“What exactly are you looking for in an application?” – this is one the most popular questions that we hear when we pick up the phone at the Queen’s Awards Office. So today I will attempt to answer what distinguishes a winning application from merely a good one.
The following points are conductive to success across the Award categories:
- Using plain English. Winning applications manage to avoid technical jargon. The application must be easy to read and understand to assessors, even if they are not necessarily experts in your sector.
- Providing evidence. Please provide qualitative and quantitative evidence to support all your statements. For example:
a) If you are talking about how innovation has increased efficiency of your business, we are looking for quantitative evidence of this increase.
b) If you are talking about a social mobility programme, we want to see evidence that this programme has benefited your organisation, community, staff and workforce. We also need to see evidence that your organisation improved the employability of the people engaged in your programme.
We cannot emphasise enough how important it is to tell your story in your own words if you want to set yourself apart.
If you are applying for International Trade award, tell us why penetration of a particular market is an achievement. Are you the first/leading/fastest growing UK exporter in this market? Why is your performance better than that of competitors? What challenges have affected your trade and how have you overcome them?
In Innovation category we want to hear why your innovation is unique and how it has benefited your business, customers and others. It is important for us to know what problems your innovation has solved and what challenges you have overcome in developing or distributing it.
Promoting Opportunity application should tell us the story of what motivated your organisation to provide the social mobility programme. What was the situation before the inception of this programme and what did the programme change? Moreover, it is important to demonstrate that senior decision makers in your organisation are committed to the future growth of the social mobility programme
In Sustainable Development application you may want to tell us about any specific successes, such as developing an innovative new product or process delivering environmental benefits, or seeing sustainable development outcomes embedded in your organisation, supply chain or community. It is important to demonstrate that your company is a sustainability leader in your sector and has overcome important challenges that are specific to your sector.
Let us know if this advice has been helpful by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We wish good luck to everyone in the run-up to this year’s Queen’s Awards deadline (12th September) and look forward to receiving your stories.
Communications and Engagement Manager, Queen’s Awards Office