With Nominations and Registrations for The Grampian Awards for Business Excellence closing tomorrow(...that sure came around quick!)
We are expecting a few last minute registrations tomorrow, but our attention now turns to all of the full applications we will receive in advance of the 1st of March deadline date from everyone who has registered.
Just for all of you lovely applicants, we have chatted to some judges, previous winners and even PR companies responsible for helping many clients with their applications to develop some Top Tips for your Award Application.
Tips 1-3 come from Gary McEwen - Chief Executive of Enterprise North East Trust who has years of experience in judging and participating in many different business Awards.
Tip 1. Judges will try hard to diligently digest all the information provided but often the sheer volume of entries makes it difficult to keep concentration. This is a reality. If you want to be heard above the others, the information should cover all that is asked for concisely and with some enthusiasm and feel free to get across 4-6 other key interesting facts you think are important but take your time, keep it short, tight, factual and interesting.
Tip 2. It is obvious to judges when time and care has been taken with an entry. Simply attaching a business plan is lazy. Extract key information from existing documents by all means but spend some time blending your information into a format that mirrors the request for information.
Tip 3. Sending the same application to multiple categories lacks focus and appears lazy. Nothing wrong with entering multiple categories but each application should be specific to the requested criteria.
Steve Cook; Cheif Executive of Empire HR and Chairman of Enterprise North East Trust brings us tip number 4:
Tip 4: When we are judging, the ones which come out on top are the ones who clearly follow the requested criteria ~ my top tip is therefore to read the questions carefully and answer them with as much clarity as possible.
Karen Pugh, Director of Enterprise Business Centres, also has years of judging in awards under her belt, and brings us tips 5-8:
Tip 5: Reading the criteria, over and again – making sure that they are able to present full and detailed answers for the criteria of the Award they are entering – so many can tell a story that appeals to 1 or 2 items within the criteria but not all –they must ensure it’s the right Award they are applying for.
Tip 6: Getting a 2nd opinion, input from others is good – internal and external. Ask others about why your business should enter or win the Award you are entering.
Often customers, employees and suppliers will think of things to promote and sell your business that you wouldn’t have necessarily highlighted yourself.
Tip 7: If you do something differently to any other business in your field, regardless of Award you have entered, highlight and speak about it.
Tip 8: This is your opportunity to put your business in the limelight – don’t be shy. Be big and be proud of your business and your achievements
Campbell Urquhart, Managing Director of the Urquhart Partnership - who run the Cherries Awards each year, refers to Sylvia Halkerston with a top tip (she is a previous Cherries Winner), and the Urquhart Partnership is the previous winner of The Grampian Award for Employer of the Year:
Tip 9: In the Event that the entry becomes a finalist, the claims can be substantiated and verified at the interview stage. Do you talk with Passion, Conviction and knowledge about your claims?
Tip 10 comes from Pauline Cook at Fraser Media, having years of helping her clients complete applications, she also presents the Grampian Awards regularly and comes in contact with many successful applicants. Pauline has even given us her tip in the form of a mnemonic!
Accuracy, honesty and creativity are key to any good entry
Word count should be checked and in accordance to the rules and regulations
Always check the judges criteria for the category you are applying for and ensure your application covers the criteria
Read it, read it and read it again – stick to the main points and don't go off in tangents
Deadlines should always be met - your entry should be prepared well in advance not in the hour leading up to that deadline!
Spelling, grammar and punctuation – edit, edit and edit again – there is no excuse for sloppy work!
So on behalf of everyone here at Enterprise North East Trust and our helpful tip providers we would like to urge you to register now if you haven't already, and we wish you the very best of luck with all of your applications.
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