Top tips to ACE your award entry

With just four days until the #insidestory awards early deadline of midnight Friday 20 November, or 11 days until the late entry deadline of 6pm on Friday 27 November, we’ve put together some top tips for getting the best from your award entry, for any of the categories in this year’s awards.

Have you got any pointers to add and share? Comment below and we’ll add your suggestions to the list.

Good luck everyone, we’re looking forward to receiving your entries in the coming days.ISA2016_CIPRInside_co_uk - 750x500px


Consider these simple points when you put your award entry together:

1.Read the criteria provided for your category. Use this to guide your entry submission and the content you provide. The judges use the criteria to assess your entries.

2. Set the scene for your work or project that you are submitting for an award. Why did you need to do this activity? What was the problem or situation you needed to change?

3. Objectives – what did you set out to achieve? Did you do it? Did you deliver the objectives? Or more simply, what changed or what do people do differently as a result of your campaign? Be honest too. What worked well, what didn’t, why didn’t it work and what did you do to fix it?

4. Measurement – show us how you did with some figures. Pulse survey results, employee engagement surveys, changes in behaviour, take up to new schemes etc, are all great tools to show the difference you made and how your comms changed behaviour. Check out our measurement top tips post here.

5. Tactics and channels – How did you do it – what did you actually do to make the change? Which tactics did you use, and how did you reach employees?

6. Who did you need to get on board to make the project work? Who rose to the challenge? There are always people needed to make something happen, some are more difficult to enlist the support, while others are brilliant supporters. Tell us what you can about the people who made it happen and perhaps the challenges you had to overcome to deliver your project.

7. When did you do it – the timeline start to finish. We’re looking for projects and work undertaken in the last 12 months, but they may not have taken the whole year. If you need to show how something has evolved you can send in examples of magazines for example from before the last 12 months.

8. Where did you do it – one office, a group of stores, nationally, remotely or did you need to go global?

9. How much did it cost? So often we don’t have much of a budget for internal campaigns, but please disclose an outline of your budget – it doesn’t need to be overly detailed but should give the judges an idea of how much you had to spend. The entries are confidential, everyone involved in the process of judging signs an NDA and cannot disclose any information that they read as part of the judging process. Sharing how much you had to spend on your internal comms project helps us to understand the boundaries of your project.

10. Be clear and keep to the brief. Check out the criteria and use that to guide your content for your entry. You’ve only got 1,500 words – it seems a lot but it’s a little over a three of pages of A4, not a lot. Keep it brief and keep your language simple so your message sings from the page.

11. Include your supporting evidence – examples of magazines, pdf or image files to show examples of the collateral you used will be really helpful to give the judges an idea of what you did and the creativity in your project. Send us links and any passwords we may need to access content such as videos – remember two judges and the awards manager need to be able to access these files.

12. If you are entering the print magazine category, email us at or call Katie on 07834 039890 to get the address to send them to. You will need to send two copies of each issue you would like to be assessed. So long as you send us your submission by the deadline and post your magazine copies on that day we can accept your entry. If there are any problems or we don’t receive your post we will be in touch.

13. We really shouldn’t have to mention this one, but we know how easy it is to miss a typo, dodgy grammar and corporate jargon that has crept in when we’re working to a deadline. Get someone with a fresh pair of eyes to proofread your entry before you send it.

14. We ask everyone to include their company logo/s and a 100 word summary with their award entry. This will enable us to publish brief case studies for the shortlisted entries and share your best practice. So you decide what you want to include and be shared with your peers, but it should sum up your award entry. You can see last year’s casebook here.

15. Have you submitted your entry by the deadline? It’s midnight on 20 November for the early deadline, and late entries will be accepted until 6pm on 27 November. Send your print magazine or newspaper examples on or before the deadline. Send your entry by email You will get an email acknowledging receipt.

16. Have you paid for your entry? We’ve created some multiple entry discounts this year for both early and late entries. One early entry costs £95 + VAT and one late entry costs £115 + VAT.   Check all the prices and pay here.


For case studies of winning entries and last year’s casebook click here


See the awards presentation from last year here:

And the video from last year’s party


Got a tip to share or a question for us? Comment below, TweetLinkedInYammeremail or call Katie on 07834 039890

Good luck!


Image credit: Featured image CCO


This post is based upon an original post from October 2014 for the 2015 awards and been updated for the 2016 awards.

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Internal communication, employee engagement and more - from the current committee of CIPR Inside

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