For the last few weeks I’ve been immersed in writing entries for the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, the world’s most prestigious business award.
For the 2018 round, which has just deadlined, I’ve worked (as usual) with an eclectic mix of companies, including: one of Britain’s fastest-growing financial services firms; a soaraway exporter with revenues of £120 million; and a business critical to the development of cancer drugs.
I can’t deny it’s been very hard work and a huge relief to get the entries in. But it is always fascinating to peek into the inner workings of successful companies and be trusted to write the entry that will give their business the best possible chance of winning.
What makes this award submission so difficult?
The variety of the businesses demands in-depth research and versatility on my part.
Each submission is around 7,000 words, which may sound generous enough but when you discover the sheer amount of information that the judges require you soon realise why it’s so difficult to compile the entry.
There are very strict word counts for each section. If the maximum allowed to describe a company’s world-leading research department is 500, you can’t go a word over.
And the entry needs to wow. My job is to tell a story and keep the judges agog from beginning to end.
It’s vital to get it right first time. If you miss the deadline, you can’t enter for another year – by which time turnover might have dipped, rendering the company ineligible.
For the Queen’s Award for Enterprise (QAE), I work with Awards Intelligence, the best awards consultants in the business.
Why choose us to write your award submission?
My past success rate speaks for itself. All my clients who entered the 2017 Queen’s Award for Enterprise were successful when the list was announced in April: an amazing feat. (A result of their business acumen plus my copywriting skills!) The 2017 entries included a superyacht company, a firm of West Country technical wizards, a neurologist and a chemical business.
Most companies only get one stab at the QAE. Every word counts, which is why they invest in copywriting experts to create the best submission they can.
Award entry writing tips
Not every company has the budget or scope to enter awards at this level but that doesn’t mean they can’t learn from our approach to award entries.
Here are my tips to make your entry compelling, and they apply as much to everyday copy for your website or brochure as they do awards.
- You need strong financials and you need to extract every last boast from them e.g. increase in turnover and profit over the last year, over the last five years, compared to competitors, exceeding forecasts. Think of ways to dice the figures to illustrate in multiple ways how successful the company is.
- The human element is vital – use human examples throughout: rather than a dry “training course”, talk about what people learn with colourful anecdotes.
- Add context to show why what they have achieved is important e.g. the first British company into the challenging Chinese market; the technology that helps pharmaceutical firms make better cancer drugs; the innovation that gives millions of bank customers better service.
- Use lots of testimonials to tell how the company has made life better, use emotive language and explain the impact made.
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise
If this has inspired you to think about entering your company into the QAE, here is a bit of background:
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the world’s most prestigious business awards, carrying the imprimatur of Her Majesty and given only to companies or individuals who are outstanding in their field.
Winning and putting the logo on products brings the winners prestige, increased reputation and, of course, improved sales.
The awards take place annually and are announced to coincide with the Queen’s birthday. The next round opens for entries in April 2018.