How to score an award

It may seem obvious to say that following the rules matters, but according to one judge, a lot of entrants don’t seem to think it does.

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Whether it’s local or national, industry-driven or broad-based, third-party award recognition is an excellent PR opportunity for gaining notoriety, reinforcing credibility and enhancing your firm’s reputation.

To reap the rewards, winning is everything.

Winning entries for every competition must have substance and exude brilliance in fulfilling the award’s criteria. Beyond that, winners and losers are separated by good writing and presentation.

Often, awards are in the realm of a PR person’s responsibility on behalf of our clients and our own organizations. I developed a knack for winning and learn even more as a judge.

The No. 1 secret to winning is incredibly simple (although not necessarily easy) and a mystery why more entrants don’t get it:

Write for the judges . Answer every question, provide descriptions and do anything else the criteria calls for in precisely the order it is requested. No exceptions. Don’t go off on a tangent, forcing the judges to dig through your copy to find an answer. Make it easy for them, even if it is more difficult for you to write.

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