1) Plan ahead
Consider the awards criteria when planning your projects. Set clear objectives and ensure that your achievements meet them. From the outset, take baseline measurements so that you can evaluate the positive impact of the project and evidence this within your entry.
2) Start early
Give yourself plenty of time to prepare your entry. Find out the entry deadline and make a start on gathering the information required for your chosen category at least 4-6 weeks ahead. It’s always better to hit the deadline as this will help the organisers with their judging schedule and will cast you in a positive light.
3) Do your research
Contact the awards organisers and/or judges, where possible, and ask them what they’re looking for in an award-winning entry. If possible, take a look at last year’s winning entries and judges’ comments to see why they won an award and how you can do the same.
4) Get buy-in
It’s all about teamwork…so make sure your peers and senior managers are aware of the awards and garner their support with the entry. They can provide you with useful information and invaluable feedback to help you create the best possible entry.
5) Invest in it
Producing a successful entry is extremely time-consuming. If you don’t have the internal resource to spend time on producing the entry, or you feel you need expert guidance, there are external award entry specialists who can help you. The Awards Agency can offer you that extra pair of hands and invaluable award entry expertise to help you produce an award-winning entry.
6) Keep it simple
Focus on what the judges are actually asking for in the judging criteria. Don’t just fill your entry with the contents of existing sales and marketing materials. Always write in plain English with no unexplained acronyms or jargon. Make sure the entry is succinct, clear and easy to understand.
7) Prove it
Demonstrate how you have achieved clear benefits to the business, its employees, your customers and the general public. Always back up your claims with hard evidence, especially statistical and testimonial. Provide compelling before and after data, and quotes from third parties, wherever possible.
8) Keep checking
Be sure to check your entry thoroughly before submitting. Sloppy spelling, grammar and typos may give the judges the impression that you have not put enough effort into the entry process. Allow enough time to forward the entry to colleagues or a third party for proof-reading. You could also score your entry against the specific judging criteria.
9) Get feedback
As an employee of the company, it’s often hard to be objective when writing an award entry. So why not ask a third party to review your application and provide feedback. In addition to writing your entry from scratch, The Awards Agency offers a review and feedback service to help you with your own entries.
10) Learn from the experience
If you don’t win at the first attempt, learn from the process and try again next year. In the meantime, you can use the award entry process as a tool for assessing and benchmarking your performance. This assessment will help you identify improvements and developments that can be made across the business, with the aim of providing you with that all-important competitive advantage and thus increasing your chances of winning awards in the future.
The Awards Agency
M: 07746 112564/07760 473140