Tips for entry

Having paused the CorpComms Awards in 2020, we know that some organisations were upset that they did not get the recognition for the work they had put into that year’s annual report – so we are trying to rectify this now. You can enter reports for 2020 or 2021, or 2020 and 2021. There is no obligation to enter 2020 if you enter 2021 and vice versa.

Not every company is a household name. If your organisation is less well-known, take a little time to make an introduction. Outline what it does and in which sector it operates, and perhaps some of the challenges that it faces. It will help put the annual report in perspective.

Make sure you enter the right categorisation. If you started the year as a FTSE 100 but fell to the 250, or visa versa, enter the one which was relevant when the annual report was published.

You have a limited number of words. Don’t waste them by explaining the rationale behind the choice of font and its size. Those are details for style nerds, a bracket into which our judges do not fall.

We don’t ask for a maximum number of words to be awkward. We understand the workload that our judges face, and that their time – and, on occasion, patience – is limited. They don’t need chapter and verse of your campaign from inception to delivery, but a precis of the salient points which is far more impactful. Beware: judges have been known to disqualify or mark down entries that exceed the word count.

The Strategic Comms Awards are a little different. You can ask for your annual report to be judged, not only against its competitors in the round – but also on specific criteria. If you are particularly proud of your diversity and inclusion report, say, you can tick a box, pay a small additional fee and ask for this aspect to be judged separately.

In creating this unique aspect, we are trying to benchmark best practice in specific areas of annual reports, such as articulation of corporate purpose.

You are proud as punch with your annual report? Great, simply enter it into the relevant category. You don’t need to do anything more than that. But if you have also poured blood, sweat and tears into the integration of ESG principles throughout, then there is the opportunity for the judges to also consider that aspect separately.

These are two separate awards categories and, as such, generate two separate shortlists.

Poor spelling and grammar can make your entry stand out for the wrong reasons. And if the judges are finding it difficult to choose between two entries, they will likely opt for the one that does not contain any typos.

A fresh pair of eyes is always welcome. Ask a colleague not associated with the campaign to read the final draft of your entry to check that it all makes sense to them. If they have lots of questions, so will the judges.

We are not asking you to break it down to the final penny, but an idea of the budget is helpful to the judges to gauge the return on investment. Big budgets are not frowned upon if they achieve appropriate results – but are they big because of mailing costs? Break down costs if possible.

We understand that there is no one accepted measurement of success for these categories, but please articulate your definition of success and how close to achieving or surpassing this you were.