Confused about how to make your entry stand out from the crowd and pick up a trophy at this year’s gala dinner on 29 November? Well, worry no longer. Help is at hand with these handy tips to keep your entry on the right path.
1) Simply enter
This may seem extraordinarily obvious, but every year, after the winners are revealed, somebody will mutter that it should have been them, if only they had entered. They will be adamant that the work they did was better than the work that won. The judges aren’t psychics. They can only judge what is put before them.
2) Our rules are not there to be broken
Yes, we know. Two pages of A4 and 600 words. It’s just not enough for your magnum opus, in which you want to reveal every twist and turn of the campaign. But here’s the thing: the judges aren’t interested. It’s great that Dora from accounts and Jimmy from systems loved their away day with the CEO, but it’s just not relevant. Stick to the main facts and features.
3) Enter the appropriate category
Admittedly, this can be difficult. Some entries appear as if they could fit into several categories, in which case select the one where they can shine. A staff magazine could be deemed an employee engagement campaign, but it might be pitched against a global campaign to embed a culture programme. Which one is likely to shine?
4) Set out your objectives
Why did you launch the campaign or initiative in the first place? There must have been a reason. If not, do you think you should be entering it for an award? Just saying... achieving great results by fluke does not sound exactly award-winning. Outline the motivation for the campaign, and keep that in mind as you write your entry.
5) Match results to your objectives
It is hard to miss something in 600 words. If your objectives bear no resemblance to the results, the judges will notice. They didn’t lose the will to live 3,000 words ago, and can no longer remember why the campaign was created. They will say things like ‘Does anybody here think it is strange that the objective of this entry was to achieve world peace, but the results chat about cutting sugar consumption by eight per cent?’ If the results are not linked to the objectives, the judges will mark down the entry.
6) Don’t be shy about your budget
Let’s be honest, nobody likes to talk about money. And there may be an element of the green-eyed monster as a competitor suddenly spots the funds you had available. But budgets are a great leveller. For example, they allow judges to compare a campaign by a not-for-profit organisation, which had £2,000 and a lot of goodwill to work with, against a national initiative with a six figure budget and a team of 50. Leaving out the budget can prompt suspicion that, perhaps, the entry did not really achieve value for money.
7) Check. Double check.
You are entering the CorpComms Awards. Now your entry may have also been submitted into another scheme (as if there were another one!), but it is only polite to make sure that the correct one is mentioned. Every year, a handful of entries are addressed to another awards programme. The judges notice and always comment.
8) Triple check.
While we’re on the subject of checking, spelling and grammar matter. The judges are busy people. They have taken time out of their schedules to review the entries, and then to attend an intensive day of discussion about them. There is a lot of work to do, and if the judges happen upon a poorly constructed entry, littered with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, they may feel that it is unfair to ask them to pay it attention when the entrant so clearly didn’t.
9) Think about presentation
There is nothing in the rules to say that the executive summary has to be portrait style or that it can’t include a few pictures. The entries that tend to do well are usually well-designed. It is harder to read a page of dense A4 text than it is an entry that is structured into sections with images or graphs.
10) What is your client called?
And here’s one just for the agencies: make sure you spell your client’s name correctly. There was a corker last year, and every judge commented on it!