31 Oct 2022

How to win industry awards

By Paul Coupar-Hennessy

For credibility, not much beats an award-win logo on your homepage. That logo concentrates three key messages in just a few pixels –  and it delivers them in milliseconds.

At a glance, viewers know that:

  • the problem you’re trying to solve is seen as important
  • your organisation is credible
  • your product works.

Organisations spend huge sums on advertising, often trying to achieve what one logo can manage for relatively little outlay.

So how to convince the judges? At Roaring Mouse we’re modest types but we do have an excellent record with helping clients win awards. We offer our tips below:

Think from the judges’ point of view

Judges read dozens of entries, and in their own time. It’s not totally unimaginable that they skim, and do so with a glass of wine in hand. Write with that image in mind.

Tell a story

Tell the judges a clear story about the problem, why it matters, what your mission is and how you are achieving it. Only start writing once you can summarise that story in two sentences.

Explain why it matters

Why does what you’re doing matter? Of course it matters to you. But don’t take it for granted that other people will care as much as you do.

Use eye-catching figures and client testimonials

Make sure they stand out on a skim read, by using bullets or separate paragraphs.

Avoid jargon and industry in-speak

The judges will be broadly familiar with your field, but clunky in-speak and acronyms are always off-putting.

Ethos, logos, pathos

When it comes to persuasion, not much has changed since Aristotle. So weave in Ethos (give them a sense of your organisation’s character or ideals, perhaps by telling a story of how it was founded, or about your values); Logos (explain why your solution makes sense); and Pathos (appeal to human emotion).

Use a clear structure that won’t bore or baffle judges

Some award entries have their own structure, with boxes to complete. Others are free-form. The structure below is effective for the key ‘Tell us why you should win ’ box, or for a free-form entry:

  • Summarise the story you are telling in not more than four sentences
  • Give three killer impact stats or quotes
  • Explain the issue and its significance
  • Lay out your award-winning results
  • Briefly lay out how they were achieved
  • Outro: summarise the 3 key reasons why you should win.

In our experience, not many entries follow this guidance. By doing so you are making it easy for the judges, and you’ll be ahead of the field right away. Writing a winning entry might look daunting, but it’s not so hard as it seems – especially if you think from the judges’ point of view.