Creating an Award-Winning Awards Entry!

If you’re keeping an eye on your competitors, as you should, you‘re probably aware of the multitude of awards being dished out across Scotland.

You might also be thinking – hang on, that could have been us!

Over the years, I’ve heard clients admit that they opted out of an award because they couldn’t face writing the submission.

But, in doing so, they opted out of the benefits winning an award can bring. A lost opportunity.


Winning an award and even being shortlisted can raise your profile, boost sales and build trust and respect.  Not forgetting the networking opportunities from the ceremony itself and the excuse to celebrate with your team and peers.

An award is also a highly usable marketing tool for the period you own it.  Its uses are endless.  You can share your ‘winning’ (or even ‘finalist’) status on all your digital assets from your website, social media and email footers to your client newsletters, brochures and signage.    If the award is a biggie, you might even be profiled in the press and media.

Dundee-based joinery firm WBS Keillor won the Service category of The Courier Business Awards 2023.

Mike Smith, Managing Director, said, “When we heard about the awards, we thought applying would be a great way to mark our 75th year in business. We’ve been involved in some pretty significant projects over the years and had a lot to reflect on. I also saw it as a way of thanking my team for their hard work and commitment to the company.

“We had an amazing night as a team, celebrating alongside other businesses, and to actually win it was the icing on the cake!  It’s a real honour to have this form of recognition for what we do day in, day out and it definitely made our 75th year even more memorable.”


Mike Smith celebrating his company’s Courier Business Award award.

But, when it comes to writing the submission, where do you start?

Here are some top tips …

Understand the criteria

Make sure you pick the correct criteria (there might be more than one) and analyse the requirements for entering/winning.  What does the awarding body want to see?  Are you answering the specific questions appropriately?

Make sure you align your entry with the criteria, address them concisely and answer in the way they have requested.

Your award entry might be top-notch but your chances of winning are slim if it doesn’t meet the judges’ objectives.

Evidence your claims

Chances are you’ll be asked to do this but, even if you’re not, do it anyway.  We can all say we’re great, but is there a space for facts and figures, testimonials or client case studies?

What impact do you make, and how can you prove that?   Does your product or service solve a problem? What is that problem and how do you help?

Keep it real

Yes, AI is amongst us, but don’t be tempted to simply replicate what others have said.

Your business is unique. Tell your story as it is, keep it authentic. So by all means, make the judges sit up and think ‘wow’, but keep it real.

Showcase your values and personality, explore and celebrate your ‘why?’

Even if your sector is highly technical and complex, remember you’re out to capture the judges’ attention, some of whom may not be experts in your industry. Use simple language to convey your value proposition and steer clear of jargon and exaggerations.

Be innovative

Assuming it matches the award you’re vying for, explain how you have used innovation to achieve your goals and solve your clients’ challenges.

And, as for the entry itself, make that innovative too!  Is there scope to use imagery, video or infographics to prove your point and break up the text?

Perfectly imperfect

Don’t be afraid to point to any risks, failures, or learnings that have arisen and how you used them to shape your growth and development.  We’re all human.  Judges are not necessarily seeking perfection.

Check, check and check again

Don’t forget to check your spelling, grammar, punctuation and word count.

It might also be useful to consult a trusted business acquaintance. Ideally, one who’s a stickler for accuracy and plain English to gauge their opinion before you press ‘send’.

When you’re focused on the business daily, it can be tough to see the bigger picture, but wouldn’t it be good to gain praise and recognition for these efforts? 

If you want to raise your game this year and need some support with your award submission, drop me a line at or call 07912 324 264.