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7 top tips for writing winning award entries

By March 13, 2015 No Comments

How to win at industry awardsWriting winning award entries can be a time consuming challenge that most companies just don’t have the manpower for. Yet winning an industry recognised award can reap big rewards in terms of positive PR and new business opportunities (not mention staff morale) 

It’s a really worthwhile activity to add into your annual marketing plans. So put pen to paper and get started with our 7 top tips:

  1. Work out which awards are right for you and the deadlines
    It’s a good idea to spend a day or so creating an awards calendar so you have a yearly view of what’s coming up. This will also stand you in good stead for years to come as awards are usually annual so your calendar will be relevant way into the future. Once created it’s worth a quick review every now and again to see if any awards are no longer running or if new awards have become available. Check the deadlines too and allow a good month to get your info together and your award written.
  2. Check the categories and criteria
    Sound like an award might be for you? Great! We do recommend you check the categories, criteria and the questions thoroughly however before making a start. If there’s an area you don’t feel you can complete or compete well in, it might be worth thinking again. Entering awards is highly competitive these days and you’ll need to make sure you meet every criteria before starting your entry. Clever copywriting or lateral thinking can help – it’s all about positioning.
  3. Consider your target audience, the judges
    Once you’re ready to make a start it’s really important to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience, the judging panel. Remember they may know nothing about your organisation or the campaign / activity you are writing about. Write clearly and concisely (taking into account any word count limits). Don’t write too creatively, it’s not a creative writing award. The judges just want to find out about what you did, why and how, and the outcomes. Make it easy and attractive to read and clearly laid out, and you’re halfway there.
  4. Follow the signposts
    It sounds like a simple tip yet it’s often forgotten. Read the questions carefully and don’t get carried away with what you think you need to be writing about. The questions have been written as clear signposts. Often after each question there may be additional pointers so read each of these carefully and address them in your copy. This information is there to help and guide you so use it! Also refer back to the judges’ criteria found at the beginning of many award entries to make sure you have met their requirements.
  5. Create conclusions
    If you’ve been asked about objectives demonstrate how you have met them. If you’ve written about challenges, explain how you’ve overcome them. Create a story with no stone left unturned. Don’t leave the judges thinking ‘what about x?’ or ‘how did that turn out?’
  6. Call in the award squad
    If you’re writing your own award entries good on you! We say allow at least three full working days to write one entry (not to mention the prep: research, internal and client interviews, number crunching etc.) so you’ll need to make sure you have the resource available. Alternatively it might be an idea to speak to an award writing agency who can take the task off your hands for a really reasonable cost. Your award entries will wing their way over to you in no time at all and arrive tailored, tweaked and honed to surpass the judges’ expectations – and score you a trophy – plus all the recognition that goes with it.
  7. Get your outfit and your winning smile ready
    This is the good bit. Get your dress or tux ready, be prepared for a grand night out with your colleagues (plus a few celeb appearances, bubbles, fairground rides, and some razzmatazz) and get your winning smile fixed for when you climb the stairs to the stage to collect your trophy. Final tip: get tipsy after climbing those stairs!

If you would like to enter into industry awards this year and need help with your award entry copywriting please contact the Junction team. We’ve a host of award entry wins under our belts and can work on all of the above for you, leaving you to get on with your day job.

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