Aussie site Mumbrella has issued its 2018 awards call for entries – along with a timely guide on how to get the process right. “Submitting award entries is one of those jobs no one likes doing, but it’s one of the most valuable activities your company can take part in,” says site honcho Dr Mumbo.
“While the entry process may seem tedious, time intensive and annoying, it is probably shorter than you think. There are standard guidelines to follow to ensure award entries are given the best opportunity.
“We’ve put together five tips and tricks. Some of it will sound obvious, but the obvious is so often overlooked.
“Keep in mind that big is not always better.”
“Keep in mind that big is not always better. Don’t assume you don’t stand a chance if you’re a small company or player. Big doesn’t always win. The juries look for the level of achievements within the resources available. If you are kicking goals in your company, you just might be surprised at how you measure up.
“A final point to remember: Winning isn’t the only reason for entering. The jury is made up of senior industry players. It’s a brilliant opportunity to get your best work and company achievements in front of an esteemed jury, who may just prove to be a new business opportunity in the future. As with the Mumbrella Awards’ live judging, it is a great opportunity to get valuable face time in a room with these heavy hitters.”
1. ANSWER THE BLOODY QUESTIONS
Read the criteria. Answer the criteria. Don’t try to tailor a question to suit the answer you want to give.
The job of a juror is to compare like for like in a fair manner. You won’t get bonus points for going off track.
Entries are generally broken down into questions that have a percentage weighting for scoring. Pay particular attention to the big ones and make sure you are kicking goals in these. If you are not strong in an area, be honest and explain why and what you are doing about it. That will score you points.
Focus on key achievements and what sets you apart from the competition. When asked to submit case studies, pick ones that are diverse and show your strengths and scope.
Tell a story. The strongest applications that stand out have an underlying journey, with a focus on the escalating success and growth, written in a personal and honest tone.
2. DON’T THROW THE KITCHEN SINK IN
Don’t be tempted to sneak more information in, go off course, include extra case studies or go over the word count. It will only penalise you.
Write in short, punchy statements, rather than lengthy paragraphs.
Providing information that allows them to compare like-for-like and easily measures up to the criteria will help you get the best score.
3. DELEGATE, AND DO IT EARLY
Putting together an entry should rarely be one person’s job. Appoint someone responsible for the project, who then delegates to the best source for each question. Start the process early, as there is nothing worse and more stressful than a last minute scramble.
Go crazy on providing (accurate) facts and stats. Putting time into gathering results and analysing data to give you punchy, significant statistics is gold for impressing judges.
Remember, it’s really important that if you make a claim, that you support it with evidential proof. On that note, don’t nudge the truth. It will only serve to invalidate your whole entry. The chances are you’ll be found out.
4. VIDEO TELLS 1000 WORDS
If you are allowed to submit video, do it. Video is a great way to bring to life all the claims you’ve made in your application, without going off brief. But remember, in cases where only supporting links are allowed, make sure the key information is in the written entry.
Avoid a link to another link. Give a direct YouTube link or similar so judges can play it instantly and not be tempted to skip over it.
Don’t repurpose – put the time into a unique edit for the award you are entering. Not only can the jury see through a ‘company showreel’, but you are missing a chance to bolster the application.
5. DON’T COOKIE CUT
An application which has been touted across the awards circuit can be sniffed out a mile away. The bones and research involved can definitely be repurposed, but make sure you are writing the application with a fresh approach.
Don’t review your past entries first; instead try writing new entries completely fresh and then revisit old ones later for inspiration. Be sure the information you provide matches up with the eligible period the awards cover.
If you are a repeat entrant, year-on-year for the same award, mention this in the application and reference your achievements since the prior entry. The jury will want to know how you’ve moved things on since last time.
If there is a live presentation involved, like the final stage of the Mumbrella Awards, ensure you’ve properly rehearsed and timed your pitch beforehand. Bring your heavy hitters, as well as the people who lived and breathed the campaigns you’re presenting.
The single most common mistake juries see at the live round of the Mumbrella Awards is failing to present according to the criteria the presentation will be scored against.
Leave enough time for Q&A. Don’t try to bulldoze through to the end with as much information as possible. The judges might need areas of clarification or will gently guide you to talk more about an area of the entry, which is aimed to increase your score.
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