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Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, which is certainly true in the case of writing an award-worthy entry. However, don’t let that leave you feeling daunted or overwhelmed by the thought of it. In fact, putting together an entry that will sail through to the final judging is easier than you probably think.
A bit of time, careful planning and wordsmithing is all you need to give yourself the best possible chance at standing above the rest of the competition.
Here are our seven top tips for making sure your award submission goes the distance.
If there is one thing that can be the difference between making the shortlist or going to the bottom of the pile, it’s time allocation. The entry you are submitting is an opportunity to really showcase the strength of your project, team or initiative – and by leaving it to the last minute, you’re not going to do your submission any justice.
However, finding time to sit down and pull together an entry in one hit can be both a challenge and mentally tiring. So why not break the time down into chunks?
If the deadline is in six weeks, allocate an hour a week to spend on your entry until you’re happy with your submission. You can then use the remaining time to proof it, evaluate and optimise until you’re ready to hit submit.
Each category has a clear set of criteria defined, which you should spend some time reading before you start writing. It sounds simple, but this will not only give you a starting point before you begin writing, but also ensure that you’re investing time and energy into the right award.
If you’re not sure or come a little bit stuck, reach out to the team – we’re here to help as much as we can!
A simple system that will make answering every question a straightforward process. Whatever the question, start by answering it with a statement. Back up your statement with evidence and then explain how this satisfies the question in mind.
You can’t argue with numbers! Don’t fill your entry with the contents of existing sales and marketing collateral. Instead, back up your entry with hard evidence, especially statistical information and third party testimonial.
You can add supporting materials to your entry, too – so make the most of this opportunity to showcase your submission when the word count runs out.
You need to get your point across, but don’t overcomplicate it. Instead, focus on the judging criteria and always write in plain English with no unexplained acronyms or jargon. By making sure your entry is succinct, clear and easy to understand from the offset, you’re making it easy for the judges – and, as they have a huge volume of entries to shift through, will definitely thank you for it, too.
If you can, spread your net wide and involve your colleagues - you ‘ll find that together, they can help you fill in gaps, provide invaluable feedback and add more substance to back up each answer.
However, involving your team adds more value that just completing your submission. The simple act of deciding to write an award entry can really bring a team together. From reflecting on your collective successes to highlighting where individual team members went above and beyond, you can inspire pride and a sense of achievement. During what is a period of great uncertainty, this is totally invaluable.
No matter how strong your entry is, sloppy spelling and grammar will stop it getting the admiration and recognition it deserves. Ask several people to cast an eye over it before you submit it – once you send it, there’s no going back!