Benefits of using an awards writing service

The award criteria have arrived and you’re ready to start writing. It seems simple enough. You’re given a word count and a description of what they’re looking for, and you’ve set aside a few hours. What could possibly go wrong?

The thing is, at first glance it all seems so easy… But the truth is that making every available word count takes experience and a bit of lexical magic!

8 reasons to use an awards writer

You could accuse us of bias, but there really are some compelling reasons to collaborate with a professional for your award entries:

Clarifying complexities – entry forms can be a bit complicated, and not always clear to the uninitiated. A pro will know how to make it flow, vaulting over the obstacles and clarifying your value through even the most complex of criteria. A recent client said we’d helped him clarify his messages and how he described the business as effectively a free part of the awards-writing service
Voice and volume – professional writers can deliver evidence within the word count, and more importantly, create value with each word they write. They also understand the tone of voice that should be adopted
Consistency – professional experience means that the most relevant details are drawn out, and the fluff is discarded. They’ll keep the submission on track and on topic, creating a consistently engaging and informative submission, exactly in line with the evidence being requested
Additional opportunities – someone who works in the awards industry will have an extensive and comprehensive calendar of business awards across the board. They’ll be able to tell you if there are other opportunities you can take advantage of – and you might even be able to use [...]

By |December 1st, 2016|Awards, Awards tips|0 Comments|
  • Permalink Gallery

    Not quite an Olympic triple – is it possible to win three times in a row?

Not quite an Olympic triple – is it possible to win three times in a row?

We are understandably cautious about which award and clients we take on, trading as we do on our great shortlisting and win statistics (currently running at above 90% for 2016) so when a client asked us to help them enter the same category for the third year in a row with the same project, we were hesitant, not least because they had won it for the two previous years – something which was completely unheard of in these awards.

Awards Writers is run on strong ethics, based on a belief that we will not waste a client’s time or money writing an entry we don’t think will make the shortlist, so we did not take on lightly the task of putting together an entry for the third year running.

Of course, we’re not mind-readers, nor do we have a direct line to the head judge of every awards panel in the country, but we occupy the role of critical friend, looking carefully and objectively at the story and results of our clients’ projects. That approach, plus our years of experience, allows us to form an opinion of whether there’s a good chance of meeting the criteria – after detailed discussions with the client, on this occasion, we thought there was.

And we were proved right. October was a fantastic month, with news that all entries we’d recently written in six different sets of awards had been shortlisted – including the one the client was entering for the third time.

It’s not quite the Olympic Triple like Usain Bolt achieved, but we were delighted with the judges’ endorsement that the client’s project was indeed worthy of being a finalist, and wait with baited breath to find out whether they [...]

By |October 27th, 2016|Awards|0 Comments|

The untold riches you could gain from winning an award

We often talk with clients about the hidden benefits of being shortlisted for an award and are big fans of the mileage you can get out of just making the list of finalists (see our blog here on how to do that).

A conversation with a client recently reinforced this theory for us as they told us their story. Many of our clients like to keep our work for them confidential, so I’m sorry we can’t name them for you, but rest assured this is a genuine story.

The award entry we wrote was for a national set of awards and for a project which has been ongoing for some years. The project has seen a relatively large investment and has reaped some great short-term rewards, but by its nature the true impact will only be revealed in the longer-term.

While it is a project delivered by a series of partners, not every organisation which could have been involved had chosen to. The partners are also keen to spread the good practise from the project to other areas and for others to use the techniques they’ve applied.

Much to the surprise of the project manager, winning the award delivered all of the things on their wishlist – and more!

A director of the organisation was at the awards and now has days in their diary to travel to see the project and meet the partners. Many other organisations have stepped forward to join the project, notably one which seems to have moved from being neutral about it to being incredibly keen to get involved with both work on the ground and promoting the project.

The regional media have covered the project as a result of the win, and the team [...]

