MiMA 2021: How to craft a compelling award entryWednesday, 7th October 2020
Set out to win from the outset and uncover the secrets to writing a compelling award entry.
Awards entries can be a minefield; the option of which awards categories to submit in, the debate about how to start it off, the question of what are the judges really looking for… It doesn’t need to be anxiety inducing or overly time consuming though, it just takes some strategic focus.
If you’re thinking of entering the MiMAs this year, here are a few tips for crafting a compelling award entry:
Time is of the essence
We can all be guilty of shoving tasks over to the next to-do list (and the next), but don’t make writing your entry one of them. Dedicate time to carefully considering what you want to get across and gathering the evidence you need to do it justice. You’ll need time and space to write a draft, leave it for a while and think about it, source some more details to add and even get a colleague’s view before you finally press the submit button.
If you need more convincing of the importance of prioritising award entries on your to-do list, as Phil Bridgeman sets out, just entering awards can offer increased credibility, help attract talent, increase employee motivation, and provide some free marketing!
Tell a story
We’re all suckers for a captivating story. So be a strategic storyteller when framing yours and set it apart from the rest. Is it rags to riches? One of transformation? Or did you overcome a figurative monster? Draw on this to set out the plot for your entry and stay on point.
Back it up
Whilst you need to captivate the judges with your story, you also need to have the evidence to back it up. No data means the judges only have your word for it; winning entries will always show proof of the claims they’re making.
Make a checklist
Review the criteria and create a checklist of what you need to include and reference. There’s no secret list and the MiMAs judges don’t have a hidden agenda, what you need to show is right there in the criteria. In fact, it is likely more frustrating to read a fantastic entry which can’t be duly recognised because it doesn’t lend itself to the criteria.
The best entries engage the judges and clearly show how they meet the criteria, so deserve the award.
Get others involved
Add testimonials (even if you’re not asked to). Someone else supporting your claim will be markedly more powerful and further resonate with the judges.
Judges will read a lot of entries, try to offer some personality, in an engaging and appropriate way of course.
Read, review, repeat
It should go without saying, but make sure to get someone else to review your draft entry – preferably someone not inclined to simply say it’s amazing off the bat. You want someone who can not only do a thorough proof read but also offer honest and constructive feedback on what’s missing and where you could improve.
And then, press submit! You’ve got until 15 November to get your entry in, which feels like loads of time now, but the clock is very definitely ticking!
So, you see crafting compelling (and winning) award entries doesn’t need to be stressful; the reality is the secret boils down to a purposeful, structured approach.
Louise Turner is chief wordsmith at awards experts Awards Writers. They work for companies large and small helping them be successful at awards. Louise has advised on setting up several sets of awards and is an experienced judge. She recently published her book, Glory, the Magic Formula for Winning More Business Awards, which details their award-winning formula for writing entries.