Long-term SMA judge Sara Yirrell shares some sage advice for all those considering their 2022 SMA entries
One of the most common questions we as judges are asked is ‘What can we do to make sure our entry stands a good chance of winning?'
It really is much simpler than most people think. The key is to read the criteria carefully and put yourself in the position of the judges.
For every award there is a detailed set of criteria that really focuses on what the judges are looking for - ranging from key stats and figures, to a strong testimonial. The entries must also focus on the UK market.
CRN's judges are looking for entries that really stand out - not just because they are a fancy PDF, but because the content is relevant, personal and they can tell that the company has put time and effort into painting their business and teams in the best possible light.
We can spot entries that have been hastily thrown together using just cut and paste corporate copy - these will never make it through to the shortlist, so it is just a waste of time. It is mainly vendors who are guilty of that, so vendors, please don't do it!
Many include humour in their entries, which not only makes the judges laugh, but shows a company that is a fun and pleasant place to work, reflected in testimonials from staff that prove they are enjoying their job. And the saying happy staff make happy customers is definitely a real thing.
Another popular style of entry is a video - the judges are real fans of these because it is a break from reading reams of text. However, please do stick to the five-minute video length because the judges will not watch anything over five minutes and it would be a shame for any hard work to go to waste. Again, humour, personality and getting your teams involved is always a good move. But don't forget stats and testimonials - these really are crucial.
If you don't have the time or budget for PDF or video entries, do not be put off. All we ask as judges is that you space the entry out well (please don't cut and paste blocks of text) and remember to make it an enjoyable as well as informative read with plenty of stats and testimonials. Content really is everything.
By following the above advice, there is no reason at all why your entry won't make the shortlist and you will be making our job as judges, even more difficult. We really love it when a category prompts long and loud debate about who should win.
Every entry stands the same chance, every year the slate is wiped clean. Make this your year to shine!
So, in summary, read the criteria, make it personal, explain to the judges what your company is all about, back everything up with stats and testimonials and get your teams involved. And if possible, don't leave it until the last minute - give yourself plenty of time to ensure you are happy with it.
The deadline for entries is Friday 1 April and the awards themselves will take part on Thursday 7 July at the Hilton London Bankside.
To submit your entry, please click here.
We look forward to celebrating sales and marketing success with you all on the night!