How To Write A Winning Entry

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By Frank Bennett, Head Judge

As Chair of the Judges for UK Cloud Awards 2018 I want to encourage all entries to have the best shot at impressing the judging panel. Here are some top tips to follow when preparing your entry.

  1. Read the entry conditions. Think back to your schooldays and how you were exhorted to read the question thoroughly: If we say that the product has to been released between January 2016 and October 2017 then evidence that. Similarly, if it’s not a cloud service or not available in the UK, then it’s not going to make it past go.
     
  2. Don’t attempt to submit duplicate entries in the same category. Go ahead and submit entries in more than one category where you meet the criteria.
     
  3. Avoid jargon and use language that makes it easy for the judges to understand the strengths of your entry. A rehash of material from the website or marketing brochures will be rooted out by judges as it doesn’t really inform them when scoring your entry.  
     
  4. Focus on the impact for the customer.  We like to read about technological excellence and when that is translated into business benefits for the end-customer you will earn the attention of the judges.
     
  5. For projects we want to hear about the aims of the project and the challenges that were encountered and overcome. This year the focus is on digital transformation and this is competitive advantage territory so we understand you may not want to share the secret sauce, so write about what you learned along the way. For example, the development of the business case, the use of DevOps, whatever was significant for your project and its outcome.  We know things do not always go to plan so here is some advice from judges in this category: Projects rarely proceed without hiccups and that brings a story to life and makes a project real and judges praise this authenticity.
     
  6. Make it easy for the judges. They read a lot of entries and what really helps is you being explicit about the benefits (see 4. and 5. above) and of course why you are the best in class.
     
  7. Entries that come with genuine customer endorsements are powerful. Enough said.
     
  8. Don’t be sparse on detail (check the word counts) and leave the judges guessing how to score your entry. If you have a great review from industry analyst or industry publication or won an award then include that in your entry but do not include sponsored copy.
     

Good Luck.
- Frank Bennett