat it as a target. Short and sweet is normally the order of the day because the judges may have countless entries to consider. If your entry is easy to read and straight to the point, then it makes it easier for the judges and the better your chances!
Also avoid falling in to the situation of giving yourself a slap on the back. That’s for the judges to decide, not you!
An award entry can seem like a daunting prospect, so keep focused and don’t attempt to do it in one go. If it’s possible, break it up in to bite-size chunks which can be compiled later into a flowing script.
After all, if you find that you are getting confused by what you write then just think what the judges will make of it.
If it helps, ask your colleagues for their input or feedback. Don’t take any criticism personally but use it constructively. You’ll thank them when you’re walking up the red carpet.
When you’ve finished your award entry then simply put it aside for a while.
Looking at it again with a fresh pair of eyes could pay dividends. It’s also a good opportunity to ask a colleague or someone else you trust to also proof read it as sometimes when reading it back yourself you can’t see the wood for the trees!
Finally, it’s ready to go. With all your planning, research and a well-written entry, you stand every chance of winning.