Judges Speak : The 11 Commandments to writing the perfect entry application

 

Leave a ‘winning’ impression on our judges by following 11 simple principles. Opined and authored by past & present judges – John Grant; Melissa Sterry & Diana Verde Nieto.

 

- Brilliance! Only enter something totally brilliant – i.e. really creative, innovative and authentic. After all, these are the awards for creativity in sustainability.  Showcase your endeavours beyond the usual ‘leaflets’; this is a global competition for excellence.

 

- Has it really made a difference? What have you actually achieved through this campaign – it’s not just about the people whom you reach or who know about your brand. It’s about the lives you touch and the changes you bring about – be it behavioural or an innovation etc.

 

- Make it count! Back your campaigns through some very solid facts and quantifiable measures, from independent sources of course.  For instance, tell us ‘this is what we did, we got x000 responses and led to y000 changes in something’ –  be it sales, behaviour change or whatever

 

- Keep it human! Present the facts, but make it a compelling narrative that ties it all together. Sustainability involves many different dimensions, and your entry should be much more than a list or filled in form.

 

- Play the Devil’s Advocate! Give us reasons to believe you and see it as like making a legal case; what are all the reasons we should believe you? What are all answers to the questions and doubts we might raise?

 

- Make it succinct! Less is more, so stick to the information that will contribute to your chances of winning, rather than intricate details that may not add up to much.

 

- Keep it interesting! This is about creativity and innovation in sustainability, so we are looking for more than just typed up entry forms. Some of our previous winners (such as last year’s Grand Prix winner -  China Environmental Protection Foundation ; Nokia and Hopenhagen) included compelling multimedia presentations and videos that made their application stand out.

 

- Go the extra mile. Show us how winning this award would make a difference to your sustainability journey; is this a struggling underdog venture out to take on the MNCs? A team that has risked being a force of change within a stifling global corporation? As judges, it’s often these things that help us decide when there is not one clear winner.

 

- Greenwash Ban. If you do make ANY green claims, make sure they are credible and substantiated by independent sources. You are being judged by a panel that includes prominent environmental scientists, who wil be turned off by the “and we did all our exhibition stands with recycled paper” sort of story.

 

- Get Feedback. Have someone review your application independently and provide feedback. Applications are always subjective, with applicants’ internal perspectives, and this subjectivity may not be easily understood by others. It would be a great exercise to understand how others view, interpret and understand your application. get somebody independent to read the paper for you and give you feedback (many papers are written from quite a subjective, internal perspective and sometimes it is difficult for instance for an outsider to follow the logic behind the campaign or initiative)

 

- Spellcheck! It’s there for a reason; if you’ve gotten this far in the process – give it the extra 1% !

 

Leave a Reply