How to write a winning awards entry

 
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We were very excited to find out last week that we’ve been selected as finalists in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards for the ‘Best Team’ category in Wales and the South West. It’s a huge honour to be recognised like this and we’re very much looking forward the to the awards ceremony in November.

In the meantime we thought it would use the opportunity to take a look at what makes a good award entry and share some pointers on how to write one. Here are some of the tips that we followed:

Write to the brief

In the same way that you should tailor your CV to the specific job you’re applying for, your award entry should be angled to set you up as the very best candidate for the category you’re entering. So if you’re going for best family business then you need to be talking about the team and how they work together so well to create a great business, rather than just saying how great you are. Also pay attention to the word count. If they’re asking for up to 500 words per answer then a couple of sentences won’t do.

Include specific evidence

The best way to get a judge’s attention is to include evidence that backs up any claims you make in your application. So for example, in our entry for the best team, we mentioned the fact that in the time that our inhouse team has gone from one to three our turnover has increased 220%. This is much more useful than writing about how awesome Liz, Rosie and Sam are (even though they are!).

Stay on brand

Your application is the first time the judges are likely to have ‘met’ you, which means you’ll want to give an accurate impression of your brand straight away. If you’re a young, fun company then don’t hide that fact behind formal language that you think will impress. Authenticity is by far the most appealing quality in any business so use the brand voice that you’ve hopefully already established and allow it to shine through your awards copy.

Sell a story

People buy people and judges love a good story. What interesting details can you pull out of your particular brand story that will set you apart from the crowd? We were keen to highlight the way our team champions flexible working, for example. We all have different hours, schedules and working locations to suit our family lives and studies, and honestly believe it contributes directly to how effectively we work because morale is high.

Get a proof reader

Or at least a friend or colleague with an eye for detail. While it’s unlikely that a judge will totally dismiss your entry for the odd typo, using correct spelling, punctuation and grammar helps to create a general impression of quality. Writing an awards application can take time - more time than you might think - so be sure to start well in advance of the deadline and let your entry ‘rest’ before you send it in it so that you can catch any errors.

After that it’s just a case of pressing ‘submit’ and waiting. Best of luck if you’re thinking of entering an award, congratulations to all of the other Entrepreneurial Spark alumni who are also finalists in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, and we’ll let you know how we get on in November! To stay up to date with what we’re up to, follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or why not sign up for our monthly newsletter.

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