Three secrets to winning award applications

Award season is upon us. This is the time when industry groups and publications seek nominations for myriad awards, from 40 Under 40 accolades to Inc. 500/5000.

Filling out award applications is time consuming, so you want to make sure if you devote the time to the endeavor, you win.

We’ve managed hundreds of awards applications for clients over the years, and have a pretty good success rate. Which got us wondering why. Here are our three traits of winning award applications:

  1. Follow directions. Award judges are looking for ways to cull their list, and not following directions is an easy way to get eliminated. Stick with the required word count, follow formatting guidelines and be complete.
  2. Write from the heart. Be passionate about the good things your company has done by demonstrating achievements. Include stories, examples and anecdotes that will humanize your application and make it stand out. Infuse the application with the personality of the company without using flowery language.
  3. Proofread your submission. Strict word counts and directives in applications often result in tight editing and a loss of meaning. Ask a colleague to proof your applications, not just for typos and grammar, but also for meaning.
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