Having recently judged the PRCA DARE Awards, I’ve seen a host of award entries – some masterful, some less so. Furthermore, at OneChocolate, every time we enter an award we take the time to sculpt the perfect submission – and the results speak for themselves. We’ve been a finalist for 10 awards recently. So, how do we do it? See our top tips below.
1. Style it out
Write something that is a joy to read. Great writing which tells a story and jumps off the page. Each judge can have 100+ multiple page entries to review. You are much more likely to score highly if you make it easy and enjoyable to read.
2. Be succinct
If you can explain something in 10 words or with a graphic, please do. Overexplaining and long wordy tomes really kill a good entry.
3. Have a light touch
It’s a given that the campaign is potentially award-winning, so overusing words like ‘fantastic’, ‘smashed it’, ‘great’, ‘overachieved’… makes your entry sound like it’s trying too hard.
4. Hit your marks
Points are allocated per section. Skimp on, or even miss a section, and the low to zero marks that delivers means the entrant’s potential as a finalist is gone. Same goes for reading and complying with the rules.
Awards are getting tougher to win. Business level results count big, as do clear and measurable objectives. Be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed) from the start.
6. Understand your audience
Judges are typically senior people. They have lots of experience and ‘get’ the direction of an award entry pretty quickly. Write it to appeal to them and don’t get lost in the detail.
7. Take your time
A compelling award entry takes time. Plan it like a project and make sure a senior director (surrogate judge) has input too.
8. Pinpoint what makes your entry different
A succinct explanation of why the campaign was different and/or what challenges you overcame can make all the difference.
9. Give credit
An award-winning campaign is rarely down to just one person or team. The client and/or supplier has often played a key part and that needs acknowledging. It adds to the entry to credit these people rather than omit their (often glaring) contribution.
10. Tell the truth
It sounds obvious but it can be tempting to overstate results or impact. Remember Google makes it easy for a judge to do a quick double check. And if it sounds unbelievable then it probably is.