How to craft a winning award entry

Being award-winning is brilliant for business. Securing a strong endorsement from industry peers can be great for team morale and future business growth.

It’s no wonder being shortlisted is a part of so many marketing strategies. But winning an industry award takes more than having a stellar project. You need to tell your story and present it with impact to maximise your chances of success.

Condensing often complex achievements into a concise word count and ensuring your work stands out in crowded and competitive markets can be a daunting challenge. That’s where professional communications can come in, to understand your project and distil it into an entry that resonates with the judging panel.

Here are our six top tips to help get you started.

#1 Choose wisely

The first step to being successful at an award is to choose the right awards for your business. Think about what potentially winning would really do for you or your company. Your awards list should strategically align with your company goals and get you in front of the right audiences.

Don’t just enter for the sake of it and watch out for those award organisers who contact you with exciting news of being shortlisted even though you haven’t entered.

You need to be honest about whether your company or project is truly award-winning. A strong award entry will get you noticed. But the substance of what you are entering matters too.

#2 Tell a story

A compelling award entry is about more than just the facts. Tell the story about your company, project or product.

Explain the ethos and motivation behind your work or what brought you to where you are now. You need your entry to capture the judge’s attention and remain in their minds.

And remember to link this back to what the judges are looking for. Whether it’s innovation or inclusion, offer examples that highlight your success.

#3 What is your USP?

Given the very nature of awards, you will be up against some similar projects or companies. You need to identify what makes you different and what makes you stand out.

Can you present something fresh, different or out of the ordinary? Are you the biggest, the best or the first?

Highlighting these qualities will help your entry to stand out from the pack.

#4 Back it up with facts

If you claim to be the biggest, best or first, you need to back that up with facts and statistics. The numbers don’t lie and prove your work.

Financial figures, growth statistics and company data are all demonstrative of what you do. If you’re about growth or addressing a challenge, the numbers will back up your argument.  

Show, don’t tell.

#5 Seek out testimonials

Asking your customers or clients for an endorsement brings an additional and very powerful dimension to your entry.

Having a strong quote or video clip from a client or end user gives that golden third-party endorsement of your work and adds credibility to your entry.

If you’ve done great work together and have a strong relationship with them, most clients will be very happy to help you showcase your (and their) efforts.

#6 Stick to the rules!

It sounds obvious, but make sure you follow the entry guidelines so your submission doesn’t hit any blockers along the way. Know the word limits, preferred formats, and entry process. If you are submitting a document instead of an online form, ensure that it is formatted in a way that is easy to read.

And think about your supporting materials too. Submit items that add weight and impact to your work.

Don't just take our word for it...

We’re pleased to help clients write impactful entries that capture judges’ attention and help to fill up that trophy cabinet.

This year, we’ve been pleased to support our client Reef Group with their entry for Whitefriars into South West Business Insider’s Residential Property Awards. The scheme, part of the £200m regeneration of Gloucester city centre, became ‘Small Residential Development of the Year’ in April.

Our client Nine Feet Tall was recently shortlisted for ‘Future-ready Leadership’ at the prestigious Change Awards this year too. Congratulations to them both!

Some more entries will make their way to judges’ desks from us and our clients throughout the year. Keep your fingers crossed!

If you would like help crafting a compelling award submission, get in touch with our team. We look forward to hearing from you.

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