By Hannah Buckley, Head of Content
The awards calendar forms part of many a PR & marketing plan, regardless of the industry you’re in. Taking home an award (even in some instances being shortlisted among high profile brands) is a great way to showcase your talent and expertise in your industry, demonstrate credibility and strengthen your reputation in the market.
What do you need to consider when writing a winning award entry?
The criteria for different awards is obviously… well, different. But there are 5 key areas you should always consider. I’ve sketched them out below:
#1 Always read the rules and entry requirements
It sounds quite obvious but a lot of valuable information can be missed if you skip over this stage and go straight to drafting. It’s kind of like ignoring the instructions on an IKEA bookshelf – you know what it’s supposed to look like at the end but could be missing out on the finer points of fitting that wood screw or using a wall stud.
Word count, specific questions that need answering, facts that need to be included, and of course the deadline – are all vital to writing a winning award entry.
#2 Ensure you’ve got the relevant content
This follows naturally from understanding the requirements. You’ve got a lot to say, many highlights and great achievements, but which category is the best fit? Do you have all the information that’s required? Do you need to chat with sales about a deal they secured? Do you need information from HR about company culture? Get all your content together, have another look at your requirements and then identify any gaps.
#3 Show results
It’s one thing to talk about your successes; it’s another to use tangible facts and figures to show that. Judges love seeing measurable results that will give your entry context. Remember that the judges won’t necessarily be as familiar with your industry as you are, so showing a clear picture of your success will help you stand out.
Don’t be afraid to add customer testimonials or any stats around customer satisfaction – this will also help build the bigger picture.
#4 Make it visual
Words are powerful. But having strong images to support them is even better. Whether that’s showing your latest product in action (if it’s a product category) or having a creatively designed infographic to show your company stats, great images always elevate your entry and make it more appealing to the judges.
#5 Make sure it’s professionally written
Here at Whiteoaks, this is what we do, so of course we’ve got a vested interest in this step! But in a nutshell, never hand this off to a junior, do it at the last minute, or use the exact same copy as last year. A winning award entry tells a clear and engaging story, using concise language. It needs to balance those elements with answering the requirements AND within a specific word count. Leaving this in the hands of professionals also means it will be accurate, properly proofed, and reflect the style and tone of your organisational messaging.
At Whiteoaks, in the last year alone, our Content Team has drafted 10 winning award entries for our clients. Get in touch if you’re keen to chat about how we can help you draft your next winning entry.