How To Write A Winning Award Entry

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From the red carpets to the spray tans, there’s no mistaking that this is awards season. The recent Golden Globes ceremony kicked off the celebration of this year’s most talented on screens both large and small. And while Hollywood is in full on party mode, they aren’t the only ones working on their acceptance speeches.

Less glamorous industries also lay claim to an award season all their own. I know, because I’ve been getting the emails. Maybe you have too. In the marketing industry, it’s that time again. Time to register for the 2015 PRO Awards, the 32nd Annual REGGIE Awards and The Ex Awards, among others.

According to Event Marketer Magazine “Agencies that win industry awards receive 32 percent more RFPs than those that don’t.”

Reason enough to consider entering. Although there are those companies (and people) that say they don’t care about awards. And others who counter that those are the companies that have never won. Listen, recognition feels good. Whether you’re five or fifty, it’s nice to be noticed for a job well done. But just like the lottery, you can’t win if you don’t play. The good news is, your chances of winning these awards are much better than the odds of picking the Powerball numbers.

I’ve filled out three awards entries in the past four years. IThey were for a REGGIE, a PRO award and, most recently, a MARCOM. We won a Gold REGGIE in 2010, an Honorable Mention in the 2011 PRO awards and a Gold MARCOM in 2014. So, I can tell you from experience that the way you fill out the entry form will have a great impact on whether or not you win. There is a formula, and you can increase your odds of winning by learning how to write a strong award entry.

I hear many companies admit that award entries get passed down to the intern or the administrative assistant. This is a big mistake.

Think of it as you would when writing copy for an ad campaign. You wouldn’t hand that assignment off to the intern, right? You give it to your most senior copywriter, who considers the audience and the call to action, and then crafts a compelling, well-told story.

Your award entry deserves the same respect. Get to the heart of the matter. The judges want to know WHY it’s important. What makes it tick. You’ll need to know the statistics and results, of course: the CTR, bounce rate, number of attendees, etc. And be sure to include the right  post-promotion analytics, too. A follow up survey of our event tour in 2011 told us that 95% of our event attendees had never purchased that shoe brand before, but would now absolutely consider purchasing them in the future. That’s a successful promotion. And a statistic worth noting.

But it’s not just the numbers. Tell them how the program came to be. What led you to create the campaign in the first place? Just like a great article, start with a hook to grab your judges’ attention. The opening line of our GOLD REGGIE winner was this: Women Love Shoes. Hard to argue with that.

What’s compelling about the story? What makes it stand out?

My award entry for the 2014 MARCOMs explained that the white paper I’d written for my client in the RTE cereal category addressed an industry-wide problem – consumers were leaving the category. The report addressed the issues and offered solutions for not only retailers but our competitors as well, so that we might work together to bring consumers back to center store.

If you’ve got your eye on a coveted award in your industry, be sure you’re prepared to write a compelling entry. And if you’d like some help telling your campaign’s story to increase your chances of taking home Platinum or Gold, shoot me an email at: beth@bethmwood.com. I’d love to help. Who knows… maybe I’ll be writing your acceptance speech!

2014 MARCOM_c

 

 

 

 

 

About Beth M. Wood

Beth M. Wood is a marketing and writing professional. She's been working in the marketing industry since the early 90s, and feeding her shopping habit with copywriting gigs since 2004. On August 1, 2013, she made the jump to full-time freelance writer, marketer, and social media manager. Beth is highly adept at creating and managing integrated marketing programs that get brands noticed. She's also well known for creating and maintaing a strong brand voice across all channels. She is a word geek, a grammar snob and a boot camp junkie. Which means she believes in giving 100% to every project she takes on - large or small. She earned her BA in writing from Webster University and serves as Senior Content Strategist at Scorch.
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