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How to win an IPM Award – An insider’s guide

Richard Pink, Head of The IPM Awards, shares some useful tips on how to write a standout entry to impress the Awards judges.

I’ve been Head of IPM awards judging for a number of years now, and I still get surprised by the entries that let down good campaigns. An agency will put their heart and soul into getting a campaign right for their client, but when it comes to writing up the achievements that might allow them to get credit for their work, a number of things take over and the campaign and work behind it gets let down through a sloppy entry.

So, here are a few golden rules I’ve got for making sure your entry gets the best showing it can when it comes to judging time – they sound so, so simple, but you’d be amazed how many entrants get it wrong –

Treat an entry submission as you would your most important pitch 
For it to have credibility there has to be input from the team that was involved and people senior enough to ensure the right information is included.

Spell check it like mad
Make sure someone who wasn’t involved, reads it before you submit it to make sure they understand it.

Don’t be a slave to the word count
If it says 200 words, and you can say it in less – say it in less – use bullet points rather than sentences – the judges will love you for it.

Avoid jargon and abbreviations
The judges may not work in your particular field and you need to explain it to them – if in doubt – write it so your Mum would understand it

Use context
Don’t just say it was great, you must say why it was great so the judges fully understand the reasons – remember that they are looking at a lot of entries.

Add collateral to bring it to life
However not too much – in my experience, the ideal supporting visuals are:

  • A one-page visual collage or summary
  • A video – but not longer than one minute as the judges won’t watch for that long

Make your objectives clear ( ideally with numbers)
Say clearly how the campaign performed against the objectives – the judges will know when you’re fudging – don’t do it! If you can’t give numbers, go back to the context and give an indication of how the campaign out-performed the ‘norm’.

Remember this – the judging is a two-stage process – the first stage is a judge, sitting alone on a wet Sunday in their PJ’s on the last day before they have to submit their marks, bitterly regretting that they volunteered to do it.  Cheer them up – make them see that you are proud of what you’ve done, that you care how they see it – and by all means throw in a couple of gags!

Download the Call for Entries and enter here: https://www.theipm.org.uk/page/Awards_2020

To find out more about the IPM Awards, get in touch with Richard Pink at Richardp@theipm.org.uk or the Awards Team at awards@theipm.org.uk