10 top tips for a stand out awards entry

Writing a winning awards entry requires careful planning, attention to detail, and a compelling narrative. By following these tips and investing the time and effort needed to craft a standout entry, you can increase your chances of receiving the recognition you deserve. Remember that the awards process is not just about winning; it's also an opportunity to reflect on your achievements, gain valuable feedback, and celebrate your accomplishments. So, go ahead and put your best foot forward – your next award may be just an outstanding entry away!

1. Read all the categories and criteria

This year we have 25 unique categories. It is important to thoroughly read through each category and the associated criteria to understand if this is the right category for you to enter. Remember that you aren’t restricted to entering one category. If your campaign fits into more than one you can enter the same work into as many as you wish, but do ensure you tailor each entry form to the specific category criteria.

2. Learn from previous winners

Take a read of our 2023 award winners case study booklet to get a better understand of what it takes to become and award winner. This booklet is an example of industry best practice and an invaluable starter for 10 when structuring your entry.

3. Write it offline first

Have you heard the story about the computer that crashed halfway through an application? Our awards website is simple to use, however we really recommend you write your full entry out in a separate document first rather than typing straight into the nomination system. There is an option to save and return to your entry at a later date, but we recommend you do it in stages offline and over days, maybe even a week. Answer the questions and come back to review them later. Once you are happy with your entry then enter it onto the system.

4. Can you prove it?

When presenting your achievements or the impact of your work, use concrete evidence and metrics to support your claims. Provide data, statistics, testimonials, or case studies that demonstrate the tangible results and positive outcomes of your efforts. Judges would like to see quantifiable evidence. This is your opportunity to lay out clearly the milestones, methodologies, budgets, investments alongside your team and supplier landscape.

5. Data. Data. Data

See this is a business plan, rather than a commendation as facts will always supersede opinion. Your data needs to be specific, measurable and time bound. Can you compare the data to your goals or historical performances? Can you measure the ROI? Consequential Gain? NPS? Can you demonstrate the feedback mechanisms in place?

6. Be Concise and Engaging

While it's important to provide comprehensive information, avoid unnecessary verbosity. Judges have over 100 entries to thoroughly review, so make your content concise and engaging. Use clear and straightforward language to convey your message, and avoid jargon or overly technical terms that might confuse the reader.

7. Tell a Compelling Story

Describe your journey, challenges, and triumphs in a way that allows the judges to connect and understand your experiences. Acknowledge the scope and limitations of the project and makes sure you set the scene clearly. Who were your stakeholders? Provide attributable quotes to help understand the key individuals involved. Try paint a picture of the obstacles encountered and breakthroughs achieved. But remember the balance between evidence vs anecdote.

8. Proofread and Edit Carefully

Errors in grammar, spelling, or formatting can detract from the professionalism of your entry. Before submitting, thoroughly proofread and edit your entry to ensure it's free of mistakes. Consider asking a colleague or friend to review it as well to catch any overlooked errors or areas that need improvement. Don't hesitate to seek feedback from mentors, peers, or experts in your field. They can offer valuable insights and suggestions for improving your awards entry

9. Put in the effort – it really shows

If you’re going to apply for an award, please give it the time it deserves – you simply can’t write a thoughtful entry at the last minute. Those that score highest have clearly put the work in and provided the required information (and then some). Also, the word count is your friend. Use what you’ve been given to devise a succinct, informative and engaging response to really stand out from the crowd.

10. Submit Early and Meet Deadlines

Last but not least, submit your entry well before the deadline. Rushed submissions may contain errors or lack the polish needed to win. By submitting early, you have time to make any necessary adjustments and ensure that your entry is of the highest quality.

Crafting a standout awards entry requires strategic thinking, solid evidence, and effective storytelling. By following these 10 top tips, you will increase your chances of receiving the recognition you deserve. Remember to invest the time and effort needed to craft a compelling narrative that showcases your achievements. The awards process is an opportunity to reflect on your accomplishments, gain valuable feedback, and celebrate your success. So, take action today and position yourself for success in the upcoming Firm Awards 2024!