Award entries – the good, the bad and the ugly

Awards season is here! It's no secret that people think many different things about the process of completing an awards submission.

Award entries – the good

Awards season is here! It’s no secret that people think many different things about the process of completing an awards submission. Here are just a few that we hear at Rev PR all the time:

  • I haven’t got time!
  • How do you write a ‘good’ entry?
  • Does anyone care if you win other than your own people?
  • I think the organisers are biased.
  • We’ll never win!
  • Is it actually worth it?

In case you’ve thought one of more of these things to yourself recently, we thought it would be useful to give you our advice on each one. 

I haven’t got time!

You’re probably right. An award entry isn’t something to be attempted on a whim. It takes careful planning, research and some dedicated creative time to pull together. As well as the entry itself, you will usually have to supply supporting evidence and some financial information to back up any claims made. Luckily, most groups announce their awards are open well in advance which means you will have plenty of time to get organised. Ideally, you should have researched in advance and included the awards you want to enter in your PR and content schedule so your team knows what they are working towards. See us after class if you don’t have one of those. If you don’t have a large team, or if it’s just you, you may want to think about outsourcing your award entry to someone who specialises in them. *Cough, cough*. The downside to this is that there will be a cost associated, but the obvious positive is after a phone call or two, you can sit back and relax while things get done.

How do you write a ‘good’ entry?

The million-pound question. It depends. That’s not intended to frustrate – what we mean is, you have to know exactly what the judges are looking for so that you can give them what they want. Happily, most will tell you. The criteria for an award entry and the entry guidance will usually tell you all you need to know about creating a stellar submission. Knowing how to decipher the blub is a different matter but generally, so long as you are careful to hit each point of detail, you’ll do well. 

A few general points to note are, 1) assume the judges have no idea who you or your business are. 2) Don’t use your own industry jargon or unnecessary complicated words and phrases – if you confuse the judges, they will miss your brilliance. 3) Focus on what you have done, not what you’re going to do. 4) If you can’t prove it, don’t say it.

Does anyone care if you win other than your own people?

They absolutely do. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will have heard and seen us talking about ‘trust’ pretty much at every given opportunity. Prospective franchisees and customers will only buy from, or invest in, a brand that they feel they can trust. An award badge – provided it’s for a suitable category! – is a trust credential, and it’s very appealing. Imagine that you’re being compared to several other brands, you have an award-win logo on your website or email footer that the others don’t. Do you think that helps to elevate you above the competition? There you go then.

Award wins are also a really great morale boost for your internal teams and even your franchise networks. That’s reason enough in itself sometimes.

I think the organisers are biased

They’re not. 

We’ll never win!

But you might. And it’s important to remember that being shortlisted as a finalist adds huge value to your brand too. Usually, finalists have to be whittled down from hundreds of entries which means if you make it to a shortlist, you’re already being showcased as the crème of the crop. You might just surprise yourselves and take the crown and if you don’t wave your finalist banner proudly and show the world you’re one of the leading brands in your industry, as determined by a panel of independent judges. 

Is it actually worth it?

For all the positives we’ve covered so far, yes. It is definitely worth entering. What’s more, it would be remiss of us to not mention a massive benefit in the form of PR. Being shortlisted for, or winning, an award is a fantastic news story that you can share with your target audiences. From traditional media relations to social media coverage and sharing with your pipeline in a newsletter. The content you can create from this activity and its myriad of uses is extremely valuable.

In reality, there is no bad and ugly. Not really. If you choose your category and/or awarding body wisely and give the process the time and resource it deserves then entering an awards programme can have wonderful outcomes for your franchise. 

If you want our two-pennies on what to enter and which categories would work best for you, just drop us a line or give Lucy a call. She loves to talk. Does anyone else still think of Bob Hoskins when you read that line? Just us? Email [email protected] or call 07921 572554.

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Lucy Archer
Lucy Archer