It’s heading to the time of year when I look at the projects completed in the last year and see if there is anything that we think is outstanding enough to win an award.

We all love a bit of recognition, especially by our industry peers, so winning awards is probably the best feeling of all.  We know we do good work, our clients tell us so, but it’s still fantastic to think that our work stands out against others in the industry.

A winning award entry?  Well, some of it is common sense and harks back to your school days and writing examination essays:

  1. Have one person that collates all the information and writes the first draft of the submission text.  The content or message can change at a later stage but, in this one instance, one set of eyes is better than more!
  2. Lay it out neatly - lots of white space – underline your headings - that kind of thing. Remember the awards judge will have many, many entries to read so anything you can do (within reason) to make your read interesting and to standout is a good thing.
  3. Read the question and read it again.  This is simple but often you have information to get onto the submission and you’re concentrating on getting the information down rather than getting it in the correct section.  Fortunately a lot of awards companies indicate what they need within each section so you just need to work through what’s required and then string it all together.
  4. Don’t gush.  Adjectives and adverbs are great but don’t go overboard.  If you can get testimonials from your clients that include gushy things then all the better.
  5. Beware the word count. My top tip would be to write it out as you would like it to read and then count the words and see how it fits -  too long or too short and amend accordingly.
  6. Use professional photographs if you can.  A picture paints a thousand words and they can really supplement your submission. 
  7. Use your creative team.  There is routinely a section for additional information where you can add images or video. Use a different format to the award entry. Try and make this as enjoyable and interesting as you can. 
  8. Proof read.  This is something I love doing.  Something my kids hate when I take a look through their homework, but it is vital that your text is correct before you submit it.  Ensure more than one person proof reads it too, someone that has not been part of the project who can look at the content and grammar subjectively.
  9. If applying on behalf of a client, always ensure they give final approval to the submission and leave time in the process to ensure they have time to read it thoroughly.
  10. Finally, don’t miss the deadline!  Most awards have an early bird submission date at a cheaper price so why not make the most of it?

So, I hope this helps and you too can earn some well-earned industry recognition.

Happy writing!