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Public Relations - 8 April 2019

Writing effective award entries

With industry awards becoming more prevalent, they are a great way to PR and market your company’s achievements to a wider audience. Here, Associate Director Kath Kennedy shines a light on what makes an award entry stand out, using her vast experience of writing entries on behalf of clients, as well as judging for the South Wales Chamber of Commerce Welsh Business Awards.

Read the judging criteria carefully

Obvious, yet often overlooked. Every year people spend hours on award entries, where they write what they want to, not necessarily what the judges have asked for.
If in doubt, it’s always worth checking with colleagues to see if you have the same understanding of the criteria, after all two pairs of eyes are better than one.
Likewise, ask a colleague to read through your entry before you submit it, you never know what you might have missed or forgotten.

Get rid of all the jargon

Most award entries have a word limit. No matter how interesting your points are, anything that goes over that word limit might not be considered. So, make your words count. What are the main points that answer the question? There’s no need to add extra information if this doesn’t respond to the question and could be deemed irrelevant.
Award entries don’t require you to set the scene, so write precisely and focus on your key points, putting the strongest first.
It’s also likely that your entry will be one of many that the judge is reading that day. The more straightforward it is, the more likely it is to be well-received by a tired judge.

Pride yourself

Many of us shy away from showing off but if you think your team is good enough to win an award, you need to be confident and talk about all the great things you do. Be enthusiastic, write in a positive manner, use an active voice and underline how proud you are of your team’s achievements and impact. A tone of voice that reflects your business will stand out and persuasive writing will go a long way.

Make the most of examples and data

It’s always a shame when businesses talk vaguely about all the incredible things they do and say they make an impact, without being specific or backing up the claim. Evidence is crucial in award entries, this can be links, statistics, testimonials, coverage… An empty statement that is not supported can be discarded and might not receive the recognition it deserves.

Be careful with recycling answers

Every award process is different, as is the entry criteria. Categories vary and are often looking for very different things. What may have been an innovative and outstanding answer for a question in one category, can be irrelevant in another. Avoid copy and paste and instead, ask yourself, how does my service or product fit in this category. Even small differences in an answer can have a big impact.

Ultimately, a well-constructed award entry can take a lot of time that your team doesn’t necessarily have to spare. We can help. We have the time and expertise to give your award entry the focus it deserves.

Effective Communication is a PR and marketing agency based in Cardiff that has had significant experience in writing award-winning entries. Our skill in capturing the reader’s interest and conveying complex messages in an engaging way, has seen us, and our clients, win many prestigious awards over the years.

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