Content strategyCopywritingReputation

7 practical tips for winning award submissions

By April 9, 2019 April 10th, 2019 No Comments

Thinking of submitting an award entry for your product, service or brand? Don’t know where to start?

Winning awards offers many benefits. The opportunity to benchmark business performance against your competitors (known or otherwise). The chance to gain valuable exposure. The opportunity to make continuous improvements within your team, or organisation. And so much more.

How do you ensure you’re putting your best foot forward? We’ve prepared 7 tips to help you get on the right track.

1. Proactively engage your team.

Start by engaging ALL your team members in the awards submission process. That includes HR, sales, admin, customer service, operations and accounts. Insights from right across your business can help drive quality responses in ways you may not realise.

2. Strategically review the award criteria.

Take note of weightings and word counts, and balance out each response. There’s no point investing 80% of your time on a response that’s worth 20%. Make sure you comprehensively complete every section.

3. Carefully prepare a timetable (and be realistic).

It’s common for teams and individuals to leave award submissions until the last minute. Big mistake. Try to allow weeks, if not months, for gathering data and insights from your team. Burning the midnight oil to finalise a submission isn’t even slightly sustainable. It won’t be doing yourself, or your workmates any favours, either. Instead, give award submissions the time (and respect!) they deserve –by seeing it as an investment in your brand. It’s a real opportunity to look back upon your achievements and refine your work, for next time.

4. Sketch out your responses.

Jot down bullet points and ideas under the relevant award submission sections. It’s a powerful way to quickly see whether (or not!) you have enough ‘meat’ for each section. The art of preparing award submissions is as much about knowing what to put where, as it is about what to leave out.

5. Give serious consideration to your ‘so what’.

Organisations often spend inordinate amounts of time describing what they do well. If you find yourself doing this, stop, ask ‘so what’, and add that in. Stuck on your ‘so what’? It’s often tricky stepping out of your own head and stepping back in again. If you’re struggling, get a fresh perspective. How? By engaging an awards submission expert to extract the gold. They know the ‘how’ and ‘where’ to uncover your business’s most meaningful achievements.

6. Spend time gathering support materials.

Award submissions often involve making credible claims. You will need to locate supporting evidence, or proof points. There are many kinds. Testimonials. Sales figures. Infographics. Illustrations. Tables. If judges only have 5 minutes to review your materials present them beautifully. When you stumble upon something that could support a claim, make a mental note of where it could fit. Keep a detailed list of these materials from the very moment you start your submission.

7. Never take for granted that responses “only need to be 200 words”.

If you have a fascinating story to tell, it’s amazing how suddenly you reach the required word limit. Distilling complex concepts (and generating meaningful stories from them) requires great skill. Write, edit, polish, and repeat. Go big first. Then go small.

Unsure about how to approach your award submission? Far too busy to DIY? Leave it to our team of award submission content experts.
For decades, we’ve been helping aspiring organisations write winning award submission content.

Request an award submission quote today so we can get to work on yours.