Awards season is coming up.
Are you thinking, ‘it’s fine, I know what we need to write and can do it the day or two before’?
Oh no. Please, please, please don’t leave it to the last minute. This is why!
An excellent/winning submission requires information from others (even though you’re fantastic and know your stuff).
And you will need to get approvals to include the best bits. This. Takes. Time.
1. Plan ahead
Fluffy words and jargon won’t win you an award. Proof points will though, such as real and approved client testimonials.
‘Our clients are so happy with our product, they say it’s a game-changer.’
Really? Are they really? It is really? I’m not convinced.
Real client testimonial:
“Company B’s product has changed the way we operate, so much so that our teams are now 60% more effective. Company B has also proven to be an invaluable partner by offering advice and support when we need it.”Joe Bloggs, Client A
Organising a testimonial like that takes time, you need to request it, it goes through a chain, someone agrees, then someone writes it, then it goes back for approval, someone wants to change it, blah blah blah, until it finally makes it way to you, approved and ready to use.
Maybe it’s taken four weeks. Allow time for this. It’s worth it. What your clients say matters most.
2. Tell a story
Be honest and real.
If you dreamed you would one day make an impact on new families in your sector and you have indeed made an impact and you’re overjoyed, say that, (but please include the real stats on the impact and a quote from someone in that group that has benefited).
’We made an immense impact to our staff by providing employee benefits including parental leave.’
Sure. Sure you did. Wait, did you? Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
”Many years ago when my first child was born, my workplace did not allow paid parental leave for fathers. My husband felt devastated he could not be there during those first months. This inspired me to ensure the business I created allowed both parents to spend that crucial time with their families when they need it most. Now we have provided 30 new parents with 20 weeks paid parental leave in just three years.”Cindy Mindy, CEO
I’m hooked. So now I want to know what do you these people say about it?
Include real quotes from people. Especially if the awards submission is for a person. Include their own words so the judges get to know them and can be taken on that journey too.
Also, include the icky stuff. It makes a great story and engages people. For example, tell the judges how you initially failed because you targeted too much too soon and had to take it down a notch, then how you learned from this and grew (please don’t say pivoted!).
3. Visit your mates in Finance or HR or BD
You need stats and figures to back up your claims.
The comms person doesn’t always have all the info on projected vs actual sales or attrition rate changes or staff survey results.
These are incredibly valuable proof points. But once again, you probably need approval to include them, so see your mates early on!
’Our products are so successful; we’ve increased sales exponentially.’
I’m not feeling this. My eyes are glazing over.
‘We projected sales of approximately $500,000 for this product in 2021, however due to our successful marketing campaign our sales rose by 25% with increased sales totalling $125,000 above our predicted target.’
Plan ahead, tell a good story and get those proof points to back up your claims.
Good luck in the awards!