9 tips to guarantee awards shortlisting

9 tips to guarantee awards shortlisting

My awards list demonstrates the breadth of awards open to businesses operating in the built environment and given all the benefits outlined in my previous post, they really should be forming a central part of your marketing strategy.

So, once you have committed to taking part, how can you guarantee getting shortlisted? Here are my top nine tips:

1 – Develop a programme of awards submissions  

Creating a programme of award submissions for the next 12 to 18 months makes sense – which projects, initiatives or innovations do you want to tell everyone about and which awards will do this most effectively. Do your research into categories and the audience of awards – which opportunities best align with your marketing and business development strategies?

2 – Get the buy-in of the client and the project team 

Getting the buy-in of the client and rest of the team is often a part of the process that is overlooked. Make them aware of your submission to pool content, information and photographs, as well as sharing costs if you can. Projects are a collaborative effort, so it makes sense to involve them in any awards submissions you are preparing. You may also want to check whether the client needs to grant any permission for the submission or review the copy and photographs before the deadline.

3 – Understand your organisation’s marketing

As well as promoting the work you have finished, awards are also a good way of building your profile in other sectors, providing the opportunity to meet new clients and make new contacts. Which sectors is your business strong in, and therefore wants to maintain a high profile, and which sectors does your business want to gain more exposure in? Building this into your awards strategy will increase the value.  

4 – Understand the awards you are submitting

Fully understand the award requirements before you start your submission, including what this submission will need and who the previous winners were, as well as who else was shortlisted. Assess whether your organisation or project is a good fit based on this information. Other things to consider are whether the awards have the profile and reach you are looking for, whether there is a fee to enter, and whether you have the time and marketing budget to complete the submission and attend the awards event.

5 – Project, rather than award-led

Select your awards on the basis of the stories you have to tell and the achievements you have made in the past 12 months, rather than your selection being award-led.

6 – Evidence, evidence, evidence

As well as having a good story to tell, this also needs to be supported by compelling evidence in the form of photographs, plans, performance metrics and glowing testimonials from the client team, stakeholders or wider project team. Strong evidence provides a good framework for your submission, as well as providing context and will often reduce the overall word count, because a picture can tell a thousand words.

Has this information been captured as part of the project delivery phase, or will you be scrabbling around for images last minute? If you are not able to easily bring this information together, think carefully about proceeding.

7 – Review all of the questions in advance of starting the submission 

Review all of the questions. Can you answer them all? What are the gaps are how easy will they be to fill? Will you need to work with a range of technical people, or as the awards writer, will you be able to complete most of the submission on your own?

8 – Stick to the word count

Always stick to the word count, but remember, like a bid, the word count is a limit rather than a target, so if you don’t have anything more to say that will add value, just stop writing.

9 – Follow the instructions

This sounds simple enough – but can often catch people out. Particularly look out for how the submission needs to be made (email or portal?), whether there are fees involved (and what they are), and any other requirements you will need to fulfil before your submission is completed.

These are the main points that have stood me in good stead over the years – do you have any more to add? What is your awards strategy for 2020?

7 reasons to enter built environment awards

7 reasons to enter built environment awards

As my awards list confirms, there are so many awards across the built environment, celebrating achievements from design to products and everything in between. But what are the other benefits of submitting awards and what should they form part of your marketing strategy if you are a business operating in the built environment? 

Being award-winning

So many things are described as being ‘award-winning’ these days – so set yourself apart by actually winning an award! Awards are a quality mark and being considered the best of the best in your sector or peer group provides external validation within industry and client groups. Awards also benchmark your performance with the rest of the industry. 

Reviewing your business/project/initiative from an external perspective

The submission process forces you to consider your business, project or initiative from an external perspective. What are the features that set it apart and what benefits did these bring the client or wider team? Articulating these clearly will bring value beyond the award submission.

The opportunity to strengthen relationships with clients and other stakeholders

Awards provide the opportunity to tell the story of the project, as well as giving you the opportunity to further strengthen your relationship with your client by promoting their project and sharing the success at the awards event.  

Employee recognition

Project teams work really hard to deliver schemes or find solutions to challenges. Recognising this effort and achievement builds morale and emphasises team spirit.

Attracting future talent

The best talent wants to work for award-winning organisations and demonstrating that you are the best will attract and retain the best future employees.

Marketing, PR and networking

Award shortlisting or wins are a good reason to tell everyone what you have achieved via social media or PR. The judging process and awards event will also give you the opportunity to have your logo on the awards materials, as well as networking at a senior level, potentially opening doors to new opportunities, markets, clients and projects.

Built environment awards 2020

Built environment awards 2020

For your Christmas present this year, we have compiled the ultimate list of built environment awards for 2020, so you don’t have to. These awards cover architecture, construction and engineering, with a smattering of other stuff, including social value and groundworks. You can download the full list below. If there are any that have been missed out, let us know and we will add them. A Twitter list has also been put together to keep track of awards activity. 