By |May 10th, 2016|Award wins|0 Comments|
  • Permalink Gallery

    How writing an award entry is like planning a Guinness World Record attempt

How writing an award entry is like planning a Guinness World Record attempt

Our chief wordsmith, Louise Turner, was delighted to accept an invitation to take part in a Guinness World Record attempt recently. That’s Louise in the middle of the picture above, with Rachel Hatfield of Shoo Media on the left and client Claire Turner (no relation) of TLC Accountants on the right.

Even better than an exciting invitation to try to break a world record, it was for the most people taking part in a gin tasting (and she does rather like a tipple). On reflection, she thought there were a lot of parallels between the attempt to break a world record and writing business award entries. Here’s why…

It’s all in the preparation

For the Guinness World Record attempt to be successful the organisers had to be prepared. From researching the current record to figuring out step-by-step how they were going to beat it, the glory would be theirs if the plan was robust. They even had specially-printed holders for the shot glasses so people could hold three tasters without a table to rest them on. Less tables meant more people in the venue – which equaled more chance of taking the record.

When thinking about award entries you can be planning even when you don’t know which award you want to enter. Save brilliant data, evaluate your projects, seek testimonials at the time and make sure you keep them in a place where everyone on the team can access them. And if you do know which award you want to make a submission to, plan the project you want to put forward and ensure you gather evidence as you go along.

How you’ll be judged

When writing awards you have to think carefully about the criteria and it was [...]

By |February 17th, 2016|Award wins, Awards|0 Comments|

How do awards increase your credibility?

Great business reputations are earned through delivering on your promises and exceeding expectations. While a good marketing strategy can go a long way to putting that message out there, it helps if you have an independent voice shoring up your claims and commentary.

This is where award wins or securing a place on a shortlist can really help to give your reputation a boost. It’s a matter of simple psychology: being awarded an industry or service specific accolade makes clients and prospects view you differently. Shining this positive light on your skills and customer values can help you retain existing clients, win new ones and encourage higher conversions from your marketing activities. What’s not to like?
A compelling tale of credibility 
A quick synopsis of the evidence that helped you to win that award or finalist place naturally draws out the details that matter. It shows your audience that you’ve been recognised for being the best, and what that best was – instant credibility.

When someone’s considering engaging with your company, the deciding factor is often evidence that you can deliver what you claim. Testimonials on your website are great, but some people mistrust them – proof of the pudding from an external, impartial source is much more powerful.
The value of votes 
Awards that are voted for by service users are a clear signal that you’re trusted and valued enough for people to take the time out of their busy day to sing your praises. Perhaps more subtly, it also shows that you communicate well with your clients, and that they’re receptive to your approach.
The power of panels 
On the other hand, winners or finalists that are selected by a group of judges benefit [...]

By |January 19th, 2016|Awards|0 Comments|
  • Permalink Gallery

    Captivating the judging panel – 8 tips for identifying the project you should use for your award submission

Captivating the judging panel – 8 tips for identifying the project you should use for your award submission

No award was ever won with a half-hearted or slapdash approach, so to give yourself the best chance of winning, you need to use an example that grabs attention and shows you off in the best possible light. Finding the best project to use as evidence for your entry maximises your potential for success, and it doesn’t need to be difficult.

8 tips for identifying your evidence

We’ve collated 8 of best types of projects to use for your award submission. With a little in-house communication and a bit of digging, you’re sure to be able to satisfy some of these criteria.

Work with well known brands – do you have any blue chips or high street names on your client list? If so, look into the projects you’ve completed for them, because a brand name will always get the judges’ attention.
Unusual or particularly challenging scenarios – it’s easy to say you’re amazing at what you do, but you need to prove it! By demonstrating your ability to overcome a real industry challenge, you can really highlight your skills and leading techniques.
Projects that have returned high value for your client – we’ve all heard the phrase, ‘money talks’, so put your clients’ money where your mouth is and spout (factual) rhetoric about the incredible value or profit boost you’ve given them.
Projects with great stats to back up your claims – statistical analysis of your projects could throw up some impressive figures. Crunch the numbers, measure improvements made by your services and you’ll be able to clearly back up your claims.
Projects where the original perceived value was superseded – promised to deliver but your client got even more than they bargained for? If you [...]

