Entering an award is easy. Submitting something that grabs attention and makes an impact - that’s the hard part. Winning an award can make a difference for your business: it enhances your reputation with prospects, reassures clients and motivates your team.
With four weeks left to enter the DataIQ Awards, here are some tips on how to make your entry stand out for the judges and improve your chance of winning:
1.Give yourself enough time
Doing anything well takes time and awards submissions are no different. Collecting your ideas, pulling together supporting documents, gaining approvals, writing the entries, proofing, submitting – it all runs down the clock. Judges want well-prepared, thoughtful entries and they can tell when something has been prepared in a rush.
2.Follow the instructions
It sounds obvious, but it can be easy to make a mistake. Take time to understand the process, read the entry requirements, check the submission deadlines and key timings, and how you need to pay.
Be clear, concise and avoid jargon. The judges won’t know your story as you do, so make sure your summary draws the judges in and makes them want to read the full entry. Cut down long sentences and paragraphs so your submission is easy to read and understand. Be kind to the judges!
4.Tell a story
Everyone appreciates a good story, including awards judges. Tell a story, inject personality and show passion. Use the classic framework of beginning-middle-end with a problem solution-results approach where possible. Keep it relevant and impactful. Provide supporting images and content that enhance your entry and bring it to life. Judges have many awards to go through - memorable stories and highlighted successes will stand out from the crowd.
When writing your submission, use the 4xU formula to make it impactful. It’s a tried and tested approach and it works. Make sure your submission copy is:
· Urgent - compel the judges to read on and get across the vitality of your work;
· Useful - demonstrate how you offered the organisation something they could not get elsewhere;
· Unique - highlight what is different and demonstrate how it is innovative. Make it stand out;
· Ultra-specific - explains what you did and why without unnecessary embellishment. Get to the point quickly.
Don’t let your hard work be overshadowed by spelling errors, bad grammar or poor language use. Before you proof-read it, take a break so you can review it when you’re fresh. Ask someone not involved to read the final entry to ensure it reads well, is easy to understand and is error-free.
Entering awards process can be time-consuming. However, the positive impact they can have on your business, employees and customers makes it all worthwhile.
Caroline Florence is lead associate – skills development at DataIQ
If you’re planning to enter our awards and want to finesse your entries before submitting, join our tutorial on 21st May to learn more tips and tricks on writing a standout entry.