IOD

Thursday 18 October 2018, The Royal Horticultural Halls

10 top tips on how to write a WINNING award entry!

The 2018 IoD Director of the Year Awards is open for entries!  If you’re still wondering whether it’s worth the extra time and effort it takes to enter the awards – consider the impact on your trust and credibility by placing the phrase ‘award winning’ at the centre of your PR and marketing efforts. 

Winning an award (or even being shortlisted) is a huge achievement.  It not only looks and sounds good, it also translates to real business benefits: attracting new customers, media attention and broader industry recognition and collaboration. So how can you maximise your chances?

Here are our top tips on how to write an interesting, persuasive and WINNING award entry.

ENTER HERE

1.     Choose your category wisely. 
There may be a few categories which will seem relevant to you but make sure you focus on what you are most proud of and choose the category which will best allow you to talk about it.

2.     Tell a great story.
Show your personality, and what makes you unique. Embrace the opportunity to be quirky, funny, serious, and write in a way that takes the reader on a journey that allows them to truly understand where you have come from, and what you have achieved.

3.     Read the small print. 
Some categories have specific criteria which you have to meet, such as minimum turnover etc. Make sure to check you match this before drafting the copy.

4.     Give yourself enough time. 
Putting together a great award entry takes effort and time, so you don’t want to rush it.

5.     Don’t be afraid to point out what went wrong
A lot of people are afraid to admit the things that went wrong, thinking that this might decrease their chances of winning. But remember it’s how you coped with the problems and setbacks that is important and that could make your entry stand out from the rest.

6.      Focus your message. 
Try to keep your sentences punchy and only include relevant information – it will have more impact on the judges – remember, sometimes they have hundreds of entries to read.

7.     Stick to the facts. 
There’s nothing worse than a ‘fluffy’ piece of writing filled with meaningless marketing lingo. ‘The company went from strength to strength’ isn’t saying anything! Explain exactly what you did, why you did it and the real business results at the end.

8.     Stick to the word count. 
It’s there for a reason. Select what you write carefully and only include your strongest examples.

9.     Get your entry proof read. 
Sometimes you’re so close to a piece of writing, you don’t see the mistakes however small. A fresh eye will be able to ensure the copy flows well, correct any potential grammar mistakes and spot anything that is unclear or superfluous.

10.     Include supporting information. 
Some categories request you to upload supporting documentation to your award entry. If you have something relevant, include it. It can sometimes be the deciding factor on who will get shortlisted.

What winning did for me...

Name, Job Title and Organisation
Sonia Cottom, Director, Pain Association Scotland

What category did you win?
E
merging Director for Scotland and National Winner of the Early Stage Business category

Why did you enter these awards? 
I was nominated by my peers

What has winning done for you/your company?
Winning not only helped to raise the profile of the Association but also endorsed its’ work practice.  It recognised the difference I had made within the charity and nationally for those burdened with Chronic Pain.  That for me was very powerful knowing this had been recognised when often you feel no-one is listening and a small fish in a big pond.

Why would you encourage others to enter?
To be the change you want to see.

Gareth Loye - DOYA 2017 winner