Key takeaways in this post:

  • Choose awards that align with your organization’s strategic priorities to maximize impact and allocate your resources wisely.
  • Invest time in understanding the award presenters, their criteria, and past winners to tailor your submission effectively.
  • Craft your submission like a narrative, showcasing your achievements, impact and results to captivate the judges’ attention.

As marketers, we’ve all seen that email: The dreaded award submission proposal. It might come from a well-meaning member of your organization who wants to nominate a team member. Perhaps an executive is looking for ways to recognize major initiatives. Or the presenting organization itself might send it. Wherever they come from, these communications always seem to find their way to your inbox just before the submission deadline.

However, it’s worth taking a beat to think about these awards. There are a lot of benefits to recognition, both at the individual and organizational level. Awards can support employee morale, recruiting and retention, public confidence and more. And, especially in healthcare, they can serve as great proof points for the community of patients you serve.

Submitting awards takes time, but doing so thoughtfully can improve your odds of taking home the prize. Learn about writing award submissions with these effective tips.

1. Be selective

You could spend all day filling out nomination packets. But, with so many notable awards out there, it’s essential to be selective about the ones that are important to your organization. Look back to your strategic priorities as an organization and find awards that align with those initiatives.

Once you have a list of awards, add them to a calendar so you have more breathing room for submitting.

2. Do your research

If you’re crunched for time, doing research might be the last thing you want to do. However, taking a few minutes to review the award presenters, the history of the recognition and past award winners can pay dividends as you write your submission. Most presenters will include past winners on their websites, so explore these submissions to understand what sets the winners apart. If you have a few days before the deadline, see if you can schedule time with a member of the presenting organization to learn more about the award and what they are looking for.

3. Tell a story

Remember: The presenters have to read these nominations. So keep yours interesting and tell a story. Consider a case study format that walks the reader through the action your leader (or company) took, its impact and the results you want to highlight.

4. Answer all the questions (and use supporting material!)

Award presenters typically receive hundreds or even thousands of nominees each year. That means an incomplete submission might go straight to the trash. Make sure to read through and respond to all questions on the nomination form.

Of course, these submissions can end up being extremely long. Where appropriate, consider using video or photos to break up text-heavy sections while highlighting additional context. A short or long-form video can help make your submission more dynamic. Videos also provide the opportunity to hear from different members of the team who might be involved in the nomination.

5. Use metrics

Don’t just share what you did to move the needle — show how much the needle moved. Did your organization increase access to healthcare? Did one of your researchers’ breakthroughs improve patient outcomes? Did an executive’s leadership drive efficiency in your organization?

Use numbers to highlight the impact you achieved. And remember to differentiate your results by including benchmarks from peers and your own metrics.

When you win an award, your work is not done. But at least this is the fun part!

Make sure to share the great news with your organization. That’s what Advantus Health Partners did when its president was named to Modern Healthcare’s 2023 Top Innovators List (WG Content helped on the winning submission). For health systems that earn U.S. News & World Report rankings or other recognition, don’t forget to share that news with your patients.

And if you didn’t quite take home the prize, ask for feedback from the presenting organization and review the winners. Use your learnings for your award submissions the next year.

The content strategists, writers, editors and project managers at WG Content are here to help with award submissions that highlight the best of your organization. Contact us to get started today.

Consider your organization’s goals and values, and select awards that align closely with them. Additionally, look for recognition that can benefit your team’s morale, recruitment efforts, and public image.

Yes, metrics add credibility and depth to your achievements. Quantify the impact of your initiatives whenever possible to provide concrete evidence of your success.

Use the opportunity to gather feedback from the presenting organization and analyze winning submissions to identify areas for improvement. Incorporate these insights into your future award submissions to increase your chances of success.

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