When you enter a business award, you’re putting yourself, your business, or a project – and sometimes all – up against many others. In truth, there may not be a huge amount of difference between what you do and what someone else does or how you run your business and they run theirs. So, in order to really stand out, you need to write a compelling award submission. Here’s how.
1. Decide on your over-arching message
What is it that you want the judges to know most? Once you’ve decided your over-arching message, keep to it. And, once you’ve written your submission, go over it carefully to check that the way you’ve answered each question actively supports your overall theme of being, for example, innovative, environmentally sustainable, community-minded or whatever. Check carefully for opportunities to sharpen your message by cutting out waffle and using word count more wisely.
2. Make yours a story people want to hear
Telling your story in an engaging manner will show your achievements in the best light, so don’t hesitate to let your personality and business ethos shine through for all to see. For example, if quirkiness is a hallmark of your operations, then get that message across in your responses. Don’t be afraid to be openly authentic; it’s what will keep judges engaged and wanting to know more about your story.
3. Understand the questions fully
Award questions are often multi-layered, requiring an initial response backed up by evidence. Questions can sometimes include helpful clues such as, ‘Examples may include…’, so use any such pointers to your advantage to help create a well-rounded and complete answer.
4. Answer all questions
It’s mad to even have to point this out but, according to judging panel feedback, it’s amazing how many entries appear to simply ignore some award questions. Judges are, understandably, pretty keen on sticking to the rules, so a missed question will mean missed points and somebody else taking home the accolade.
5. Word limits are there for a reason
They may seem, on the face of it, to be an imposition, but word counts actually work to your advantage by compelling you to structure your response in an appropriate manner. A 250-word limit? Stick to the most salient points and use concise phrasing for emphasis. An 800-word limit? Take the opportunity to provide greater background detail or use more examples or testimonials to illustrate your point.