All too often, there are firms that submit awards entries that fail to even make the shortlist. Where are they going wrong? What can they do to avoid this happening? In the second of our two-part feature, we ask our judging panel what would stop them reading an entry straight away
Unfortunately, in real life, there can only be one winner when it comes to awards.
Much as it would be easier to just reward everyone that submitted an entry, there has to be a top dog and the trophy only has room for one name.
But some companies do fail to help themselves by sending in entries that don't even make the shortlist cut.
So how can you avoid being one of those firms that falls at the first hurdle and actually get the judges to read through your entry to the end? It really isn't as complex as many would think.
In part one of this two-part feature, our judging panel (pictured below) shared what they are hoping to see in this year's batch of entries and what they consider to be a winning entry.
In this part, they reveal what would make them stop reading an entry straight away thus dashing any hopes of a shortlist place or a win. In turn, it will hopefully provide some hints at what those currently writing or planning an entry should avoid at all costs.
Luke Budka, director of PR and marketing firm Topline (pictured top, right) said basic grammar is a real sticking point for him.
"Spelling mistakes are unforgivable, as is anything that suggests an entry has been chucked on someone's desk an hour before deadline."
Gina Hough, owner of the Marketing Communications Company (pictured bottom right), said simplicity is key.
"Overlong sentences would definitely stop me reading straight away. If I can't understand the points being made it would put me off immediately," she said.
Mark Waite, managing director of Cohesive (pictured, middle, bottom line) said there was a fine line between shouting about success and going overboard.
"I will not read self-serving propaganda," he said. "By all means be enthusiastic and passionate but humility goes a long way."
Darren Spence, managing director of Boost Performance (pictured middle, top), said engagement with the entry reader was a key point.
"There is nothing worse than reading blocks and blocks of text," he said. "Make the entry interesting and engaging. This is the Sales and Marketing Awards, so think of the reader as one of your customers. Tell your story in a way that makes the reader want to hear more. Be different."
Sara Driscoll, former CRN editor (pictured top, left) said the basics need to be right.
"I like to give everyone a fair chance, but poor spelling, cliché phrases and overly complex wording makes it very difficult for judges to see how well you've done. Keep it simple; write clearly and in plain English and please get someone else to proof the document before you submit."
Richard Eglon, marketing director at Agilitas (pictured bottom, left), said the visual element of an entry is really important as well as the content.
"I would stop reading an entry that is badly presented straight away," he said.
To enter the awards and read the criteria, please click here.