Awards are a fantastic way to generate positive PR for your business. It demonstrates to the outside world that you are good at what you do and it isn’t just you, your staff or your mates saying so. A panel of independent judges that know a thing or two about the world of business have looked at you or your company and recognised something that makes you special and stand out from the competition.
The process is easy too. I have spoken to many people over the years who assume they have to be nominated for awards and are not even allowed to enter themselves. Or some people shy away from it thinking it makes them ‘big-headed’ to even consider themselves worthy of an award.
Usually there are a few weeks between the launch of an awards and closing date for entries. This means you can take your time and revisit your submission time and time again to ensure you get it just right.
Here are my Top Tips for putting together an entry:
- Be realistic – You may consider yourself an ‘entrepreneur’ but think about the calibre of people that may be going for that award. How would your entry hold up? If you are new to business perhaps consider a ‘Young Business Person of the Year’ or ‘New Business’ award instead.
- Answer the question – It may seem obvious but don’t tell the judges everything you want them to know about your business. Re-read your answers and ensure that you have answered the actual questions asked.
- Draft copy – I always recommend cutting and pasting the questions into a Word document before you begin and write a draft entry. Only once you are happy with this version, transfer it over to the real form. Drafts are also great for remembering what you have said in your entry if you are writing a blog or press release about being a finalist or winner.
- Evidence – Award organisers love supporting evidence that backs up what you are saying in your entry. Any statistics you can provide, testimonials from clients, press cuttings, certificates or accreditations will all help.
- Don’t be too wordy – Read back your entry. Are there any words you can take out to reduce the word count? Being overly descriptive or repetitive will turn off judges. Be as concise as you can.
Emma Speirs runs Ballyhoo PR, a public relations and copywriting business that supports small to medium-sized businesses. The company helps businesses to put together award entries and co-ordinates any follow-up PR activity. To find out more, visit www.ballyhoo-pr.co.uk.
By Emma Speirs, Director of Ballyhoo PR