Make your entry stand out among the competition.

The deadline is approaching for the PR Daily Awards. Of course, we wouldn’t be telling you this if there weren’t still time to enter. You have until Wednesday, June 29, to submit your best PR campaigns and initiatives for our judges. And you can click here for all the details you need to submit.

We want to address a question we often get asked: What makes an entry stand out when up against so many powerful submissions?

It’s a great question, recognizing that great work is table stakes for entry, mainly because all submissions are sent on behalf of powerful initiatives, programs, individuals, etc. In other words, great work alone doesn’t guarantee anything.

So, what will bolster your chances?

1. The write stuff
I can’t tell you how many powerful entries representing needle-moving efforts and/or leaders have been undermined by poorly written submissions. There are the basics of grammar, misspellings, and the like. However, this also includes disjointed paragraphs that don’t flow well and, as such, fail to tell a good story. Another culprit: Entries that highlight a particular accomplishment but then offer no validation the objective was achieved.

PR pros are storytellers, often among the best ones. When you put a story into the public domain to elicit a behavior or action among your key stakeholders, you will always go to great lengths to ensure you craft a strong story. Your awards entry demands the same treatment.

2. Impressions don’t impress

In many cases, media coverage of a campaign will be used as a metric in awards entries. That is fine. However, far too often entries rely on impressions as not only the most important such metric, but the only such metric.

Media coverage doesn’t fully prove that the effort moved the needle in any meaningful way to the business. If you’re going to note media coverage in your submission, you’re much better off focusing on one or two specific pieces of media coverage in specific outlets that truly matter to your brand and its key stakeholders.

3. Pinpoint needle-moving activity

Media coverage is an important goal for most PR campaigns, but that is still an avenue to the ultimate objective – spurring behavior among you key audiences. That could mean the purchase of a product or service; active support of a cause for which you champion; changing a certain behavior; and so on.

Creativity is important – and is applauded. Ultimately, the best entry will clearly and definitively show how that campaign made a real-world difference. You’d be surprised how many submissions don’t make this compelling case. Make sure your entry does.

4. Step away and share

Once your entry is complete, leave it be and step away for a while. And then come back and review it with a fresh set of eyes. This might seem obvious, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a crucial bit of counsel. You will have committed a lot of time and resources to your entry. You owe it to yourself and the brand(s) to review it with a fresh set of eyes.

And once you’ve done that, move on to another fresh set of eyes – those belonging to a colleague. It is highly advisable that you have someone else look at the entry, preferably someone who has never seen it before. More than likely, they will notice something you missed because you are so closely attached to the submission. They’ll ask a question you never would have thought of. They’ll provide a similar external perspective to those who review your entry for real. There is great value in that.

In addition to the PR Daily Awards, here are a couple of other upcoming awards programs where we welcome you to share your great entries – and put these tips to use…..

PR Daily’s Content Marketing Awards
Deadline: Friday, June 24

Ragan’s Top Women in Wellness and HR Awards
Deadline: Friday, July 22

And you can check here as entry details become available for these upcoming awards programs:

-Employee Communications Awards
Deadline: Friday, August 19

-Top Agencies Awards
Deadline: Friday, September 23

-Communicators of the Year and 30 Under 30 Awards
Deadline: Friday, October 7

-Top Women in Communications Awards
Deadline: Friday, October 21

-Workplace Wellness Awards
Deadline: Friday, November 4

-Crisis Communications Awards
Deadline: Friday, December 9

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