Tips for Crafting an Award-Winning Submission

While pursuing awards is often an afterthought or something that gets overlooked altogether, earning recognition for client work can be extremely valuable. It’s more than just a pat on the back or an ego boost. Awards can enhance a company’s reputation and set it apart from others, placing it at the forefront of an industry for being “the best” or “the first” at something. Awards are also given for creativity, innovation and bold, one-of-a-kind ideas, which can be seen throughout many of the projects and events we work on at Jackson Spalding every day.

Before jumping head first into planning an event, starting a project or kicking off a campaign, it’s important to take a step back and think about the desired end result. Judges like to see that goal-setting was part of the planning process, and setting thoughtful goals that are both measurable and results-driven will help you outline your client’s standard for success.

It’s also important to identify the intended audience for the project and show the judges that the target audience’s behaviors, attitudes and preferences were analyzed and taken into consideration before, during and after implementation. The more time you spend on target audience analysis, the more likely you are to effectively relate to your audience, whether it be a promotional campaign for a group of social influencers or a fundraising gala event geared towards corporate executives. Avoiding vague assumptions like “we think they might like…” and backing up your theories with evidence and research will not only make your event successful, but also award-worthy.

Believe it or not, judges also want to know when things went wrong. Outlining challenges faced during the project shows strategic thinking and resilience. Whether it be working with a limited budget, wrangling multiple vendors or adjusting to unexpected developments, be upfront about any difficulties that came up and demonstrate how they were effectively managed.

And what is a successful project without tangible results? These should relate back to the target audience analysis and goals you set during the planning phase. For example, how did your campaign influence audience behavior? The best campaigns prompt engagement, encouraging the audience to respond both emotionally and in some tangible way: joining the conversation, purchasing a product, getting involved in a cause, etc. Show how the results met the business goal of the project and reflect the original strategy and planning.

If your project, event or campaign has each of these elements, it likely has all the criteria needed for an award-worthy submission. Pursuing awards shouldn’t be an afterthought, it should be an ongoing priority as we strive to advance our clients, position them as industry leaders and help them earn recognition.