As a PR and Digital Marketing Agency, we are often called upon to draft and submit awards entries on behalf of our clients. These awards stretch across multiple industries and normally focus on product categories – especially since many of lotus823’s clients offer products, including consumer electronics and AV solutions.
Not only does our team develop awards submissions with our clients, but we consistently research and enter awards on behalf of our agency as well. We are proud of the stellar work we do for our clients and we love to show that off. Just recently, the lotus823 team won an honorable mention in the PRSA NJ Pyramid Awards!
Having experience in entering a multitude of awards programs across various industries with different focus areas, we have perfected a seamless system for drafting submissions. Below are some of our top tips for entering industry awards:
1. The first part of any awards entry process, before even filling out the application, is to assess the award and its relevancy to your client’s company or your own company. Awards submissions are quite timely and typically pretty expensive. Before allotting the time in developing a submission, it is important to determine what category would be a good fit and what the likelihood would be of winning.
One way to do this is to look at past winners and check the award program’s FAQ section. Most of them offer this, which can be useful in assessing the award. It’s also a great idea to reach out to the organizers regarding any questions such as how the awards are judged and what criteria is most important in the submission. After determining if the award is a good fit, you can then move to the next step in the process.
2. All industry awards include a deadline, usually an early bird deadline offering a discounted entry fee, a regular deadline, and a final deadline. Some awards even offer an extended deadline past the final deadline, which usually comes with a hefty late fee. As mentioned previously, entry fees for industry awards can be quite costly so it is crucial that you are aware of all deadlines and allow yourself enough time to develop the award.
Some awards also require part of the submission and supplementary materials to be physically mailed in. With this in mind, it becomes necessary to plan ahead, allowing adequate time for the award package to arrive to its destination.
3. When reviewing the deadlines for the awards, you should check out the award requirements. If you do need to mail in the entry and supplementary materials, there may be specific instructions on how this is handled. We have seen some awards programs be lax with their requirements while others mandate a specific size binder to be used, with a standard font size and page setup. It’s important to prepare for this in the beginning so your team knows what to expect as you put together the entry.
4. In our experience, many awards programs utilize an online submission form. While easy and time saving, there is always a chance the program can malfunction and you can lose the entire award entry you spent weeks working on. At lotus823, we ALWAYS create a word document version of every award entry we put together for our agency and our clients. This ensures there is a full copy available if there are any errors and also serves as a template for future award opportunities that may be on a similar category.
5. The last step before submitting any award is to proofread. At lotus823, we have multiple members of our team review awards submissions. It helps us to ensure everything is written correctly and allows for other insights from other members of the team. For our clients we always suggest a few members of their team review the awards, too. Once an award is submitted, it is unlikely you will be able to edit it. In this last step, we are verifying that all information is correct and complete.
These are just some of the tips we utilize when compiling industry award entries. Do you have any additional tips to share? Let us know in the comments!