10 steps to writing winning business awards
Whether you get awardshub.com to write your business awards submission or not, here’s 10 handy tips to help you on your way to writing a winning business award submission.
1/ Access the questions & criteria early on
Whenever someone enquires with us seeking assistance with their business award submission, the first thing we will request from them is clarification on the questions being asked on the category/s they wish to enter, any criteria and the word count allocation. These few factors strongly determine the time input required to prepare a submission and therefor the cost if we are doing it for you. You will generally have two options to access this:
– A downloadable word or PDF document from the awards program website
– Log ins for the awards program website – in some cases you may need to create these log ins and provide them to us to log in and have a look for you if you are busy.
Once we have this information we can comfortably provide you with a quote. If you plan to prepare the submission yourself, we still recommend accessing the questions and criteria early on so you ca see what will be involved in preparing your submission, and block out the necessary time to work on it to meet the deadline, around your usual workload.
2/ Use the word count to your advantage
It is pretty common for each question on any awards submission to have a set word allocation. This is not a time to be brief. Use the word allocation to your advantage and answer the question in full. We recommend you answer the question then evidence it, providing more detail on how/why/when for the question you have been asked. Make sure you read the questions and ensure your answers cover the required information with an appropriate level of detail.
3/ Write in first person for individuals, as a collective group for company submissions
Writing a submission for a category which recognises individuals? Answer the questions in first person i.e. I am proud to have achieved sales figures of $x in x year.
Writing a submission for a category which recognises a team or company? Answer the questions as a collective group i.e. We are proud to have achieved sales figures of $x in x year.
Avoid the third person altogether i.e. xyz company are proud to have achieved sales figures of $x in x year as this gives the impression the submission is written by someone else who is removed from the company and not as familiar with the results.
4/ Avoid acronyms, jargon & abbreviations
Don’t use acronyms, jargon & abbreviations unless they are fully explained. Whilst you may be entering an industry award, you cannot be sure the the judges will know your industry or company, or city or state’s usual jargon and it also comes across as abbreviated and lazy. Take the time to spell things out, or para phrase if you have any inkling that there is a chance people may not be familiar with any acronym or jargon.
5/ Be colourful & specific (not vanilla)
This is your time to shine so do not use washed out cliche messages or
generic wording i.e. ‘we have excellent customer service’ or ‘we are extremely innovative’ which are statements which anyone could arguably use but which is not specific, interesting nor engaging for the judge who has to read a swag of submissions. Business award writing is a careful balance of some creative flourish and business acumen. If you lack the skills to achieve this careful balance, get help early on. Consider your key points of difference from your competitors and mention them to set you apart from other entrants.
6/ Evidence, evidence, evidence
If you make a statement about results, back it up! Fully explain how results are measured if appropriate and what methods or tools were used to measure results i.e. ‘we have increased our level of customer satisfaction in the past 12 months evidenced by our increased NPS score completed by over 100 clients, copies of which are attached.’
7/ Use supporting material to your advantage
Many awards give you the opportunity to provide supporting material to give your submission even more interest. Aim to provide supporting material where possible i.e. if they request a video, create a video! If they request samples of your marketing material, find and provide the best examples you have. Provide the exact number of examples where asked too (not squillions over what has been requested of you).
8/ Ensure the submission applies to the appropriate timeframe
It should go without saying but if the criteria specifies a certain time frame you are being judged on, make sure you stick to that. Even if your results are epic for 18 months, if you are being judged on the past 12 months only, make sure you stick to the program.
9/ PROOFREAD, proofread, proofread
It should go without saying but it is amazing how many people do proof read poorly constructed submissions, often because they simply ran out of time or did not go over the submission enough to iron out any errors. If you engage us, of course we will take responsibility here. If you are writing the submission yourself, make sure you go over the submission many times before final lodgement, and even better, enlist other team members or life partners or friends who have good spelling and grammar skills to ensure there are NO typographical, spelling, punctuation or grammatical errors in your submission.
10/ Comply with the format provided
Many awards programs are VERY specific on the format they require the final submission in. Some require items to be copied and pasted into an online portal. Others require word docs with little to no formatting, some even specifying what font type + size you are to use. Yet more don’t mind highly designed PDFs. Check on format early and if you have scope to add design aspects, make sure you enlist the help of a professional early on to lift the overall look and feel of the submission, whilst staying on brand.