Five steps to writing a standout award entry


By Amy Metzelaar, PR account manager

The photo shows a candid image of several members of the Harris Creative team at the CIPR awards.

Awards season is in full swing across the construction industry, and here at Harris we’re preparing for some of the biggest events in our calendar including the CIPR PRide Awards and Construction Marketing Awards.

But of course, industry awards aren’t just about the opportunity to get together and have fun while celebrating a successful project or campaign. They’re an important marketing strategy that can not only prove your capabilities as a business, but also get you in the room with potential clients or investors.

Despite offering a number of benefits, writing an award entry tends to be a time consuming process which your company may not have the resources to dedicate to.

Fortunately, our PR and copywriting team is well-versed in crafting successful awards entries, both for Harris’ biggest successes and those of our clients. In fact, we’re proud to say that we’ve helped Novus Property Solutions achieve a three in four success rate in awards shortlisting so far this year!

This experience of writing countless submissions for a huge variety of award schemes and clients over the years has helped us gain an insight into what will catch the attention of a judging panel. Here are our top five tips for writing an award entry that stands out from the crowd.


  1. Be selective

With such a huge range of industry awards available, it can be tempting to take a blanket approach to an awards strategy – especially when many are free to enter. If you’ve dedicated time and resources to writing a great award entry it makes sense to submit it to as many schemes as possible, right?

Wrong. You’ll get more out of only submitting campaigns and projects to the most relevant awards schemes and categories because by being selective, you’re more likely to receive a place on the shortlist or even win. Factors to consider when choosing which awards to enter include which organisation is hosting the awards, if it fits into your budget, and whether you meet the criteria.


  1. Become a storyteller

Judging panels are presented with so many submissions that in order to stand out, your entry needs to be creative and compelling.

One of the best ways to do this is to tell the story of the project or campaign. Set the scene and clearly explain the who, what, why and how; finishing with the results and their impact. Where appropriate to the project or campaign, emphasise how meaningful it was by demonstrating its human or emotional impact.


  1. Be concise

While presenting an award entry as a compelling story is a great way to get the judges’ attention, there’s often a word limit which means it’s also important to avoid going off track.

There’s no need to panic though; it’s possible to write an award entry that is informative and engaging, as well as concise. The best way to do this is to keep referring back to the entry criteria to ensure the points you’re making throughout the story match these. If not, and you’re struggling to keep under the word limit, it’s worth questioning whether they’re worth making.


  1. Use numbers to demonstrate success

One of the best ways to demonstrate the success of a campaign or project is to include numbers in your results. Statistics and figures are an easy way for a panel to judge effectiveness, so it’s worth sourcing these.

For example, if you’ve doubled your social media reach following a targeted campaign or far exceeded KPIs, include these numbers in your entry. It’s a simple method for illustrating success, particularly if you’re already tracking such figures for ROI, and helps put the results into the context of wider business objectives.


  1. Proofread, proofread, proofread

The final step before hitting the submission button is ensuring the entry has been proofread – and then proofread again.

It can be easy to miss typos and other mistakes when you’ve invested a significant amount of time into writing an award entry, so it’s always worth asking a colleague to proofread it too. Here at Harris we’re huge advocates of this, and always ask other members of the team to proofread award entries and also check against the criteria as a fresh pair of eyes.


If you’re interested in building award entries into your marketing strategy, get in touch with our PR and copywriting team today.

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