In It to Win It? Best Practices for Entering IECRM’s Summit Awards 2019
Thinking about entering this year’s IECRM Summit Awards? These coveted awards take some pre-planning and presentation to make an entry stand out from the rest, but with our simplified and easy online application process, you can submit a terrific nomination!
With the Monday, March 18th entry deadline, preplanning an entry, or more than one, should be on your radar by now. But, if time and a dose of procrastination have been your challenge, then take into consideration some of the tips below that Jill Farrand, Marketing Director, Weifield Group Contracting suggests. Jill and the team at Weifield have worked hard to hone some of the very best practices in entering industry awards regionally, nationally, and internationally.
Considerations for writing your entry…
For the 2019 Summit Awards, there are two categories – electrical project awards that our IECRM contractor members have completed, and company and individual awards for IECRM contractor members and industry partners. Click here for the full list of awards.
Winning awards can certainly help a company in many different ways, not the least of which is attracting new business and injecting a new level of pride among those who work for your organization. Presenting your entry in a compelling manner is critical to demonstrating to the judges that your entry deserves the win.
- Give yourself time to prepare. Some key steps to incorporate into your timeline to submit your award might be: interviewing the project manager or team closest to the project, consolidating interview notes, creating an outline, writing and editing, locating and deciding on supporting photographs or documents, reviews by internal/external team members, and finalization. Another tip, because of the new online entry format, is to create all of your answers in a simple Word document with the correct character/word count limits, then copy/paste them into the final online form for submission.
- Show why your organization/project deserves to win. The writing portion is where you need to convince judges that you’re a top contender for the award. Clear, concise, and compelling writing must be used here to win over the judges’ support. If you’re able to tie-in relevant company and individual accomplishments, go for it. But even more critical is to convey “why” the work done on your project or by the individual being nominated is important to any one of these common challenges: (1) a solving a problem, (2) addressing an issue, (3) innovating processes, (4) providing value, (5) supporting your company’s business mission, or 6) helping the community. There can be others, but the recommendation is that you state why this project matters and what is special about it. By weaving this in, you convey eagerness and determination as well as establish a meaningful connection to something bigger than just your organization.
- Follow all the instructions. Understand everything being asked for in the entry form and make sure to address each element thoroughly. It’s all too easy to want to answer with one word or short statements, however the new online format has character/ word count limits to encourage a thoughtful answer. Really think it through and tie back to the bigger picture every chance you get.
- Present outcomes as well as output. What’s the difference? Output is what you have done, built, created, designed, etc. Outcome, however, includes the impact of the work, how you met goals and what happened as a result. Include any quantifiable metrics such as cost savings, efficiencies, productivity, etc. But also detail business impact — the significance of your work to your customer, end-user, the community, the industry (via innovation) – you get the idea.
- Find your theme. Every story has a theme – or a story behind the story. Your organization may have helped to build a new, state-of-the-art hospital – and that in itself is amazing. But what drove your team to build it with the highest attention to detail? Did your team keep in mind patient ease and comfort while incorporating accommodations for the medical team’s latest technological advancements? Were you aware how this building would serve the community and that patient perspective became your guiding star throughout construction? Find a theme and build that into your narrative.
- Be different. It’s always good to ‘show’ in addition to ‘tell.’ So in putting support material together, go the extra mile to really show the work visually through images, printed materials (PDFs), videos, technology-at-work imaging etc.
- Do your research. If you haven’t yet, take a look at who won the awards last year. See if you can garner any insight from that review.
- Edit, finalize, revise. Run your first draft past everyone who helped contribute to it – internally and externally – and incorporate all of the input and edit suggestions. You may need to revise a few times, but if you do this, you are assured that your nomination is strengthened with each round.
Now that you have these tips, get to work! The deadline for Summit Awards entries is Monday March 18th – a short 18 days away. If you have questions, feel free to contact IECRM CEO Marilyn Akers Stansbury at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303.853.4886. We look forward to recognizing you at the 2019 Summit Awards Banquet!