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I recently had the pleasure of serving as a judge for one of the communication industry’s leading awards programs. During the judging process, I began to realize the secrets that separate the award winners from those who submit awards only to have their submissions ignored. Many submissions came across the judge’s table, from large brand names clamoring for their external public’s attention; to lesser- known companies looking to make an impact with internal stakeholders and employees. Despite company size, campaign budget, or target audience, a few things came forward as keys to a winning submission:

  • Make objectives measurable: In many of the award submissions, what constitutes as a campaign objective seemed to be ambiguous and inconsistent from company to company. Measurable objectives allow you to set metrics, benchmarking the success of your campaign and allow judges to tell at a glance whether or not the campaign was successful.
  • It all goes back to “why”: This may align to objectives, but it should still be explicated. Clearly explain why the campaign and the work involved matter. Showcase in your award submission that you researched your target audience and the key trends within the industry as it relates to the program. This not only lets the judges understand the impact of your actions, be it to influence employees to take a specific action or drive awareness to customers for a lagging brand, but can also serve as a rallying cry for your internal team and stakeholders.
  • Writing can make or break your submission: This may seem obvious; however, based on my time reviewing submissions, it needs to be said: an award submission needs to be well-written. No matter the company reputation or budget, if the submission isn’t clear on what the program entails, or worse, is poorly written and riddled with spelling or grammatical errors, chances are it won’t go far. Put a review system in place to catch any errors and ensure the writing is engaging. Award submissions can be and should be time consuming – if you and your team do not have the bandwidth to create a compelling submission, consider outsourcing the writing.

Awards are a great way for you and your team to be recognized for a well-executed campaign. Ensuring you capture all needed elements for an award submission is the first step toward this recognition.


For more information on developing a strong award submission for your organization connect with us today.