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You have the perfect entry for a particular award. Fantastic. Chances are you’ll smash together an entry a day or two before the deadline not involving the right people or materials to fully capture your awesomeness and be disappointed on the awards night. How lackluster is that?! Or you can plan ahead to do your entry justice. Involving the right people and the proper planning will lay the foundation for your entry to shine the way it deserves. Here are a few tips from someone who both manages an awards program and has submitted winning entries to give you the competitive advantage right from the start.
Review what the award recognizes including eligibility, categories, fees, dates/deadlines, evaluations/scoring, selection and who the judges are (if possible). Plus, familiarize yourself with any changes in the award criteria. By understanding the award in its entirety, it will help you draft your submission and know who will need to gather components of the submission materials.
The organizer of the award has developed a detailed timeline of the award, with even more internal deadlines that you may not be aware of. Typically, deadlines are driven by the end date and work backward to allow enough time for selection, promotion and trophy production. Be hyper-aware of the dates and deadlines. Many awards programs will not allow late entry. You don’t want to go to the work of putting together a submission only to miss the deadline.
If you plan to enter, commit whole heartedly. Treat the award as you would a client, with the same attention to detail and deadlines. Most importantly have the approval from your client or any other applicable parties before starting the entry process.
Have one point person responsible for coordinating award submissions. It doesn’t need to be your top-level executive, but rather someone that can manage it as if it were a project—possibly someone on your marketing or communications team. After an internal review about the award and the entry you’ll submit, have your awards guru contact the award organizer with any questions. The organizer should be more than happy to help answer your questions, so you have a better understanding of the award and the process.
Depending on the award you’re entering, you’ll likely need to provide an award write-up and provide supporting documents such as photos, photo descriptions, floor plans or renderings, and letters of recommendation. Take full advantage of reaching the maximum allowed (word count, number of photos, etc)., if it is relevant. It is best to provide enough detail to make your point but be succinct knowing the judges will have multiple entries to review. Tell the judges why you did what you did, for example why those materials were selected or what was unique about a particular feature. Share what sets this entry apart from the others and back your claims with evidence.
Pro Tip: when asking an individual to supply a letter of recommendation, provide them with the criteria of the award and what the judges will be looking for, so the individual writing the letter can touch on those items.
Don’t start too late and rush your entry. You may need multiple people within your organization to complete the entry form. Make sure to allow time for drafting, review, editing and, if applicable, client approvals and professional photography.
Proofread your entry to avoid typos. Then have a fresh pair of eyes look it over before submitting.
If the award submission is online, draft a submission template if the award organizer doesn’t have one. Review and edit from that document so all you have to do is copy and paste for the submission. Keep a copy of all submission materials and write-ups so you have a starting point if you want to enter for a similar award.
Have your promotional plan laid out well before the award winner is announced to publicize your win if your entry is the selected recipient. Research how you want to promote your win: press releases, social media posts, ads, billboards, embroidered apparel, email signature or mention on your business card. Determine your budget for promoting your win and build a schedule for any deliverables following the winner being named.
Now that you’re pumped up and motivated, you need to find some awards to enter. We’ve got you covered. We have awards that recognize excellence in several areas: from quality and value of construction to business ethics. Not to mention the BIG Night, our biggest party of the year where we announce our recipients.
Visit BATCawards.com for complete award details
Save the Date | The Big Night: Friday, October 25, 2019 at Mystic Lake Center