How to submit a successful award entry

And the winner is…

You. Your colleague. Your project. Your institution.

Perhaps all of the above. But only if you submit an award entry.

There are lots of reasons why you should enter the ContentEd Awards, which are returning for the next ContentEd in December this year. Awards offer recognition for your team, inspiration for the sector, and a compelling argument for requesting extra budget for your next content project.

But let’s say you are already sold on the idea of entering. You know you deserve a ContentEd Award. Your team are pioneers. Your content is world-class. Now you just have to convince the judges…

Here are five pieces of advice for submitting a successful award entry.

 

  1. It’s a deadline, not a target

There’s nothing worse than a rushed submission. Don’t leave it until the last minute.

Visit the online form weeks ahead of the deadline. Gain an understanding of the categories, the required information, the word counts…

Then hit pause. Don’t complete the form there and then.

Instead, go offline. Take a breather. Allow yourself time to mull over the submission. Think about how you can best sell your content project. Jot down your ideas a little at a time. The long preparation window will offer you clarity.

 

  1. There is no ‘I’ in ‘award entry’

Content projects are rarely a solo gig. Content requires collaboration, and so does your award entry.

Take the award categories to your next team meeting for discussion. Host an ideation workshop. Start a brainstorming document on Google Drive. Let everyone have at it. Invite their input.

Your colleagues may remember successful elements of your project that you had forgotten. They might have access to evidence that you could submit alongside your entry. You could even ask them to review your wording, hunt down the spelling mistakes, tighten up your argument. Speaking of which…

 

  1. All killer, no filler

As content strategists, why not deploy your empathy-mapping skills to better understand your judging panel?

Naturally, the judges are committed individuals, who work hard, and approach their duty seriously… but don’t take them for granted. Judges read a lot of award entries, and they have busy day jobs, so make life a little easier for them.

Write a succinct and impactful entry. Be mindful of structure. Tell a compelling story. Speak in Plain English. Cut words wherever possible.

You know, all the stuff that we recommend as content strategists.

 

  1. Supporting evidence

The ContentEd Awards, like many awards, allow you to attach supporting evidence to demonstrate your brilliance.

This is a great opportunity to think outside the box. Consider all the many elements that you can provide to show the success of your project: videos, screenshots, emails, spreadsheets, imagery, promotional materials, hyperlinks, audio files, slide decks, testimonials…

But remember, there is a file size limit. You might need to compress certain pieces of evidence, like photos and videos, in order to attach them. Again, another reason to get started well in advance of the deadline.

 

  1. Read the small print

And finally, remember to read the rules and guidance before submitting.

It would be a shame to submit the perfect award entry, only to get disqualified because you forgot to pay your entry fee, or because one of the judges worked on the project that you are entering.

There could be other rules. Read ‘em and don’t weep.

Good luck!

We hope these five pieces of advice offer you some direction when preparing your awards entry. A winning entry requires time, effort, and consultation… but it will all be worthwhile when you swagger on stage to accept your award.

 

The ContentEd Awards 2020 are now open for submissions. Discover our categories and submit your entry by Friday 25th September 2020. The Awards will be announced at ContentEd 2020, taking place on 7-8 December in Bristol, UK.

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