Award entries are a great way to get recognition for your brand and your products.
Winning a gong for one of your products or services means potential customers have external confirmation that your offering is best of class.
Awards can lead to additional media coverage too, letting more people know about you and your products – not to mention the social media buzz that brings a welcome boost to SEO.
The downside is the entries themselves can sometimes take a long time to put together, so you only want to invest the time if you are certain you will get the recognition you deserve.
So what do you need to do to increase the likelihood of you winning the award you’re after?
Here are our tips:
Choose something that deserves to win
Talk about stating the obvious, but it is likely that if you designed the product, you will think it is the best thing since sliced bread. However, if there are 10 other products on the market that do exactly the same thing, it is unlikely that yours will make the award judges sit up and take notice.
A well written award entry alone may get you into the shortlist for an award but it is genuinely the best products, or the most innovative services that actually win the accolades, so choose what you put forward wisely.
Start off strong
Think about it from a judge’s point of view. They may have 100 award entries to sift through in a day. If yours is number 89 in the pile, it will need to be pretty special to make them pay attention.
Your first couple of paragraphs will be key. Start with a strong quote, or illustrate what impact it has with an example. If it is a lesson planning tool for teachers, instead of stating that ‘it is the best lesson planning tool available’, why not start with something around how much time a lesson plan takes an average teacher to complete and why it is such an important job, to set the scene.
Assume the judges know very little
It is easy to forget how much internal company jargon you use – a phrase you think is in everyday use in your company may be unfamiliar to a judge.
Spell out any benefits too. The judge may not automatically see that making a core process quicker for a teacher will mean that they can spend more time teaching or planning lessons, so make this link for them.
Every time you make a claim, try to prove it. You saved schools or colleges money – great – but how much money? Use comparisons if possible – 90% of schools are satisfied with your product – fantastic – but even better if you can compare that to an industry average that is much lower.
Get your customers to back you up
It is one thing you saying that you are fabulous, but it is quite another if you can get a customer to do it. Ideally, quotes or case studies you use should be peppered with facts to back up any claims being made.
Think about the language and examples you use
Use emotive language to demonstrate the importance of your offering – rather than stating ‘our system is reliable’, you could demonstrate it by saying that ‘1,000 teachers rely on our system to deliver engaging maths lessons on a weekly basis so it cannot fail.’
The word count is there for a reason
The judges will not have time to read 10 brochures or watch a 20 minute video you have attached to the award entry. A personalised two minute video walk through recorded specifically for the judges will be far more effective than a professional advert you usually use in sales presentations. Select what you send carefully, and make sure it supports the claims you make in the award entry.
Download our free guide – How to write a Winning Education Award Entry. Good luck and if you need any help with your entry, just give us a call.
If you liked this, you may also like our guide to good PR Planning