10 Tips for Writing a Killer Award Submission

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You’ve likely been in your industry for quite some time, experienced the ins and outs of your trade, and are now an expert in your field. It’s about time you receive a little validation for all the hard work.

It’s natural to feel too ‘small time’ to win an award, but keep in mind judges are usually looking for demonstrable performance, not a big name. You are never too tiny to outrun the top dogs.

It’s also natural to not want to talk yourself up too much. But remember winning an award and being recognized by your peers is not only an accomplishment for you, but for your entire team. Winning an award is great PR and marketing material for your company.

However, if you want to win the award you have to write a killer submission.

Following these 10 tips will help get the recognition you and your brand have earned throughout your journey:

The Nitty Gritty

1) Follow the rules. Although it might seem juvenile, following the guidelines for the competition is essential to winning the award. Judges don’t want to be overwhelmed with your over-eager word counts. Keep it short, simple and follow the instructions.

2) Avoid industry jargon. Don’t try to stand out amongst the crowd with fancy industry terms and try to refrain from using high-level lingo. Although the award may be industry-specific, it is important that your clients and potential business opportunities are able to understand what you are being recognized for. In addition, judging panels will often include general experts from outside the industry.

3) Use ‘active voice’. You will be surprised what using strong, precise verbs will do for your submission. Show certainty by using WILL instead of CAN. Owl Purdue offers great tips for differentiating active vs. passive voice.

The Bulk

4) Clients/customers are your best resource. Your brand has worked with a plethora of clients that have been able to experience your work first hand. Use them as your primary resource. Asking them for their honest review of your company will not only be helpful for your submission but for your business as well.

5) Focus on a couple of points, don’t overwhelm the audience. It is important to be proud of all of the deliverables that you have accomplished, but refrain from mentioning every single one in your submission. Focus on the accomplishments that show the best results and most growth for your client. Judges love to see measurable metrics. This is what you should showcase in your submission.

6) Seek out a second pair of eyes. Perspective is critical and having an external opinion can give helpful insight and feedback. Especially try to find trusted partners who may be from outside your specific industry and can look at it from an objective point of view.

7) Provide evidence. Judges specifically look for measurable results of what you attained for your client. Layout your personal and professional goals and explain how you met each. Oh, and make sure you don’t make them up. Award judges can be a well-connected bunch and often conduct deep due diligence.

The Heart

8) Be committed, treat the award like you would treat a client. If you want to win this award and grow your business, put your heart into it. Pretend like you are pitching your brand to your biggest client. If you aren’t the most skilled writer on your team, have them write the submission for you, or perhaps even better, hire a strategic communications firm to compose it for you.

9) Focus on the “why”. Every sentence of your submission is significant. Challenge yourself to ask “why?” after every period. Why is this accomplishment significant? Why am I mentioning this? Why was this project important to the growth of my brand?

10) The soul. What is the seed level of your business, project, or brand? What makes your brand stand out from the rest of the crowd? Dig deep to find the true, authentic meaning behind your professional endeavors. This is an important process, don’t rush it. You want to convey this to the judges throughout your entire submission.

We hope these tips help you on your road to award glory. For more targeted advice, feel free to contact us [email protected].