Wining a professional / industry award is good marketing – it is great for PR, for raising awareness and for reinforcing prospective client confidence in you / your business. Sometimes it is not possible to self-nominate for an award but the majority allow businesses to nominate themselves. Getting shortlisted is all about submitting a compelling entry, here are 10 top tips to help you:
1. Read the award entry criteria carefully
Look at the specified criteria, highlight the key points and think how you can respond to each point. Ideally your submission should address all the criteria.
2. Include sub-headings
Make your submission clearer to read by splitting the content out and separating it with sub-headings. This will make it easier for the judges to pick out the key points of your submission.
3. Keep it concise / factual
Do not waffle, respond to each of the criteria concisely. You do not want to bore the judges before they have even got to the meat of your submission!
4. Give facts and figures
Qualify your statements with hard facts rather than making woolly statements. Hard facts add weight.
5. Follow the instructions
Make sure you follow the instructions to the letter. If there is a specified maximum word count do not exceed it by even one word. Your entry could be excluded simply because you have failed to follow the instructions.
6. Be honest
Don’t make things up to make your submission sound more impressive! The judges will expect some embellishment but anything which can’t be proven should not be included.
7. Include supporting information
Client case studies, press reports, client testimonials etc are all powerful additions to an award submission. If the rules allow include them as supporting documents so that you can keep the main submission concise.
8. Ask someone else to review it
Give your completed submission to someone else to read and comment on. Make sure you provide them with the criteria so they know what you are being assessed against.
9. Put it aside
Once you have completed your entry leave it for a day or two and then come back to it. Often when you re-read what you have written with fresh eyes you can improve upon it
10. Seek feedback
If despite your best efforts you fail to get shortlisted see if you can get any feedback on why your submission failed to impress. Read the shortlisted entries and identify why they had the edge over yours. Keep this in mind for subsequent entries.
Putting in an award entry can be a time consuming and laborious exercise but if you are successful and win the rewards will be well worth the investment.
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