We all want to win awards, particularly when an incredible amount of team work and effort has gone into a new development / regeneration scheme / customer service offering. Recognition for good work is incredibly satisfying and something that everyone naturally aspires to.
In our office, ‘awards’ can mean a number of things to different people. There’s the excitement in the Digital department of our ‘live tweeting’ on behalf of the National Housing Awards, the incredible effort from the PR team who draft the entries as well as the general buzz from those who get to attend the event, but how do you get there?
I am pleased to say that Oracle has an excellent track record when it comes to preparing successful award entries for clients. The effort that goes into each entry is, well, exhausting if I am honest. Why do we do it? Naturally we love the glory. The glory of seeing our clients win above the rest. Helping them get there is all part of the job. But what actually makes an award-winning entry?
I have recently had the pleasure of sitting on the judging panel for the ARMA Ace Awards and the PRCA Dare awards and can honestly say I have been pleasantly surprised by some of the entries. When you are faced with around 70 awards to read, critique and award points to, you become quite strict on whether someone has kept to the criteria or not. Here are a few simple tips to help you get through:
· Do not waffle! If you have gone off on a tangent, you lose your reader, the biggest sin you can commit
· If you aren’t able to answer one of the questions, it is simple, others will so choose a different category and don’t try to blag your way through it
· Photography is key and plays a vital role when engaging your reader. Believe me, after wading through 50 awards, photos often make or break an entry
· If you haven’t got the time, do not enter. Last minute entries are rushed and rather unsuccessful as a result. You are up against people who have taken the time, read the criteria and pored over their entry for hours
· Use simple, straight forward language that flows and keeps it interesting. If you bore yourself by reading it, scrap it and start again
· Make sure you get to the point and quickly. If you have key facts to get over, list them, add an infographic, do something to ensure they aren’t missed
Lastly, if you do not have the time to prepare your awards in-house, agencies are much better placed to do these for you and can be worth the money three times over if you win.