We are very proud to have written the winning award entry for our client Software Optimisation Services (SOS). But what makes it a winner?
While I am sure you would like to read the winning award entry itself, unfortunately due to customer confidentiality we are unable to do so. The nature of the projects that SOS undertakes means that most customers are unable to publicise the details of the work carried out. So while Microsoft’s judging panel were able to read all the juicy details, unfortunately the wider public cannot.
So with that little caveat out of the way, here’s why we think this particular award entry brought home the GOLD for SOS in the SAM Partner of the Year category at this year’s Worldwide Partner Conference.
1.Write a story, not an essay
As with any good piece of writing, at the crux of it should be a compelling story. Don’t just put facts on the page. Give it some drama and a natural flow from start to finish. The standard case study format – problem, solution, benefits – can work here to create some drama and to get the brain thinking, but don’t just write a case study. Mix it up a little. Keep in interesting.
2.Keep it fun and original
Good writing is fun and enjoyable to read. Remember this when writing the award. Remember the judging panel will be reading a lot of these so make sure yours stands out. If it’s just another dry case study you’ll soon be forgotton.
3.Develop a theme
Staying with the fun and original requirement, embedding a theme throughout the award can really make it stand out. SOS likes to be positioned as the SWAT team of Software Asset Management, they’re the elites you bring in to solve exceptional challenges. It’s a great theme which lends itself really well to creating drama and intrigue in the case study. We worked the SWAT theme throughout the award entry, peppering it with military terms like Mission Objectives, Into the Fray, Mission Creep etc. and closing it all out with this killer quote from the client:
“SOS are not just compliance experts, they’re a highly specialised unit designed to deliver results in exceptional situations. They’re the compliance SWAT team.”
4.Use facts and figures
Making it fun is all well and good, but without facts and figures to back it up your award entry will just be fluff. Spartan PR doesn’t do fluff. In this case we were able to quote many facts to back up the claims, such as the total financial savings achieved by the project, the number of users found to be out of compliance, number of databases outside of support etc. It was packed with data.
You can’t submit an award entry without including quotes from the customer(s). If you don’t have any quotes you need to get them. Quotes bring colour to the award and lend additional credibility. They prove the client agrees with your view of events and shows you’re not just embellishing the story for your own benefit. Quotes are a must.
So there’s our top 5 tips for writing an award entry. There are many other important factors – least of all having a good project to write about in the first place – but these are the ones that stood out most to me when looking back. But what do you think? What would you add?
We are very proud to announce that our Australian client Software Optimisation Services (SOS) were awarded the Microsoft Partner of the Year award at the Worldwide Partner Summit in Montreal this week.
We are so pleased. Not only is this the first time that SOS has won this award, it is the first time any company in the Asia Pacific has taken it home.
Here's SOS' CEO, Filipa Preston, announcing Gavriella Schuster to the stage at WPC2016
No spin necessary
We had some fun building the award entry around the theme of SOS being the SWAT team that companies bring in to handle challenging licensing events, but we didn’t do the hard work here; SOS did. We may have been the ones that put pen to paper, but we had brilliant material to work with.
The award is a testament to the quality of the consultancy that SOS provides to its clients in the competitive world of Software Asset Management (SAM). We couldn’t be more proud of the accomplishments of our client.
Well done Filipa and all at SOS!
SOS has been a client of Spartan PR for a number of years. We help them in many ways, from media relations to blogging, social media, writing award entries and client presentations and even building their new website.
If you would like help with any of these areas of your business, please get in touch.
Last week I attended the Service Desk and IT Support Show in London, which is co-located with the much bigger and well known event, Infosec (Infosecurity Europe).
I attend these sorts of trade shows fairly often as it's a good way to make new contacts and stay up-to-date on the industry.
They are also a great case study in marketing and design. Every exhibitor faces the same challenge - how do I stand out? In a sea of (mainly blue) logos, big banners and the occasional "Booth Babe," (yes to my horror they're still a thing at IT trade shows, but they are fast becoming obsolete) standing out is easier said than done.
But one stand really did STAND OUT to me in the Infosec hall, and that was Bob's Business.
Bob's Business provides information security training courses. From what I could gather, their pitch is that ultimately all the security software in the world counts for nothing if your staff aren't security-aware. I've read countless studies which cite employee error as being responsible for the vast majority of security breaches to date, so this pitch resonated with me.
So what made Bob's Business stand out? It was their unique brand.
Instead of the generic, clean and friendly designs spread throughout the show, Bob's Business stood out because it's stand was BLACK for starters, but it was also daubed with a fantastic cartoon over every inch of it. The entire stand was a Where's Wally picture, with "Bob" at the top of a castle and his various employees dotted about the picture. Your job was to find all of his employees in order to win a prize. This was genius. It was not only entertaining to do but it meant you were locked to their stand talking to their sales team while you hunted out the employees. A great way to keep the conversation going. This meant there were always people at the stand, which naturally attracted more people to see what all the fuss was about.
I love how Bob's Business have embraced their brand in every aspect. It is holistic and consistent. It starts from the company name and builds out from there. Everything is about Bob's Business (i.e. the customer's business and their perspective). When most businesses talk about themselves before addressing the customer, the very name of Bob's Business IS the customer. The theme is continued throughout their website.
It will be interesting to see what Bob's Business do to top this next year. Even if they stick with the Where's Wally theme, they can produce a new cartoon every year. Finding Bob and his employees can become an annual tradition at Infosec. I'll certainly be seeking them out next year.