Having judged some point prestigious award entries myself, I’m always surprised that people get the basics wrong, if you follow these five steps. I guarantee you’ll increase your chances massively of being shortlisted and or winning an award.
- Read the Question: Sounds obvious, but you need to answer whatever the questions asking, the amount of people I see responding to a question and not answering all the points in the question is really quite surprising. So for example if you are asked what your recruitment process is, we don’t just want to see that you use a recruitment consultant, we want to see a multiple stage recruitment process that had some thought put into it.
- Answer the Question: You need to make it as easy as possible for the judge, just remember we are judging a lot of award entries, if were struggling to see that you are answering the question in full, we won’t spend a great deal of time trying to figure out.
- How to Answer the Question: The best way to answer question, especially if it’s has multiple questions within a question, is to answer it in the order it asked and maybe even headlining each question, this way the judge can easily see that you’ve answered the question in full.
- Supporting Evidence: If the question asks for pictures and you don’t supply you will score zero, which virtually rules you out of winning an award, so make sure that supporting evidence is included, however remember that we have a lot to get through so don’t put loads and loads of pictures or supporting evidence in, that may actually go against you.
- Remember We’re People Too: If I can read an entry quickly (so it’s reasonably short) see the person is hugely passionate about their industry, team and clients, it’s only going to go in your favor. I personally would always add one team photograph into supporting evidence, people buy people and we are psychologically predisposed to look at faces, it’s always the first thing I will look at if it’s there, so I suspect the judges will be doing the same.
Just to give you an example of how important the way you write an award is, my partner runs a PR agency called Zen Communication, they took on a new client a few years ago, who had for the previous five years applied to this award and hadn’t even got shortlisted. The guys at Zen wrote the award entry, not only was the entry shortlisted but they won it, same business, same people just a better award entry.
Follow these five steps and I can guarantee hugely increase your chances of being shortlisted or winning an award, don’t be shy of sticking yourself in for an award either because you think you’re not good enough or to small, remember the British love an underdog.
I’d love to hear how you get on so please do let me know.
By Alan Adams