Awards 101: How to Write a Winning Entry

For business owners of any size and scale, it can be difficult to make time for promoting the hard work you’re putting in. New products, company wins, funding announcements – they all make a big dent in your bottom line. One way to get your work recognized through PR is by submitting for industry awards.

We spend a lot of time submitting our clients for industry awards pertinent to their product, service, or mission. Along the way, we’ve developed some tips and tricks for ensuring those award entries result in winning entries for our clients.

1. You should always begin the award entry process by reviewing the submission form ahead of time, this way you can give yourself an ample amount of time to think about how you’re going to approach your entry. You’ll also be able to review the award deadlines, categories, and application requirements.

2. Pay attention to a specific award’s requirements as the details are all incredibly important in ensuring that you’re considered. Don’t let leaving out a required field disqualify you from an award that you could otherwise potentially win.  You’ll almost always need items like detailed background information, high-resolution photos (with permission to use them from all parties involved and the photographer if you had one), equipment lists, testimonials and key differentiators.

3. When drafting your award entry, be sure to show, not just tell. It can be difficult to describe technology features so make sure you’ve picked a key “newsworthy” feature or angle about the installation to show why it should win the award. Focus on things that are exemplary, outstanding, unusual, interesting, etc. about this project. Was it really complicated to install? Does it use a lot of one particular product? Did you do something you’ve never done before? Did you accomplish the impossible? Why does this stand out above the rest? Is it the first of its kind? Is it the only of its kind? You want to craft something that will interest other people in your industry. Keep in mind, they get a lot of submissions, so you have to stand out.

Finding the time to spend writing award submissions can pose a challenge, but it is actually a crucial component to your own success. Awards can help build credibility, showcase your work, give you third-party validation and offer you an opportunity to raise awareness for the quality of work that you do.

What are some of your methods for writing award entries? Connect with me and the rest of the Caster team on Twitter to discuss in more detail.

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