Getting your responsible business achievements across on an application form in a clear and compelling way can sometimes be easier said than done. In association with the Awards Agency, we have put together our ten top tips on maximising the impact your entry will have on our assessors.
The Responsible Business Awards are open for entries until 17 February 2017.
1) Choose wisely
Think about your strengths, as well as what you're most proud of, in your responsible business activity. Then try to match that with the category that best covers it. If you're not sure whether you meet the category criteria, there's plenty of help available – you can read the guidance document available alongside the application form, or come along to one of our free Awards workshops. Alternatively, you can also ask the Awards team directly. We're at email@example.com.
2) Start early
Putting together a good entry takes effort... and time! So start early, and give yourself at least four weeks to gather all the data you'll need to put your application on a solid footing.
3) Get the boss on board
Responsible business is all about teamwork... so make sure your colleagues and senior managers are aware of the awards. Garner their support, and they’ll be able to give you valuable information and feedback to make your entry as compelling as possible.
4) Prove it!
We can't just take your word for it that your programme is great. You'll have to give us hard evidence (facts, statistics and testimonials) of the benefits you've achieved for the business and for society. We like before and after data, and quotes from third parties, especially those who've benefited from what you've done. Give us all the detail - the assessors work from paper copies so they won't be able to access any hyperlinks embedded in your entry.
5) Keep it simple
Focus on what the assessors are actually asking for - it’s all laid out in the guidance document that comes with the application form. Our assessors will appreciate clear, plain English, free from jargon and unexplained acronyms.
6) Let it flow... let it flow
Tell a compelling story throughout the application and cross-reference between questions so you don’t have to repeat yourself.
7) Picture it perfect
Images will help bring your story to life and, where complex processes and structures are concerned, a table or diagram is definitely worth a thousand words. But make sure they support your description of the project, rather than substituting for it.
8) Phone a friend
Get a critical friend from outside your business to proof-read and check for any assumptions that may have crept in. They could also score your entry against the specific scoring criteria included in the guidance document. If they really like you.
9) Follow the rules
The Award rules apply to everyone, so keep to the word count, answer every question and make sure you submit your entry online before the deadline. Once the clock ticks past 5pm on 17 February 2017, that's it - time's up!
10) If at first you don’t succeed...
Use your experience of entering the Awards, as well as the feedback provided once the results are revealed, to make your submission next year even more outstanding.
In the meantime, use our expert assessment of your entry to benchmark your performance and identify improvements and developments that you can make across your business. Then you'll have that all-important competitive advantage, and a better chance of winning an award in the future.
These tips were brought to you in association with the Awards Agency, who have been helping businesses write award-winning submissions for more than ten years. Find out more about the services they offer.
*The Awards close at 5pm GMT on 17 February 2017.