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Top Tips for writing a winning awards entry

Having judged many awards in her time, Niki West, Newsworks’ client services and strategy director, gives her top tips for writing a winning entry.

There is nothing quite like the feeling of victory. When we win at something, our body shoots us with dopamine and we experience a boost of positivity - and goodness knows, we all need a bit of that right now!

So with that in mind, for those of you who are sharpening your pencils and thinking about how best to craft a winning entry for the 2021 Newsworks Planning Awards, here are my top 10 tips for success. 

1. Tell a story
Tell the story of your campaign. Remember, beginnings and endings are very important. Don’t force it to sound too positive – be honest and use a colloquial style to engage the judges.

2. Address all of the key points
This might sound pretty obvious but make sure the story addresses all six of the entry criteria so it’s as easy as possible for the judges to mark.

3. Show that you understand your client’s objectives
Articulate what the client wanted to achieve and why. Give context (the client's business and its objectives), then show how the marketing and comms objectives stemmed from this.

4. Focus on insight
The insight is usually a simple thing, which can be quite hard to get to - a statement of the obvious focusing on what is driving consumer behaviour. Remember data/audience data alone is not an insight.

5. Tie the story together
What was the overall strategy and how did the tactics take news brands into account? Tie together the strategic thinking with the implementational detail.

6. Link the results to the objectives
Make sure that the results show how the initial objectives set out at the beginning of the story have been achieved.

7. Demonstrate business outcomes
Focus on business results, such as sales, profit, customer acquisition, brand & behavioural metrics. 

8. Demonstrate collaboration
A lot of the successful entries in the past have demonstrated high levels of collaboration between the client, media agency, creative agency and news brands.

9. Get client endorsement
Get your client on board at the beginning, both to provide information on commercial performance and give you a quote (five points is up for grabs just for this!).

10. Don’t forget sustainability
New for this year, the judges will be looking at sustainability savvy campaigns - either in their nature or by a concerted effort to reduce the carbon output during its development. If this applies to you, shout about it.

The deadline for entries is Friday 26 February. Find out more here.

Good luck!


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