Six ‘award winning’ tips

There’s a great awards acceptance speech by comedian Jerry Seinfeld where he ruthlessly berates the whole idea of awards ceremonies, before ending by saying how proud he is to have won and can they do it all again next year.

You can see it here.

The comedy aside it strikes a note with people because we’re all nervous about putting our own work out there so publically.

With the awards season now in full swing just what is it that makes so many organisations put themselves in the spotlight and what exactly makes the winning ones so successful? And, more importantly why bother?

The awards we’ve won have not only helped us prove that our campaigns are cutting edge, but have also given a morale boost to our own team. It’s also been important to show people that we’re providing a high quality and value for money service.

I’ve been lucky enough to win a couple of awards in the past year or so and I’m also part of the judging process for several PR awards later this year.

So here are my tips on getting the best possible result from your awards applications:

  1. I don’t think there’s any big secret to winning and the best advice I can give is probably that ‘the easiest way to win an award, is to do something award winning’. When thinking about entering the first question you need to answer is ‘have I got a chance of winning’? I think it’s really easy to fall into the trap of entering something that’s just the day job done well.
  2. It’s important to pick the right category for your entry and that means doing some research on the award, looking at previous winners and thinking about the potential competition.
  3. Make sure your entry tells an exciting story with a powerful narrative and that the evidence is both compelling and detailed.
  4. My biggest tip would be to give yourself plenty of time to write the entry and ensure someone else in the business has had a good look at it with fresh eyes.
  5. Evidence, evidence, evidence. You can never have too much evidence. Make sure it’s detailed and explains the value of your work to the whole business.
  6. Read the rules. Every award scheme is different but most have strict entry criteria. Sometimes by breaking this you can be docked points or disqualified, so don’t be tempted to go over the word count or include metrics that are outlawed (AVEs I’m looking at you).

While it’s great to win something in front of all your peers it won’t be wasted time even if you don’t manage to use that faux teary/humble/up-yours-everybody acceptance speech.

Whatever the outcome you’ll find writing the entry a really useful process to go through your work with a forensic eye and understand exactly where you’re adding value.

If you do win then congratulations but remember the golden rule – if you’re planning on thanking your spouse or god or a long cast of thousands please don’t, it’s not the golden globes.

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