How to write a winning award entry

Choose your award-winning project

You may wish to enter awards for your whole business, but if you have a high performing and innovative project then why not win some awards for that too?

Perhaps you’ve collaborated with another business and your business has grown because of it. Winning an award for the collaboration or partnership could strengthen your relationship further and lead to new relationships.

You should be aware however; most awards criteria will usually only consider projects or initiatives that have been live for at least year so make sure you check that criteria out!

Create a winning awards strategy

Once you’ve decided on the project you want to win awards for you can begin your winning awards strategy.

At this stage, if you don’t get expert help, a quick Google of awards for your industry should give you a good starting point in your research. The Chamber Business Awards welcome entries from all business sectors so this is a great place to start.

Next, look to your competitors. Which awards have they been winning or shortlisted for? Winning awards is all about making yourself stand out in your industry as the market leader.

Creating an awards strategy is the first step to success as it makes sure you are in the right race in the first place! Planning which awards and categories to enter this year is vital for your awards journey and makes your efforts more likely to bring you those valuable wins.

Follow the criteria to the letter

Now that you’ve decided on the project, the award, and the category to enter it’s time to tackle writing your award entry.

Each category will have set criteria which you need to address. If you follow the criteria to the letter, answering each point concisely and clearly, you will be giving yourself the best chance with the judges.

Make the judges’ job as easy as possible and you’re going to score highly, but don’t forget to connect with them emotionally with your story too. By following the criteria closely your entry will be well-structured, easy to follow and will score you plenty of points.

Make your claim… then back it up

If you tell the judges that your employees are the happiest they’ve ever been, prove it!

Use reports, graphs, or images to evidence your claims preferably within the body of your entry, or in a supporting document. The format of award entries varies which will impact on how you present your evidence – but that’s no excuse to leave it out!

Check the format of award entries with the award organisers. Most online entry forms require you to submit a supporting document when you are adding media files, whereas others allow you to insert images, graphs, photos, and videos into the body of the text.

Proofread your way to perfection

So, you’ve worked through each step and you finally have your award entry written, but this is by no means the version you submit. Now you must proofread and edit your award entry.

Let your award entry (and yourself) rest before picking it up to proofread. You will be able to pick up on mistakes much easier with a clear head and a bit of distance.

Now that you’ve proofread your entry, it’s time to pass it to a colleague, friend or family member to check for clarity, errors and omissions. When you’ve worked on a piece of writing for so long you can no longer be objective about its impact because you know what you mean, but the judges might not!

It’s time to start winning awards

Email [email protected] for your free consultation.

Donna O’Toole is an experienced awards expert and national Judge who has helped national and international businesses and leaders to raise their profile through winning prestigious awards. With Donna’s help, hundreds of businesses, brands, entrepreneurs, and leaders have received recognition from awarding bodies across multiple industries, achieved outstanding results in The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise competition, and have even received honours from Her Majesty The Queen.