Handy tips on the road to Security & Fire Excellence Awards success


JUDGES' Top Tips for a great entry


Dos …
  1. Write it well: draft and redraft, ensure it is proofed by others
  2. Be clear and concise throughout the entry
  3. Answer the questions directly, don’t just cut and paste pre-prepared texts
  4. Avoid superlatives and subjective judgements about success
  5. Secure third-party endorsements if appropriate / requested
  6. Highlight real, measurable results, achievements, deliverables and differentiators
  7. Draw out the ‘above and beyond’ aspects of your entry
  8. For Case Studies, build structure around aims/objectives of the work, what you did, how you did it, results, showing proven evidence of success
  9. Use headlines and bullet points to emphasise key points
  10. Ensure you provide context, the ‘story behind the story’ and focus on benefits from your achievements to stakeholders as well as facts
 DON’Ts …
  1. Don’t rewrite / rehash sales collateral
  2. Don’t use the same core text in all entries - especially if you are submitting several entries around the same core piece of work. Each submission should be bespoke to the specific entry criteria for each category
  3. Don’t use too much ‘in-speak’, acronyms or over technical language
  4. Don’t assume too much knowledge of your business or its offerings
  5. Don’t exceed the word count, file size or page number limits
  6. Don’t miss the final entry deadline!


Plan your entries now

The entry deadline may seem a long way off, but before you know it, it will be time to submit.  Start thinking about / planning the content of your entries now.  Will you require customer testimonials?  Will you need client approval / senior management sign off?  Are the performance statistics freely available?  All this can take more time than you might think.  Plus of course, once you have submitted your entries, then the pressure is off and you can simply sit back and await the results!

The key is to leave plenty of time for all the critical stages required for writing, collating, approving and submitting your entry. A well thought out and planned submission will regularly beat a rushed, last minute one!


Discuss your entries with your colleagues and teams

They were essential in ensuring you are performing at an elite level, so they know as well as anyone the detail behind what you have achieved and how you achieved it over the last 12 months


Performance statistics are paramount

Try to be as specific about your achievements as you can – positive language and forceful adjectives will help, but it is the detail and performance related statistics that will separate you from the pack


Relate your entries back to your customers

It’s positive customer feedback that drives company success, so use excellent customer feedback to support your entries too


Structure your entries and drill into the detail of your performance

It’s tempting to write down all of your successes in a few action packed, juicy paragraphs, but you may end up with an unclear entry that does not follow the entry criteria.  Try and breakdown each point in the criteria individually – What were you aiming to achieve?  What did you do to achieve it?  How did you do it?  What were your results vs your initial target / plan?  Combine the narrative with supporting statistics and testimonials to offer independent / third party endorsement in support of your successes


Presentation, spelling and grammar are key

Our entry process allows you to take charge of the format / design / structure etc. of your entries.  Build your entries around the criteria provided, but make the submission as clear, succinct, vibrant, exciting and as appealing as is possible.  Read your submissions through carefully and ensure you have included all the information requested.  It is one file per entry, so there is no chance of sending additional / supplementary information later should you have forgotten to include it.  Ensure that your text reads clearly and easily and adheres to the word count stipulated.  And of course, check that there are no spelling mistakes or grammatical errors.  If possible, it’s always a good idea to ask a colleague or friend to read through your entries also, as a fresh pair of eyes and a different perspective can often help you to fine tune your submissions


Be clear and concise

You of course know your company and what you do you do inside out – but this will not always be the case with the judges – ensure you are clear and that you avoid any technical / in-house language, jargon and acronyms. Make it easy for the judges to understand your submission. Provide background where applicable, so the judges have an understanding of your business / product / initiative, with context, where applicable. Ensure your submissions are proof read for accuracy, spelling mistakes, typos, grammar and punctuation.  It's so easy to make a mistake that may affect how your entry is viewed, so asking a third party to proof is always recommended.


Read through ALL the categories and the accompanying entry criteria before you enter

We have a range of new categories available this year and it’s FREE to enter – so, ensure you enter all the categories that are applicable to you, your teams and your company.  The more categories you enter, the greater your chance of multiple success on the night! But the key, is to enter the categories that are most relevant to you and that you have the best chance of winning!


Supporting material is a must

This is a crucial element to support your entry.  However, remember that the judges have a number of entries to review and of course a limited amount of time to spend on each entry, so ensure you focus on the key elements that you want to get across – so spend some time sourcing the very best pictures, the very best statistics, the very best testimonials – and remember, quality is often much better than quantity! 


Rules are rules

Please ensure you adhere to the stipulated word count, ensure your file size fits within the requested upload guidance and, that you submit a pdf entry where possible.


most importantly, Ensure you build your submissions around the entry criteria provided and that you answer the questions!

Use the entry criteria as sub heads within your entries to ensure that your submissions include all the information / answer all the questions that are requested for each category.  Ensure you provide a bespoke submission for each entered category.  Do NOT include the same generic submissions across multiple categories. The words in your entry should be your main focus. Although useful, try and avoid too many links etc. - the judges have hundreds of submissions to review, so clicking in and out of the entry will be time consuming and potentially more negative than positive. So, keep links short, avoid large downloads  and, ensure it is quick and easy to access websites, files, videos etc.


©2024 Security and Fire Excellence Awards