8 Tips to Writing a Winning Worthy Award Entry

BClaire Armstrong 2 (1)y Claire Bloxom Armstrong
Public Relations Director, PAVLOV

From the pride it brings to your team/agency, third-party credibility and validity it gives to your work and services, and recruitment opportunities it provides for both new business and star employees, it’s difficult to overstate the value of winning a Worthy Award.

Be sure to take some time before you start the entry process to maximize the quality of your submissions and ensure your entry stands out. Here are 8 tips to help you do this:

  1. Plan Ahead.
    Draft an outline of what you want to get across before you start writing. The entry system now takes place entirely online, and the allowed copy length for both Programs and Tactics is 1,500 words (1,600 if you include the optional 100-word synopsis).
  2. Tell A Story.
    Judges like a clear narrative, so borrow some techniques from PR Writing 101 and emphasize the 5 Ws: Who, What, Why, Where, and When – and throw in a little “How” if you have time and space.
  3. No Jargon!
    Did you “utilize and leverage existing resources to achieve your goals and exceed KPIs?” Well, cut it out. Jargon like that takes up precious space and words, and conveys nothing about what you actually did. How about this instead: “We transformed the streets of downtown Fort Worth into an outdoor art gallery and performing arts venue.” Much better! Skip the big, flowery words, and cut to the chase.
  4. Don’t Ignore The Fine Print.
    Check the category descriptions and entry guidelines to ensure you are covering all of the criteria for the categories you are entering. Keep to the maximum word count (300 per section) and upload only the maximum number of supporting materials (5 per section). Otherwise, you risk annoying the judges at best; at worst — being excluded from the category.
  5. Choose Supporting Materials Carefully.
    There is so much temptation to upload everything, but don’t do it. Choose the best and most impressionable media clips, videos, images, and testimonials to support your case.
  6. Explain Your Results.
    When you reach the last section of your entry, it’s tempting to make a series of bullets — ad equivalency values, impressions, followers, engagement rates, etc. But the storytelling shouldn’t stop here. Put those numbers in context. What do they mean for your client? How do they contribute to overall business goals? How did the organization and target audiences benefit? Share results beyond numbers — comments, stories, or changes in business practices, for example.
  7. Think Like A Judge.
    The judges might be reading/judging 10-20 submissions. Think about that and put yourself in their shoes before submitting a final draft and make it as easy as possible for them – they will appreciate it and look at your entry in a more favorable light. Make it an easy read with clear objectives. Consider having an internal judging panel assess the entries before they are submitted – if you can’t convince your own colleagues, you won’t convince the judges.
  8. Connect All The Dots.
    Most importantly, don’t expect the judges to draw conclusions for themselves. What seems obvious to you as an expert in your category and someone immersed in your client’s world for a year or more will not be obvious to the judges. Educate them about the challenges you faced, the uniqueness of your strategy, and the significance of your results. Because the truth is, great work and great results are just the first step. Great entries win Worthy Awards! 🙂

September 2016 Luncheon

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“To Post or Not to Post?”
September 14 – GFW PRSA September Luncheon

Join the Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA on September 14 for a panel of social media experts who will talk through several challenges many of us face on our social platforms. With a focus on ethics this month, our panelists will discuss some best practices to help guide us through these tricky situations.

Register today!

Our panelists include representation from a variety of industries, ensuring there is something for us all. Join panelists from higher education, agency and corporate social media teams to hear how they have addressed issues encountered in their industry.

August 2016 Member Spotlight: William Moore

August 2016 Member Spotlight: William Moore

William MooreName: William Moore

Job Title/Company: Director of Communication, Grapevine Chamber of Commerce

College/Degree/Graduation Date: Abilene Christian University, double major in integrated marketing communications and finance, 2010

Hometown: Arlington, Texas

Position within GFW PRSA (i/a): 2016 Worthy Award Co-Chair

Childhood ambition (what did you want to be when you grew up?): I loved basketball and wanted to be Michael Jordan.

Current livelihood (what you’re actually doing as a grown-up): I am being the Michael Jordan of Chamber of Commerce marketing and communication. More specifically, I lead the marketing and communication effort to keep our membership informed about what’s happening in the Chamber via email marketing, newsletters and other publications, while also managing our Social Media, event marketing and website content strategy.

First PR job: While in college, I had the opportunity to work in the Abilene Christian University Office of Public Relations for four years, writing news releases and assisting with media relations. The job helped develop my writing skills, and I was able to learn from a few excellent mentors.

What you know now that you wish you’d known then: You’ll never know everything you need to know, but you need to keep learning anyway.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever received: Be confident in yourself.

Greatest professional or personal accomplishment: Professionally – Having the Grapevine Chamber of Commerce be recognized at the state level for Social Media marketing among Chambers of Commerce. Personally – Convincing my wife she should marry me.

If you weren’t in PR, you would be ______?: I think I would be some combination of an architect or interior designer.

William Moore - Fun PicDesired legacy: To be thought of as someone who loves God, loves family, loves others and always gives 110% to whatever the task may be.

Why did you originally join PRSA?: While in college, I was involved in PRSSA and always planned to get involved in PRSA after graduating to continue my professional development and network. It took me about four years to get there, but I’m glad I made the effort to get involved!

Finally, tell us about your hometown and what makes it cool: Arlington, Texas, is home to the National Office of American Mensa, the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world. I am not a member. On a slightly more serious note, I enjoyed growing up in Arlington because you’re always half way to anywhere in the DFW Metroplex.