Writing an awesome award application

By Angela Bensemann, Director Halo Communications

Entering awards is all part of raising your profile and receiving recognition for the hard work that you do.

I often get asked to help people with their award applications – whether it’s a business award, a community award, a local government award or even an international liveable city award – I’m happy to help.

Anyone can fill in an awards application, but it’s always hard to do one about yourself which is why it’s good to get some external perspective.

It’s crucial to pick the right category.

Think about your business and what you do well and look for the category where you have the most to offer. Sometimes the categories are based on the size of your business or the value of the project, so it’s quite clear. Other times it’s less obvious and there may be multiple categories you can entre like marketing and sustainability.

Obvious, but sometimes overlooked, points including checking the closing date! And any exemptions from entering. How will this be judged (is it an interview with a panel of judges, a people’s choice vote, or at the discretion of one person). Read the fine print.

Set aside a decent amount of time to read over the application form, the criteria for each category and the questions involved in each category.

Once you’ve decided on a category it might be worth researching who won last year and finding out what you can about their business.

Most applications are online – but it pays to write up your application ‘offline’ to start with, getting it right, and making sure you have all the information required.

Make sure the content reflects not only what you do, but a flavour of who you are and why your business is special and deserves to win this category. If you write in an engaging way the judges will enjoy reading your application and it will stand out from the crowd.

If the application form doesn’t ask for your web address or links to your social media accounts – add these in anyway as part of your response. If you are talking about marketing or sales at all in your application, this is highly relevant.

If the application doesn’t call for photos or video clips include them anyway if there’s room to, or offer them up to the judges as available if they’d like them.

Get someone to read over your application to make sure it makes sense, answers the questions and has no mistakes.

Once you’ve lined all this up, fill in the online application and push send.

Best of luck.

And if you win, or are shortlisted as a finalist, make sure you use that in your own future marketing as validation of what you’ve achieved.