So You’d Like an Award for Your Good Work?

In my last piece, I talked about serving on some digital judging juries over the last few months. It’s been a great experience but I’d like to share a few key pointers with you that I know will help to ensure that your hard work receives the recognition that it deserves.

Take Time to Complete the Submission Form Properly

Award submissions require several sections to be completed. And I don’t need to remind you of all the hard work, sweat, and tears that went into that piece of work for that demanding client. Now we’re at the time to potentially celebrate your efforts and for you to bask in the upcoming fame – don’t blow it by scrimping on the submission process. Your work is only as good as the write-up makes it seem and, believe me, when you’re going through hundreds of entries, a well-written submission resonates with a judge and helps it stand out from the other work, which, of course, isn’t as deserving as yours.

Understand What Your Awards Show Is Looking For

Most award shows you’re entering have a particular angle – it may be creative or it may focus on strategy. Make sure that your submission nods toward this. Simply put, if the award you’re after is for effectiveness, for example, the results sections needs to address this in some detail of course. This should not be at the expense of any other section of the submission, but if you’re entering for some bling in the “digital social media” strategy category, that particular part better rock.

Think Carefully About Which Category You’d Like to Enter

You may have work you’ll want to enter in more than one category. Do think carefully about this. It’s not uncommon for jury panels to see entries that, whilst mediocre in the one category for which they’ve been entered, would have fared better in other categories in which they haven’t been entered. You’ve invested in a submission fee and your work is deserving of an award – make sure it’s fighting the right battle.

Some work warrants entering in more than one category. If you’re going to do this, please take time to write up specific submissions for each of the different categories. Different categories focus on different things and your submissions need to draw attention to the worthiness of the entry as it pertains to the category criteria. Last week I was on a jury where an entry even had different videos for each of the categories in which it was entered. This was very well received and applauded by the jury members both as recognition of effort and in helping us understand the entry in the relevant context.

Does Your Entry Make Sense?

Before you submit your entry, get someone to read it that knows nothing about what you did. It’s amazing how many entries we come across that don’t make much sense. The person writing the submission was probably involved in the work or at least knows it intimately. Ask yourselves, “Does the submission successfully convey all the strengths of the work to someone who’s never seen it before in that two- to three-page submission”? Then test it.

How Can You Make the Judge Smile?

Be aware that the judges are probably going through hundreds of entries. Think about this, and ask yourself:

  • What’s going to make the judge remember my entry?
  • How can I break up that boring Word document with the right number of visual elements? 
  • What else might help to convey what you’re trying to get across?
  • Are the sections completed in a concise and relevant way?
  • Does the entry from a cohesive narrative?

And Don’t Forget the Basics

How does the idea and strategy relate to the brand and has this been made clear? Even if you’re not entering a show specifically about effectiveness or results, we still need to see what the work achieved and how this relates to the original brief (and preferably something bottom line if appropriate). And you should know, too, that some judges like it if the work is real!

You’ll be pleased to hear that just by addressing even some of the above will put in you in good position when it comes to having your entry reviewed.

That’s providing the work is good, of course…

Image via Shutterstock.

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