Winning awards - they’re a morale boost aren’t they? But they’re definitely not easy to get. Alongside deciding if the work you’re doing is worthy of an award and having enough confidence to enter, you’ve also got to nail the whole application process too.
By Katie Brown
After speaking at the recent #UnAwardsWinners Masterclass in Birmingham we were not only amazed by all the incredible winners’ presentations but struck by the fantastic things happening in the world of communications. We were thrilled to hear that the masterclass featured an afternoon UnConference and even more thrilled when one of the sessions pitched was a session on ‘how to win more awards’.
Here are the 10 top tips to come out of the session, which featured attendees who took part in the UnAwards judging. So it really is straight from the horse’s mouth.
1. Choose an award that is right for you
We know this may sound obvious, but before you load any award entry page, ask yourself, ‘is this award right for our company’. After all, there’s nothing worse than putting your heart and soul into an entry and then realising that you never really had a chance because the award wasn’t related to what you did.
2. Going into detail
It’s easy to think that in order to win an award you’ll need to go into heaps and heaps of detail, but no! When a judge has hundreds of applications to go through, the last thing they want to read is, ‘first we did this, then we did that, then we brushed our hair’. Make it clear what you did, just don’t go into such fine detail you send the judge to sleep.
3. Understand it’s not a like-for-like thing
Larger organisations often have bigger budgets, so it’s easy to think ‘oh my word, we’d never be able to create something like that’ or compare yourself, but don’t. An award entry should be about how far your organisation (or the brand you’re working for) has come, and how much of a difference it has made. It should not be a comparison between you and a company with 500+ employees, when you only have 10.
4. Highlight the uniqueness of your campaign
Rather than entering a step-by-step guide of everything your team did during the campaign, highlight the real unique parts of it instead. How did your campaign make a difference? Was there a change in behaviour? Did it increase ROI? Let the judge know by including it all in your entry, because just stating that it ‘increased awareness’ is no longer enough.
5. Shout about its effectiveness
Okay, don’t actually shout, but you should definitely start your entry with your results. Make it clear that your campaign worked and what you achieved right at the beginning. Draw the judge in and make them want to know more, then go into how it was done.
6. Tailor your entry
Our top tip? Create one entry and tailor that specifically to every award you enter. The more you tailor, the more likely you are to win.
7. Add personality
Now, we’re not saying crack jokes every second or that you should try to force it, but if you can make the judge giggle, or make what you’re saying relatable, you’re on to a winner. At the very least, you need to sound human.
8. Be passionate
Ensure you are showcasing your drive and passion throughout your entire entry - it’s sure to rub off on the reader (in this case the judge). After all, we all know there is nothing worse than reading something boring.
9. Infographics and Testimonials
It’s all well and good saying your campaign ‘received good feedback’, but if you can include testimonials of other people praising what you did, that’s even better. The same goes for infographics - include one that allows the judge to understand how well your campaign performed, just by glancing at it.
10. The small stuff matters
And finally, proof read. Don’t let something as small as checking the spelling and grammar of your entry stop you from winning.
image via The Library of Congress