8 Mistakes in Australian Award Writing and How to Fix Them

8 Mistakes in Australian Award Writing and How to Fix Them

Written by the The Melotti Media Team, checked by Christopher Melotti

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In the highly competitive landscape of Australian business, every company aspires to be recognised as the best in their field.

Well, who doesn’t, right?!

Whether you’re aiming to secure a prestigious title, make it among the Top 50, or simply earn the respect and acknowledgment of your industry peers, awards hold a special place in the hearts of businesses.

So, how do you win a business award?

Well, behind the glittering trophies and honourable titles lies a complex process that can often feel overwhelming and prone to critical missteps. The pressure to craft a winning award submission can sometimes lead to costly mistakes.

So, in this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the nuances of Australian award writing, exploring eight common mistakes made in the process and offering practical solutions to rectify them.

By the end, you’ll be well-equipped to impress the award judges and increase your chances of receiving the recognition your hard work deserves.

What does it take to write a winning award submission? Let’s find out!

First, what’s an award submission?

Before diving into the intricacies of award submission, it’s essential to understand what it entails.

An award submission is your opportunity to showcase your brand’s excellence and accomplishments. It’s a chance to communicate to the world what you already know – that your brand is the best in your field!

Business Awards also convince your audience, both existing and potential, that your business is not just trustworthy but outstanding.

Titles like “Business of the Year” and “Top 50 Brands” are among the most straightforward ways to demonstrate your industry’s acknowledgment of your success.

There are several award-giving bodies that recognise businesses across Sydney and beyond, and here are just some of them:

In addition to these, there is a long list of other prestigious and popular Australian business awards that your business can enter and get recognised.

Check out this business award list here: List of Business Awards in Australia.

But why submit an award for your business?

It’s pretty straightforward, really.

There are several benefits to submitting (not even winning) an award:

1. An award gives your brand external recognition and credibility.

One of the primary motivations for submitting an award application is the desire for external recognition and credibility. Winning an award is a strong endorsement of the exceptional work your business does, bolstering your reputation and credibility within the industry.

2. Being nominated for an award validates all the work that you do.

Being nominated as a finalist or, better yet, winning an award is a powerful validation of your business’s dedication and the results you achieve. These nominations and accolades are essential components of your marketing and promotional efforts, adding a level of prestige to your brand.

3. Awards give your brand a competitive advantage.

Awards are a source of a significant competitive advantage.

When customers face the choice between two equally appealing options, they tend to gravitate towards businesses that boast titles like “Top 10 Brands” or “Business of the Year”.

Earning such business accolades is a strategic edge you want to have.

4. A business award is also a great way to position your brand as an industry leader.

Awards are not just about recognition; they are also a unique opportunity to position your business as a leader in your field. In a competitive market, they set you apart from your competitors, reinforcing your industry authority.

5. Being up for an award boosts your team’s morale.

Even if you don’t win, the mere act of submitting an award application can boost your team’s morale. External validation of your team’s efforts can be motivating and inspiring, promoting a sense of achievement and unity.

How to write a winning business award submission

With the motivation to submit for awards established, let’s delve into the art of crafting a winning award submission.

To guide you as you prepare your next award submission, we’ll explore eight common mistakes and provide a comprehensive guide on how to fix them.

8 common mistakes in award submission writing and how to fix them

Mistake #1: Not answering the question.

We know – this seems obvious, but as a Marker, Chris of Melotti Media has seen this mistake way too often.

One of the most prevalent errors in award submission writing is failing to address the question adequately.

Award application questions can be deceptively complex, leading applicants to provide cursory, incomplete responses.

In some cases, there are questions with multiple parts and the Judges have metrics that they follow for each part of the question. Missing at least one of those risks your submission of getting a 0 and ultimately missing your chance of winning the award.

So, how can you fix it?

To tackle this issue, it’s imperative to take a methodical approach.

Thoroughly analyse each question, highlighting keywords and breaking down the enquiry into its individual components. Before finalising your response, you can try to answer in bullet points to ensure you cover all aspects of the question. Then, organise your answers from there and make sure to include all the points.

Mistake #2: Failing to follow award submission guidelines.

Failing to adhere to the provided guidelines, including word counts and formatting requirements, is a significant misstep.

Guidelines exist for a reason – and if you’re proving that you’re the best, attention to detail becomes a must.

Many applicants mistakenly believe that a captivating story can compensate for exceeding word limits or submitting the wrong file formats, but this can lead to disqualification.

So, how can you fix it?

Diligently read and follow the instructions presented in the award application.

✔ If the question has multiple parts, ensure that you address each aspect.
✔ Adhere to the specified word (or, in some cases, character limit).
✔ Check the submission period and be sure to provide answers that are within the given time frames. 
✔ If there are additional requirements, be sure to follow the format of the documents requested.
✔ And MOST IMPORTANTLY, be completely aware of the deadlines.

You may think that these are not really part of the award judging criteria, but following the rules can never hurt your case.

Mistake #3: Weak storytelling.

Even if you have a compelling story to share, it might fall flat due to weak storytelling.

It’s easy to assume your story is engaging because you are intimately familiar with it, but it’s crucial to remember that your readers may not share the same level of familiarity.

So, how can you fix it?

To convey your story effectively, approach it as if you’re having a conversation with a friend.

