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10 Tips for Ensuring High Quality Submissions – Greater Newry Area Business Awards

Don’t Put Off Until Tomorrow What Can Be Done Today!

These well-known words from Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the US are still as relevant today at they were over 200 years ago when Benjamin was around, and as the July holidays are upon us, we know only too well how quickly the summer days and weeks will slip by. If you haven’t already taken the time to review the 21 awards categories to decide which ones you will apply for, you need to do this now. The deadline to enter is only one month away – Friday 11th August 2017, before midnight.

When the clock strikes 12 your coach to the awards won’t turn back to a pumpkin like Cinderella’s but if you miss the deadline you won’t be leaving the ball with your prize in hand either so it’s time to start working on your awards entries!

To make things easier for you, we’ve outlined 10 tips to help you to produce high quality submissions and stay on track for meeting the entry deadline:

1. Shortlist your Entries – Review the categories and make a shortlist of those that are most applicable to your business (or your client’s if you are a services agency). Be sure to read the entry criteria in full to ensure that you meet the requirements and note that the maximum number of entries that can be submitted per company is four.

2. Prioritise your Entries – If you are organised you will be able to complete all of your entries on time, but focus on the awards you want to win/be shortlisted for the most and make a start on these first. Often you’ll find that some of the content can be re-used in other entries. The first one will always be the hardest to write but don’t despair, it will get easier after that.

3. Attend our Information Seminars – We’re hosting 2 information seminars on Tuesday 25th July and Tuesday 1st August to assist businesses with the task of picking the most suitable categories to enter. We’ll also explain the entry criteria for each and take any questions from the floor. If you need clarification on anything, this is your opportunity. Also, utilise these events as opportunities to network and to check out the competition!

4. Draft Offline, Submit Online – Consider drafting the content in a word document first so that you can share it with other colleagues to proof read and edit. Once you’ve agreed the final version you’ll be able to quickly copy and paste the content into our online template and submit. If your internet connection can be a bit unreliable at times, this is also a good approach – the last thing you want is to craft all of that great content only to lose it if you experience any technical issues, particularly if you’ve left it to the last minute (which we strongly advise against!).

5. Outsource your Content Writing – Consider partnering up with a skilled copywriter and/or marketing professional – with the best will in the world, time is often against us or your company may lack the skills internally to tell your story in the most effective way. An experienced copywriter or marketing professional will be able to help you with this and a fresh pair of eyes can often see things a little more clearly than we ourselves can.

6. Set Deadlines – This is particularly important if you are entering a number of categories and need other colleagues to review, provide feedback and/or approve the content before submission. Without a proper plan with adequate time allowed, there could be a few late nights and a last minute panic as the 11th August deadline approaches and no-one wants to be spending their Friday night working if they don’t have to!

7. Answer the Questions Asked – Sometimes it’s tempting to go off on a tangent but stick to the questions asked and you will score higher. Your category assessor will also thank you for making their task much more straightforward.

8. Believe you can win! – If you adopt the ‘we’ll never win anything attitude’ you’ll be right! But be positive and challenge yourselves and you really might surprise yourselves as many of our previous award winners and finalists did! At the end of the day, you’ve nothing to lose and much to gain if you do make the shortlist or even win! With each and every entry you write, you will get better at it, and even if you don’t win this time, there’s always next time, or the time after that.

9. Re-use your Submission Content – you can re-use the content you’ve created in many ways. It can be repurposed into a blog or case study for your company website, an email campaign or a PR piece so make the most out of the marketing opportunity to showcase what your business can do to those locally and further afield!

10. Enjoy the Experience – Come along to our awards ceremony and have a great night with colleagues and friends from the local business community. Even if you haven’t been shortlisted, the awards ceremony still presents a great opportunity to network with other local business representatives and enjoy a great night out.

It’s your time to shine so don’t delay – get to work on your entries today!

If you have any queries and are unable to make it to one or both of our information seminars, please contact us and we will do our best to help you.