Our chief wordsmith to judge Digital Experience Awards 2015

We’re delighted to announce that Louise Turner, our chief wordsmith and all-round awards afficionado, is to be a judge at the Digital Experience Awards 2015.
In November Louise will score the shortlisted written entries for her allocated category (kept a secret until the day of the awards) and then watch the finalists’ presentations on the morning of the awards, before helping decide the category winner.

Louise said: “I’m delighted to have been accepted on to the panel of judges for the Digital Experience Awards. I’m looking forward to hearing the finalists tell their story and to peeling back the veneer of the presentations to ensure they can qualify their claims to help us find a worthy category winner.

“Judging awards helps keep our awards entry skills sharp. All of the award entries we’ve written so far this year have been shortlisted and we’re now waiting with baited breath for the awards ceremonies to take place to find out whether our clients will take to the stage.”

To find out more about our award writing services email louise@awardswriters.com or check out the information here.

Seven is our lucky number

It took almost 20,000 words and countless hours of blood, sweat and tears (okay, maybe not tears) but earlier this summer we completed a batch of seven award entries for three national awards. These particular sets of awards had deadlines within days of one another, so it was no mean feat to co-ordinate everything that was needed.

However, all of the hard work was worth it as all seven have been shortlisted!

It’s our pleasure to now be supporting the clients in their preparations for the second round of judging. And having a small glass of something to celebrate, obviously.

By |August 25th, 2015|Award wins, Awards|0 Comments|

5 perfect places to promote your award win

Winning an award is great for morale, but there are of course other more, shall we say, commercial incentives for submitting an entry.

Whether you win or just secure a place on a shortlist, business awards are a great way of increasing confidence and credibility – and in turn, this can help you to retain customers and win new ones. However, to maximise this value from your award, you need to make sure that people know about it!

5 essential platforms for exposure

While some types of marketing, such as press releases, should be mandatory after an award result, there are some other platforms that you mustn’t forget when it comes to promoting your prowess.

Here are the top 5 that you need to make sure you don’t overlook:

Email signature – always make sure you change your email signature to include ‘Winner of…’ Or ‘Shortlisted for…’ and include the award logo or emblem if you have permission (check if you’re not sure). Don’t just do this for your email – make sure every member of staff does the same.
Website – many organisations forget to update their websites regularly, but if there’s one time you really need to do it, it’s now! If you don’t have the function to do it yourself, send the info over to your web developer and get them to do it for you – minor tweaks don’t cost much, and it could very quickly pay for itself. When prospects are browsing several websites, they’ll be impressed if yours is the one that has an award win or shortlist place proudly displayed. It could be the clincher that seals the deal.
Digital marketing campaigns/newsletters – firstly, it’s worth dedicating an entire e-shot or section of a [...]

Motivating your staff to reach for the stars

Entering business awards takes both tactical and strategic thinking, and if you’re serious about your entry, it should be incorporated into your overall performance management strategy. Gathering examples and data to support your entry has to be a responsibility shared by the company as a whole, or at the very least, the department most closely aligned to your next submission subject.
We all want our employees to be proactive and enthusiastic, and that’s really the beauty of awards – winning or being shortlisted for them encourages this behaviour, while incentivising them to aim towards an award also does the same. It’s a win/win situation.
First of all, you need to clearly communicate to all management and staff which awards you’re thinking of entering, so they have an end goal to keep them focused. Knowing that they could play an instrumental part in achieving that accolade will help them to hone in on opportunities, and work extra hard to create great case studies and gather evidence.
Everyone wants to be a winner
Whether it’s within one key department or business-wide, a bit of healthy competition never hurts. Running a ‘leader board’ or some kind of visual reference to chart targets or successes that relate to your entry can really ramp up productivity levels. Equally, if people are chatting about the award over the water cooler or in the canteen, other departments will get wind of it and also want to prove that their part of the business is awesome too!
There’s always the option to go one step further if you really want to motivate your staff: offer incentives to those whose work clinches that win or a place on the award shortlist. Spa days, [...]