AWARD ENTRIES - IS IT SOMETHING I SAID?
Working in-house for the companies I have previously worked for – you could argue that award wins would come to them without all that much effort and during my time working in PR, I’ve managed to achieve accolades of ‘Employer of the Year’ at the National Business Awards, the ‘Made in Britain’ Award at The Growing Business Awards, the ‘Queen’s Award for Enterprise’ in the International Trade category and ‘National Champion’ at the European Business Awards to name a few.
With that said, I do firmly believe that there is a definite art to crafting a successful award submission.
Be in it to win it.
Awards are a great way to raise your profile and showcase your business strategy – whether that be regarding your CSR initiatives, your commitment to giving something back to the community, acknowledging your team’s efforts.
Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to both consider and develop your entry – I find a mind map really helpful to ensure that you think laterally.
In the case of the European Business Awards, 32,000 businesses applied – that is a lot of entries for the judging panel to read through. Focus on what the judges are actually asking for in the category criteria. Don’t just fill your submission with the contents of existing sales and marketing materials – read their question and answer it with succinct points – it’s your business that is entering the awards…not your syntax densely populated with four syllable synonyms. See. It’s much harder to read!
Think about your audience
Consider who will be reading your entry and do your research on them! The judging panel is usually made up of a cross section of tertiary, education and industry experts. Imagine you are one of the judges and ask yourself what you would want to read from a winning entry.
Use real figures which you can substantiate so they can provide an accurate representation of your achievements. Demonstrate how you have achieved clear benefits to your business; employees; customers and the general public. Statistical evidence is, in my opinion, your best friend and is one of the most important factors in all successful awards submissions. For instance – it’s not enough to say that Steelite International expanded with a 22,000 sq ft production facility in 2014. What does this mean for the business? Have we recruited as a result? Have we upskilled our existing people and therefore influenced a city where aspiration to learn and develop has historically been very low? (Yes, as a matter of fact, we have…)
If at first…
Learn from the experience. If you don’t win at the first attempt, learn from the process and try again next time. Was it the type of award you applied for? Was it the entry itself?
Blow your own trumpet!
‘We believe we’ve made a real difference’ is not as compelling as ‘we have made a real difference by…’ Award entries are no time to be modest.
So think carefully about which award to enter – look at previous entries and winners – tell your story clearly and concisely, get someone objective to read your entry and then cross your fingers and wait until you’re shortlisted!
And if you need any help with any or all of the above, get in touch and we will be happy to help you tell your story.