Draw your readers in by providing ample details and context to make the story engaging. Consider having an impartial third party review your narrative before submission to ensure it resonates with a broader audience.

Remember: you’re appealing to a panel of judges with human emotions. Leverage that.

Mistake #4: Lack of supporting data and evidence.

Making grand claims about your business’ excellence without providing substantiating data and evidence can undermine the credibility of your submission.

You can say how excellent you are at customer service, but Markers will not take your word for this. You can say that you have grown your business substantially in the past year, but without proof, this will not make for a good award submission.

So, how can you fix it?

The answer is the age-old principle: “Show, don’t tell.”

Integrate numerical data, statistics, real-life narratives, and testimonials throughout your submission to bolster your claims and demonstrate your business’ credibility.

Yes, we are great at customer service – here’s a story about how we went above and beyond to support a customer PLUS a testimonial from said customer. Yes, we have grown the business steadily, here’s our year-on-year growth from 2020.

These are the parts that will make your submission shine.

Mistake #5: Disregarding passion and enthusiasm.

Passion and enthusiasm are powerful emotions that can significantly enhance your submission’s appeal. However, some individuals fear that sounding too personal or informal may be detrimental to the award submission.

This leads them to opt for generic, uninspiring responses – and let us tell you these: these are the submissions that the Markers DO NOT enjoy reading.

So, how can you fix it?

Embrace your feelings and enthusiasm when crafting your submission.

Remember that your readers are human and appreciate a compelling narrative. Take them on a journey through your challenges and make them go “Oh no” as they read. Then, take them into the path of your success, making them go “Wow!” as they experience your innovative ways through the submission.

Infusing emotion into your submission is always a sure way to create a memorable impact.

Mistake #6: Leaving the award writing to AI.

We’re not saying you can’t use AI to write award submissions. Of course, you can!

However, while it’s acceptable to leverage AI for assistance in the writing process, relying solely on AI to compose your entire award submission can be a grave mistake. AI can overlook human nuances, leading to generic responses that fail to stand out.

And if your competitors in the award resort to this option as well, then you’ll end up with similar responses that the Judges can easily get tired of.

So, how can you fix it?

Consider using AI in combination with human expertise to craft your submission.

By blending automation with personal insights and creativity, you can create a submission that truly distinguishes your brand from the competition. You can either do this on your own or work with a team of professional Award Copywriters who can help you sort your ideas and turn them into a compelling award submission.

At the end of the day, think about this: You want to end up with a unique award submission that fully captures how amazing your brand is. What is the best way to achieve that?

Mistake #7: Skipping proofreading and editing.

Neglecting the crucial steps of proofreading and editing can undermine the quality of your submission. An application filled with errors, whether they are spelling, grammar or factual inaccuracies, can dissuade judges from selecting your business as the winner.

These are among the little details that can make the difference between an easy perfect score from the panel and a significant score deduction.

Don’t take that chance!

So, how can you fix it?

Make it a habit to review and edit your submission as you write and conduct a final review before submission. You can also get someone else to review your work for an additional, objective perspective.

If you want business recognition, be sure to consider all aspects of the submission – even the seemingly trivial ones.

Mistake #8: Rushing the process.

Rushing through the award submission process is our final entry in this list of common pitfalls. Since award submissions always have deadlines and businesses are often busy, this happens more often than you may think.

However, it’s essential to understand that your first draft may not represent your best work, so it can’t be the last. Cramming can also lead to all the previous mistakes mentioned above since mistakes often occur when you’re pressed for time.

So, how can you fix it?

To address this mistake, allocate sufficient time to craft your submission. You can check potential awards you can enter and note the deadlines on your annual calendar.

Then when it’s time for writing the award, don’t be afraid to start with a very rough draft.

After creating a draft, step away from it for a while and return with fresh eyes to review and improve it. Remember, submitting an award application is a contest, and as with any competition, it demands effort and careful attention.

So, if you find yourself time-poor or spread too thin, you can consider seeking professional assistance to ensure your submission meets the highest standards.

In the competitive world of Australian business, obtaining an award is not just about the trophy or the title – it’s about the validation, the respect and the recognition your brand deserves.

Submitting an award application is a complex yet rewarding endeavour. However, the recognition and validation it can bring to your business are worth the effort.

Avoiding these eight common mistakes will put you in a stronger position to win an award or, at the very least, be confident in your submission.

And if you need this reminder: Your business is already doing amazing.

The next step is to submit an entry for the next award coming up and show your team, the industry and your customers that your business is an outstanding business that can fully support them in whatever they need.

How can Melotti Media help you write business awards?

At Melotti Media, we understand that you want to get cut through in a competitive Australian market and get business recognition that will propel business success.

However, you may find that you’re time-poor and spread thin or you still have a lot of unanswered questions.    

You don’t need to worry.

If you’re looking for professional help with your award submission, Melotti Media can assist you in bringing out your best ideas and capturing your hard work in writing while you focus on what matters most to you – growing your business.  

Let’s start winning the awards your business deserves!  

To speak to your trusted Australian Message Marketers and Sydney award copywriters, email us at enquire@melottimedia.com.au or phone 1800 663 342.

The Melotti Media Team    
Melotti Media | Copywriting & Message Marketing Bureau    

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