If you want your name to complete this sentence at the PRWeek Awards next March, Gideon Fidelzeid shares eight tips that could increase your prospects.
1. Learn from success
Go to awards.prweekus.com to read write-ups of past winners. While each submission is unique, incorporating just one applicable element from a past victor could prove very helpful.
2. Go to the video
Words are important, but our judges sort through mass verbiage. They appreciate seeing campaigns come to life. Visuals are always compelling.
3. Confidentially speaking
PRWeek Awards judges fully appreciate the desire to not reveal certain details. However, factors such as budgets simply must be included. They not only allow entities of varying sizes to be compared effectively, they also underscore the conditions under which the submitted campaign was executed.
4. The ultimate goal
“The best campaigns create value and have measurable goals and meaningful metrics,” says Ray Day, group VP of communications at Ford, multiple-time judge, and 2014 chair of judges. “Use these metrics and client commentary to explain how each program supports and bolsters the business overall.”
5. Think like the judges
PRWeek has made some improvements to the entry process this year, most notably to the judging criteria. This is important to all potential entrants because the entry kit, which can be downloaded at prweekus.com/awards, will specify what judges will be looking for in all categories. In a nutshell, data and content will be studied more closely than ever. Prepare entries accordingly.
6. The proper resources
Don't wait until the day before the deadline to craft your entry. Moreover, don't entrust your submission to the intern who joined your company a week ago. Whether it's a dedicated, experienced staffer or a collaborative effort that incorporates senior team members, the entry must be created by those who know the work. That effort and care will be evident to judges.
Friday, October 4, 2013
How to enter:
Download entry kit at prweekus.com/awards
Entry and event information:
Adele Durham, Senior events manager
Lauren Lombardo, VP, sales
7. The value of entry
Though more call to action than tip, it's a vital point. The effort put into entering for a PRWeek Award is worth it because the benefits of winning go far beyond the trophy. Heed the words of Denise Keyes, senior associate dean of the division of professional communications at Georgetown University, 2012 and 2013 winner of PRWeek's Education Program of the Year.
“The award, with the implied validation from industry leaders, has boosted the quality and quantity of our applications on a global level,” she reports.
8. Tell a good story
Everyone, including PRWeek Awards judges, loves a good story. This was a key piece of advice gleaned from a recent PRSA blog post from David McCulloch, corporate communications director at Cisco (pictured center), which took home three 2013 PRWeek Awards, including Campaign of the Year.
“What is it we always tell our executives during media training? A good story contains drama, villains, data, controversy, colorful sound bites, and analogies anyone can relate to,” he writes. “But how often do we incorporate all of those elements into our award entries?”
And such a story need not only be derived from crisis. It can come from a more positive place, such as an operational change or a feel-good moment.
McCulloch credits the story his company's submissions told more than any other factor in last year's triumphs. If it worked for Cisco, it can work for you.