We’re halfway through the award season and we’ve been busy writing entries for our clients (and ourselves). We talk to lots of companies who would like to enter awards but don’t know where to get started. Here’s our response to the top three questions we get asked:
What are the benefits?
Awards are a great way to shout about your strengths and achievements; they look great on social media and in marketing materials, bids and proposals. They allow you to recognise successes in your business and team, and are a great boost for staff morale. Also, just being shortlisted is fantastic (you’ll usually receive a ‘finalist’ logo to use), you get to attend the award ceremony which is a great reward for your team, and excellent opportunity for networking.
Win or lose, feedback from your entry will be invaluable in identifying business strengths and improvement areas.
Do I have a chance of winning?
You have to be ‘in it to win it’ but there are ways to increase your success:
- Be selective with the awards you enter, there’s hundreds out there – choose the best match for your business.
- Make sure you fully meet the entry criteria and check you can answer all the questions fully.
- Writing the entry will require focus and dedication, so check you have the time and resources available. Remember it’s a competition, and you’ll need to give it 100%.
Most importantly, find your ‘win theme’ – what will put you above all others? You might need to brainstorm with your team or ask your customers. You’ll need to identify what raises you above others and will make your entry special. If you can’t think of a reason, it’s probably not the award for you.
What should I include in my entry?
Capture the finer details that will support your entry, the more detail, the better. Judges will be looking for entries that are supported with evidence, so avoid sweeping generic statements or unsubstantiated claims, ‘our customers were happier’, and include actual benefits, ‘customer satisfaction increased by 10% in 3 months’. If you’re allowed, provide supporting documents to enhance your entry. Photographs, images, charts, and illustrations are eye catching and make you stand out.
Judges have a lot of entries to review, and often little time to do it in. Make it easier for the judges to allocate marks by structuring your entry so it is easy to read and to find the information required. Always ask someone to proofread the final draft for spelling, punctuation and grammar.
Where can I find awards to enter?
There are hundreds of regional and national awards for almost every sector, location, service, and type of business You can easily use a search engine to find awards in your area or sector. Most local Chamber of Commerce, or Councils hold awards for businesses in that area.