Entering awards is a great opportunity to generate positive PR about your business and also provides you with the opportunity to network with other businesses.
To make sure you reach the final shortlist, here are some top tips to ensure your entry stands out to the judges!
Many awards can have 10, 15 or even 20 categories to choose from so you want to make sure you are picking the right one for your story. Small Business of the Year and New Business of the Year tend to be the most popular categories in our business awards so make sure you also consider entering more industry or project specific categories such as Innovation of the Year, Green Business or Entrepreneur of the Year.
There will be terms and conditions for any awards entry process to ensure fairness amongst entries. Ensure you make a note of the deadline, any restrictions on eligibility or number of categories a business can enter, plus details of the shortlisting process and awards ceremony.
Use the criteria of the category to structure your entry. Pick out key words - these will tell you what the judges want to hear from you so make sure you don't miss anything out! Ensure each submission relates to the specific criteria if you are entering more than 1. Avoid repeating a submission across multiple categories otherwise the judges may overlook them.
It's unlikely that you will be able to write a winning entry in 30 minutes, so give yourself plenty of time to perfect your submission. Do what works best for you. Block off an entire day to tackle writing if you need to or allocate slots in your diary to write in bursts. Ensure you give yourself enough time for planning, writing and editing.
Think about what you want the judges to learn about your business when they're reading your submission. Take them through the stages of your success to bring out an emotive response.
The word count is a great indication of the amount of detail the judges are expecting to make an informed decision when deciding on the shortlist. Aim to submit at least 90% of the word count to ensure you tell the judges everything they need to know.
While many judging panels are made up of business professionals and industry experts, all types of organisations are encouraged to enter our awards and therefore could be inclined to use wording, phrases or acronyms that are not necessarily common terms. When writing your entry, think about the person reading your submission and make it as easy for them to read and understand your story.
Stats, quotes and percentages are great tools to back up the points in your story! If you can demonstrate measurable improvements or provide testimonials from customers, the judges will see this as proof of success which boosts the credibility of your claims.
Many awards give the option to upload supporting evidence which further backs up your written submission. This can be imagery, testimonials or quotes, screen grabs, charts or graphs etc. Don't use this as a place to provide further wording as it will not be marked as part of your entry but will be taken into account by the judges to support your submission. Our portal allows 1 pdf file to be uploaded which can consist of a maximum of 3 a4 pages.
The most important element when entering awards! If you miss the deadline, you miss out on the opportunity to win. We always encourage our entrants to submit in good time. This allows your business to get the most exposure before the awards as our editorial teams often like to write stories about entrants in the run up to the deadline! Don't forget you can always edit your entries right up until the closing date if you've forgotten anything.
If you need any extra help with your entry, we work with Lucinda White at Pure Awards Creative who specialises in awards entry writing and offers a number of services to help you write a top entry.