Expert Showcase: How to write a winning awards entry
Here at Get Ahead VA our team includes experts in a wide variety of fields. From Accounting to Admin, Hootsuite to Holiday cover, Email Marketing to Excel, our VAs can add value to many aspects of your business. In this Expert Showcase series our team deliver some of this expertise to you, with ‘How to’ guides to help you get the best bang for your buck in your business.
In this guide one of our PR & Marketing specialists Caroline talks about how you can write a persuasive and compelling awards entry to help you grow your business through PR:
“Awards can be a fantastic way of boosting the profile of your business – both locally and online. Simply being nominated for an award is an accolade in itself, and being selected as a finalist or even winning an award provides fantastic fuel for your PR and social media. Every step of the awards process is an opportunity to talk positively about your business and about the third-party recognition you have gained.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT AWARDS
The first step in writing an award-winning entry is to select the right awards to enter in the first place. Research awards well in terms of the criteria, categories available and past winners. Spending time up front like this is vital to ensure your time (and potential financial) investment in completing an entry is well spent. Consider the other entrants you might be up against and what they might say. Can you compete? Generally, the more specific an award is – be it local rather than national, or sector specific to you, the better chance you have of success.
WRITE YOUR JOB APPLICATION
Think of your award entry as a job application. The key is to review the job description (in this case the awards criteria or winner description) and present all the reasons why you have all the qualities that they are looking for. Replay back to them what they have asked for, using vital evidence to back up your claims.
FACTS AND FIGURES
Anyone can say they are good at something, but it is cold hard facts that prove it. Use as much data in your application as you can – don’t just say ‘growth’ but say ‘revenue +49% year on year’. Don’t just say ‘team expanded’ but write ‘2 new full time employees recruited’. Don’t just say ‘our customers love us’ but say ‘in a recent customer satisfaction survey 82% of customers said they would recommend us to a friend.’ These facts and figures provide evidence to support your claims that you are as good as you say you are.
STICK TO THE RULES
If the word count says 300 words per question then stick to it. Going over will simply annoy the judges when your whole purpose is to win them over to your side. Equally, if the word count says 300, then write 300 or 299! Writing less (unless the question really isn’t relevant) suggests that you haven’t really thought about it and don’t care enough to provide what they are looking for.
When it comes to attachments, if they say accounts only then make sure you do attach accounts but nothing else. If the rules are much more flexible then include as much supporting information as you can, remembering that data is more persuasive. Consider including online reviews or PR coverage, more financial data including graphs to demonstrate growth and interviews with staff or customers.
If you need help with awards entries or any other aspect of marketing your business then our highly experienced team of virtual assistants are here to help. We love to take on the tasks you don’t have time to do, don’t have the skills to do, or simply don’t want to do. Please get in touch on 01483 332220 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about our nationwide virtual assistant service. We pride ourselves on being the staff you don’t see, but the difference you do.