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Tips on getting shortlisted for an award 

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Tips on getting shortlisted for an award 

By Katie Mallison – Founder of Scriba PR.


Entering awards can be a daunting process if you have never done it before. It can be a big task to find figures that will help you create a credible story about your business, but the effort is certainly worthwhile if you’re shortlisted – or better yet, win!

Accolades are a brilliant way to boost industry recognition for your company and employees, and are great for publicity too, helping build press your brand’s reputation. The ceremonies themselves can even be a good place for meeting new contacts and growing your network, which could potentially benefit your business later down the line.  

But long before your name is pulled from that golden envelope on awards night, you must first impress the judging panel in order to be shortlisted. So, here are some tips to help you utilise every word in your entry and make your business a stand-out candidate…

Start early

Research the awards that you are interested in, and ensure that the open date and deadline are on your radar so you don’t miss out! Give yourself enough time to really plan and produce a concrete entry – don’t wait until the last minute, and be forced to rush it. A lot of awards do tend to extend their deadline, but don’t always assume that this will be the case for them all – start now!

Give evidence

Once you know your deadline, you can concentrate on the content of your entry. Not only do you have to believe that your work is amazing, but you also have to prove it to the judges. So, providing solid examples that fulfil the criteria given to you is crucial – spell out your successes and avoid vague generalisations.

Keep it simple

Be clear and precise throughout your entry in terms of the key information that outlines the specifics of your business – such as your turnover, sales growth, number of employees and objectives. Judges will have a lot of entries to read through, so make sure they can spot this quickly. Remember – focus on facts not fluff, and avoid jargon!

Tell your story

Now that you have the judges hooked, it is important to keep them interested. Explain your journey and how you have managed to reach this award-winning outcome. Ask yourself questions and answer them convincingly. How was your life before? What obstacles have you overcome? What have you learnt along the way? Make your story as engaging as possible to ensure your reader doesn’t drift off and remains focused.

Be yourself

A critical part of telling your story is to be yourself. It’s important to come across as professional, but you should also inject some personality wherever you can. You want to be different and stand out, so avoid falling into the business-speak trap, where you use words and phrases that you would never use in everyday speech. Using your own voice – admittedly with a bit of polish – will help you to build a connection with the judges and prevent them from zoning out.

Proof read

This is the final and most important thing to do before submitting! Proof, proof and proof again – you don’t want to waste time creating a near-perfect entry, for it to be dismissed because you have a typo within the first sentence. Make sure that it is also read by at least one other person who hasn’t been involved in compiling it – spelling mistakes and grammatical errors can easily undermine your whole success story!

These are just some of the things to consider when writing an award-winning entry. Remember to take your time, stick to the word count, answer all of the questions and – fingers crossed – your name will be on the shortlist. Good luck!

Check out Katie’s other blogs including how to come back from a PR disaster, click here.

 

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