It is that time of the year again, award entry season. But who’s going to enter, what are you most likely to get recognised for, is there any point in putting in all the effort when it’s all just subjective anyway?

Seasoned judges Stephen Jacobs and Mats Rennstam are here to help. They have listed their top tips for getting noticed, short listed and, ultimately, win!

1. Stick to the instructions

The criteria and limitations might not allow you to show off all of the great things you have done but judges need to follow them as well. They are instructed to only judge the information provided within the pre-set criteria.

2. “We achieved 89%”

So what? In a vast majority of the entries we read there are references to great improvements that are not put in context, and often previous results aren’t even mentioned. Refer to benchmarks; find out if the improvements are actually any good. At the very least, quote where you were before. And if your entry mentions you made a financial investment then show the business case for that investment – we spent £X and accrued benefit £Y.

3. Burst the bubble!

Judges will have no idea what “our ARGU improved” or “the SNIC process was broken” means. It is easier to become blind to this than you think. The years go by and you think everyone is measuring the same things as you are. So avoid jargon and acronyms and put yourself in the judge’s shoes.

4. Keep it simple

Worst case, a judge will receive boxes from DHL with up to 30-40 entries. After the first 10 you start getting quite annoyed with the ones either waffling or having attached 300 pages of appendices.

5. Make it come alive

Keeping it simple does not mean you should cut back on telling a story and showing examples of how things have changed for individuals. In fact, it makes the entries very much more interesting to read.

Finally, ask yourself some of the questions we do:

  • Where is the tangible proof of success, quantified if possible?
  • If I was one of your company’s customers, what impact would this have had on me?
  • Is there a clear sense of engagement here, and a unique differentiator compared to others? Not just “let’s enter an award and see what happens”.

Good luck!