Going for gold; how to write a winning award submission

by Gemma Brown

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The anticipation is building as the long-awaited awards ceremony begins. After what seems like an eternity, it’s your category. “And the winner is…” Time stops. You’ve never had your fingers so tightly crossed. Then …
After all your hard work and preparation, victory is sweet!
The benefits of a win
The fun doesn’t stop when the evening ends. It should signal the beginning of some well-earned celebration. An award win is PR gold so capitalise on your success. Research has shown that a staggering 82% of senior business people would be influenced by a relevant industry-award win when buying products and services. 76% also felt that awards a brand’s value and help to generate new business.[1]
There are some easy ways to do this:
Write a press release – get the news out far and wide in a short, sweet press release. If you can include judges’ comments about what made you stand out, even better.
Post your news on social media – your followers are likely to be existing advocates of your brand, so share your achievement with them.
Display your winners’ logo – your website, email signatures, social media pages and even stationery; put it wherever you can. Let everyone you communicate with know that you’re at the top of your game.
Winning an award is also a fantastic morale booster. Your employees will be proud to work for an award-winning company and feel validated and recognised. You might also find it easier to recruit new staff, as people want to work for the best of the best!
How to bag the gold – some crucial criteria to consider before you put pen to paper
The world of awards are exciting and a valuable marketing tool for your business. Want to throw your hat into the ring? Here’s how to put your best foot forward.
Tip 1: Consider who you are trying to impress.
Make sure you and your stakeholders know which audience you’re trying to impress. If you’re trying to attract new talent to your business, go for awards such as the Employee Benefit Awards or Best Place to Work. If you think you’re the very best in your industry, find an award that’s specifically tailored to your sector.
Tip 2:  Check the credibility of a potential award.
There’s an award for everything nowadays, from the European Call Centre and Customer Service Awards, to the more obscure British Parking Awards.
Make sure the award you choose to go for is recognised as credible within your industry. If its past winners include widely recognised brands, it’s worth going for. If not, you could be wasting time putting together a submission for an award that no one’s heard of.
Tip 3:  Find your award-winning story
Your most recent achievement or innovation might not be the one that will get you the crown. Brainstorm all your achievements from the last year and pick the project that scores highly on both innovation and impact. It may not be the one that initially sprung to mind, but it’ll certainly be the one most likely to get you the win.
Tip 4: Remember the three rules
Angle, innovation, impact. Angle, innovation, impact. Keep saying this in your head over and over when the time comes to write the entry to make sure you remember to cover them.

  1. Angle: what’s the story? Judges will read hundreds of entries, so a submission with a clear, interesting narrative will stand out.
  2. Innovation: what make the story unique? Superlatives such as the first, the only, the biggest etc. can help you get this point across.
  3. Impact: give evidence to back up your claims. Include quantitative figures, qualitative anecdotes and even graphs in your appendices. Leave the judges with no room to doubt how impressive your achievements are.

Follow these tips and your submission will have a much better chance of making the shortlist and (hopefully) the podium. But it’s important that you plan your submission and allow yourself the time to get it right. If you’re struggling, let us know. We can help write or review your submission and make sure you’re in with a strong chance.
More from Gemma, and Stratton Craig …

[1] https://www.vitispr.com/blog/pr-agency-gives-advice-about-entering-awards/

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