Has your business ever won an award? If the answer is no, then you are missing out on a fantastic promotional opportunity. It’s an opportunity that is low cost, highly visible to your target market, presents the business as a leader in its field and attracts media attention. And you don’t have to have had a sensational year or produced an amazing innovation to win, you just need to know the ins and outs of award entry writing.

No matter what industry you are in, there will be at least one annual awards competition for you to enter. Often the same companies win over and over again. That’s not always because they’re the best there is, it’s because they’re among the few that have mastered award entry writing and taken the time to produce an outstanding entry. Having been an industry awards judge, I know that it’s often the case that so few other companies produce serious entries that just writing a quality submission can be enough to win.

Here’s what the judges are looking for

Most people don’t understand the trick to award entry writing that wins, yet I know from experience that making the judges’ job easier earns considerable credit. This is because the judges have to read a lot of poorly written award entries, across many different categories. Usually judges are volunteers and are time short. If you keep it short, write in a clear and compelling way and use language that makes your entry stand out, your chances of winning increase dramatically.

Reverse engineer your award entry writing strategy

While you’re not entering awards, think about entering awards to improve your award entry writing. Essentially, I mean work backwards, review the criteria of the awards you want to win in a year or two’s time and start initiatives and actions that will be considered worthy of winning. Why were last year’s winners successful? What did they do? Look at every area of your business and think of zero-investment actions that will help bolster your entry, such as volunteering in the local community, a local customer service initiative with your team, staff benefits and incentives, above and beyond environmental commitments. Act like an award winner and you will become a winner.

My success rate is 70%

I’ve written hundreds of award entries for many different companies and my win rate is over 70%. I can tell you there are few better feelings than taking the stage to accept an award for your business; it feels great and isn’t hard to achieve.

Highly credible promotion

At the awards ceremony, when you’re presented with your award, you’ll be watched by hundreds of individuals from within your industry. Your competitors will see you win and so will many of your customers and potential new customers. The organisers will include your company in the book of winners that everyone takes home, they’ll announce it on their website and issue a press release. In most cases the release will be covered by your industry magazines online and in print.

Talking of the media… 

Once you have an award under your belt, you’ll have something to talk to your local and trade media about, so start your public relations machine. Send your own press release telling them about the award you have won and why – tailor it to the media you are targeting either local or trade and include a case study of the specific business activity that won the award. Beyond publication of your award winning news, you should seek media interview invites. Let them know you’re available for interview to secure more free publicity for your business.

Win More Business

Once you’ve got one award, don’t stop there. Keep your award entry writing up and keep submitting good quality entries and you’ll keep achieving a good win rate. Learn what works and what doesn’t so that your award entries keep improving. The more awards you win, the stronger the reputation for excellence you will create around your business. And that’s what you really want to win – more business.

If you would like help or advice on award entry writing or preparing your business for award winning, please contact me, I’m always happy to help.