By Derek Lyons (@dwlyons)
After much encouragement from my esteemed colleague Catherine Allen (@catherineallen) I had the opportunity to take part in this year’s judging for the Bell Ringer awards. For the uninitiated, the Bell Ringers are organized by the Publicity Club of New England and since 1969 has been geared to “recognize and honor excellence and achievement in the communications and public relations professions.”
The categories are as numerous as the opportunities robust for recognition amongst your peers. I served as a judge for the national broadcast category and the graphics category, and came away impressed with the results. I wish everyone luck as the winners are announced on June 7th at the Westin Hotel in Watch City, USA (aka Waltham.)
Here’s my take-aways when considering submitting for either the Bell Ringers or any other awards, lessons I humbly submit will also help in your everyday PR lives as well:
- Keep your writing simple – Reading through multiple submissions (think multiple pitches, speaking ops, etc.), the ones that stood avoided having the best nuggets lost in a fog of “classic” marketing/PR language.
- Use relevant details – Pertinent details made the best pieces come to life. Be careful not to overload your submissions with meaningless statistics that will take away from the story you’re trying to tell. Speaking of which…
- Tell a story – The outstanding submissions I read were actually on the shorter side, but told a very compelling story that cleanly progressed from situation to challenge to results. They didn’t attempt to recreate the wheel, rather excelled at painting a clear picture.
Anyone have other tips they’d like to share when pulling together award submissions? We’d love to hear them!