This August The New World of New Biz returned to zoom and hosted a live event to delve into how to win more new business with awards.

Led by the Founder of Street Agency, Katie Street was joined by Ben Jaffe Chief Strategy Officer at FCB Inferno and Amber Campbell, Principle Consultant at Boost Awards.

Katie’s guests were hand-picked to come to this webinar session due to their wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to entering and winning awards. Below are some of the highlights we captured from the session.

What it means to win awards for FCB Inferno

FCB Inferno are winners of some very prestigious awards such as The Drum and Cannes Lion awards, Katie asked Ben if there were more on his list that would be goals for the agency.

In Ben’s response, he pointed out that he thinks it’s important for people to know that FCB Inferno is not in the business of trying to win awards. They are in the business of trying to do great work. And when you do great work, awards should follow. So it’s not about setting out on the outset to win an award. That shouldn’t be your goal. It should be a positive byproduct. He added that awards are also a way to attract talent too.

Ben highlighted that getting awards for certain work can raise your profile and expertise in a specific area. FCB Inferno is celebrated for its ability to speak to marginalised communities, for instance, their award-winning This Girl Can campaign shows the way they transformed the way they connect with women and now they get approached by other brands that want to drive change in the same way.

How to develop a really good award entry

Katie asked Ben and Amber what their key tips are for developing a good award entry and some of these points may seem really simple and not as important as the work being celebrated but still just as impactful;

  • Look at the deadline and make sure you’ve got enough time to write it
  • Most awards will publish the criteria so make sure you follow it
  • Get someone to spell check
  • Stick to your word count
  • A degree of craft and storytelling is important as jurors will be reading copious amounts of entries so you have to earn their attention with a compelling copy
  • Get others who had nothing to do with the campaign to read it before submitting

Questions from the audience

One of the main blockers we face is clients blocking entries due to confidentiality and it can take a long time for them to sign off, how do you get around this?

Katie’s tip: Put it in the client contract so you have an agreement up front that says you can disclose information for awards
Amber’s tip: Check with the organisers of the awards what their award confidentiality policy is as they may only post a summary of the award-winning work online and keep the rest confidential
Ben’s tip: Position the award as a team effort with your client and get them involved so they can also feel proud and excited about winning an award

Can you win too many awards?

Ben’s tip: You may become desensitised to the meaning and you may become complacent and perhaps your focus is misaligned because you’re too focused on the awards rather than doing the work. So possibly, yeah.
Katie’s tip: You can’t just write one entry and bump it off to everyone, realistically you’re gonna have to look at every criteria individually and structure them differently.
Amber’s tips: It depends on the size of the company. With larger companies, they can enter 100 awards a year, because their operation is just that larger. You may end up saturating the important awards with too many badges and logos.

As a startup, how can I best prepare my business to enter awards in the future?

Amber’s tip: Something we’re strong on at Boost is telling you if you’re not ready, if you haven’t captured any sort of performance data yet we’d tell you to take a step back and get at least six months’ worth of data at least.
Katie’s tip: Identify what you want to be known for and what your differentiator is as an agency.

Tanba and Street Agency would love to develop more content off the back of this topic to help agencies get the most out of award entries and wins. We’d like to know what awards you enter or which ones are most popular so we’ve developed a quick little survey for you to fill out – check it out here.

This session is now available to watch back on the Street Agency YouTube channel here.

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