The ultimate guide to winning awards and elevating your brand

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Dom Edge, Copywriting Manager

Your brand's a disruptive force, a revolution in the making for the tech sector and beyond. However, leaving a lasting impression demands more than innovation – it requires a megaphone to broadcast your triumphs.

In today’s digital world, there’s an ever-growing number of PR and marketing channels to choose from to reach stakeholders that matter, each with their own merits and unique audiences. Social media, content marketing, thought leadership - the options are endless. But if there’s one thing that can be a true differentiator, it’s awards.  

Why enter awards? 

An award or two in your back pocket is your bullhorn to the masses, amplifying your message and validating your hard work.

Beyond well-deserved recognition for your talented team, awards act as a powerful magnet to entice the industry's brightest minds to come and work for your innovative business. Moreover, the prestige can be a strong marketing tool, opening doors to new partnerships, investors, and clients. Simply put, they’re a staple of any PR and marketing program.

How to win awards 

Before you can enjoy the merits of an award win, there is the small matter of crafting a compelling award entry.

This is an area we’re well-versed in. Over the years Missive has helped numerous clients win awards - and won a fair few ourselves.

Follow these proven tips from our awards experts to craft compelling tech award entries that showcase your brand's innovation. 

Adhere to the entry criteria and requirements: It’s simple, but so often overlooked: read the criteria carefully multiple times, and then once more for good measure. Next gather all the information and materials necessary before you put pen to paper. Reflecting precisely what the judges are looking for is the first and most important step to success. 

Tell a compelling story with your entry: Organise your information into a natural, flowing narrative with a beginning, middle and end, rather than bombarding the judges with disconnected facts and figures. Use storytelling techniques to explain the impact your work had to really engage the judges. 

Provide quantifiable results and evidence: This is key. You won't get anywhere by just making claims about your achievements or expertise. You need to back them up with concrete data, metrics, examples, and tangible proof of the impact you've had. Quantify your results; show, don't tell. 

Stick to the formatting and content guidelines: Follow the specified word count, provide all requested information and materials, and present your submission in a clear, engaging format. Don't skip questions or provide excessive, irrelevant information that veers off-topic. Judges can have a lot of content to read for a single category and they will be glad if you make it easy to find the information they need. 

Review and refine your entry: Before submission, read your entry aloud to catch any errors or awkward phrasing, and circulate it among team members for feedback. Revise your entry to incorporate their input and ensure it accurately reflects your work and achievements. 

What do judges look for? 

Show a deep understanding of long-term partners

"You know that warm feeling you get when someone really 'gets' you? I look for that sentiment reflected in award submissions! The ones where it's clear the agency team has done the work to truly understand their long-term partners - their goals, their challenges, their secret sauce. It’s great to see that intel used as creative fuel, showing how it’s been used to develop campaigns and activations that don't just keep the client/agency relationship impactful over the years, but drive positive change. This can be anything from fostering important dialogues, championing initiatives, or showing up for their communities." 

Whitney Simon, Senior Account Director & Head of DE&I Consulting

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Be detailed and specific

“Be as detailed as you possibly can within the word limit. Use specifics and stats wherever possible, proving the efforts you've gone to and the impact you've had. Sometimes there is very little between each entry, so a tiny fact can give you the edge. And, of course, if a sentence doesn't add anything to the overall impact of your submission, swap it out for one that does.” 

Emma Ross, Co-founder & Chief People Officer

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Craft a strong narrative with relevant data

“When judging payment and fintech awards, I’m always looking for a strong narrative supplemented by relevant data. The best award submissions explain a problem that either an organisation’s customers or the wider industry was facing, and then explore (in simple, jargon free language!) how the business developed and implemented an effective solution. That narrative and storytelling will take you 50% of the way, but to demonstrate the impact that a business had, hard data and success metrics are crucial as they provide evidence that you really have solved the problem.”

Erin Lovett, Associate Director

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Highlight failures and challenges transparently

“One of the most refreshing things I see in award entries is an honest discussion of failures and challenges. It's all too easy to present a polished narrative of uninterrupted success, but that rarely reflects reality, especially in the tech sector. Don't be afraid to pull back the curtain and show the messy, iterative process that led to your achievements. I want to hear about the dead ends, the assumptions that proved wrong, and the moments of doubt. Then, highlight how you used these experiences to refine your approach and ultimately succeed. It’s this kind of transparency that adds humanity to your entry, as well as highlighting resilience, creativity, and problem-solving skills." 

Nicola Koronka, Co-founder & Chief Client Officer

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What next?

For ambitious tech brands striving to stay ahead of the curve, winning awards is not a vanity metric – it's a pivotal component of a comprehensive growth strategy. By following the insider tips shared by our seasoned award judges and experts, you can take the first step to success. 

Ready to craft an award-winning entry? Our award experts will work closely with your team to understand your unique strengths and build a powerful, judge-approved submission. Get started today. 

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