This spreadsheet will be refreshed and re-published monthly, so keep your eyes peeled on Twitter and LinkedIn for updates and if you need any help writing your awards submissions, you know where to come! 

Built environment awards list 2020

Award name Deadline Awards event Contact details Website Sector/specialism
LABC – Wales 31/12/2019 15/05/2019 “Dave.Sharp@wrexham.gov.uk
Jon.Roberts@swansea.gov.uk ” https://www.labc.co.uk/awards/cymru-building-excellence-awards-2020 Regional – Wales
Ground Engineering GE Awards 10/01/2020 11/06/2020 https://awards.geplus.co.uk/ Ground engineering
UK Property Awards 2018/2019 23/01/2020 21/4/2020 https://awards.propertyweek.com/propertyawards2019/en/page/home Property
Construction News Awards 24/01/2020 09/07/2020 will.amison@emap.com https://awards.constructionnews.co.uk/ Construction news
LABC – London 24/01/2020 01/05/2020 awardsenquiries@labc.co.uk https://www.labc.co.uk/awards/london-building-excellence-awards-2020 Regional – London
LABC – North West 24/01/2020 24/04/2020 awardsenquiries@labc.co.uk https://www.labc.co.uk/awards/north-west-building-excellence-awards-2020 Regional – North West
RICS Social Impact Awards 31/01/2020 24/09/2020 https://www.rics.org/uk/training-events/rics-awards/ Social value
LABC – Central 31/01/2020 15/05/2020 awardsenquiries@labc.co.uk https://www.labc.co.uk/awards/central-building-excellence-awards-2020 Regional – Midlands
BD Architect of the Year Awards 07/02/2020 21/05/2020 https://awards.bdonline.co.uk architecture and design
Women in Rail 07/02/2020 6/5/2020 http://womeninrail.org/awards/ Rail
LABC – East Midlands 07/02/2020 22/05/2020 awardsenquiries@labc.co.uk https://www.labc.co.uk/awards/east-midlands-building-excellence-awards-2020 Regional – Midlands
LABC – East Anglia 14/02/2020 05/06/2020 awardsenquiries@labc.co.uk https://www.labc.co.uk/awards/east-anglia-building-excellence-awards-2020 Regional – East Anglia
LABC – South West 14/02/2020 05/06/2020 awardsenquiries@labc.co.uk https://www.labc.co.uk/awards/south-west-building-excellence-awards-2020 Regional – South West
Constructing Excellence Awards London & South East 17/02/2020 tbc �info@secbe.org.uk http://www.ce-awards.co.uk/ Regional – South East
LABC – Northern 21/02/2020 12/06/2020 awardsenquiries@labc.co.uk https://www.labc.co.uk/awards/northern-building-excellence-awards-2020 Regional – Northern
LABC – South East 28/02/2020 19/06/2020 awardsenquiries@labc.co.uk https://www.labc.co.uk/awards/south-east-building-excellence-awards-2020 Regional – South East
LABC – West Yorkshire 28/02/2020 19/06/2020 awardsenquiries@labc.co.uk https://www.labc.co.uk/awards/west-yorkshire-building-excellence-awards-2020 Regional – Yorkshire
Constructing Excellence Awards Wales 02/03/2020 https://www.cewales.org.uk/cew-awards/ Regional – Wales
Northern Housing Awards 05/03/2020 13/05/2020 https://northernhousingawards.co.uk residential
LABC – West Midlands 20/03/2020 03/07/2020 awardsenquiries@labc.co.uk https://www.labc.co.uk/awards/west-midlands-building-excellence-awards-2020 Regional – Midlands
LABC – West of England 20/03/2020 10/07/2020 awardsenquiries@labc.co.uk https://www.labc.co.uk/awards/west-of-england-building-excellence-awards-2020 Regional – West of England
Sunday Times SME Export Track 100 27/03/2020 tbc https://www.fasttrack.co.uk/league-tables/sme-export-track-100/ business
LABC – North & East Yorkshire 27/03/2020 05/06/2020 awardsenquiries@labc.co.uk https://www.labc.co.uk/awards/yorkshire-building-excellence-awards-2020 Regional – Yorkshire
Dezeen Awards 02/06/2020 November 2020 �awards@dezeen.com https://www.dezeen.com/awards/ architecture and design
Civic Trust Awards 2019 24/07/2020 https://www.civictrustawards.org.uk/ architecture and design
The Green Apple Environment Awards 31/07/2020 November 2020 info@greenworldawards.com http://gwa.thegreenorganisation.info environmental best practice
Ahead Europe June 2020 November 2020 m.allegro@mondiale.co.uk https://www.aheadawards.com/europe/2019 hotel sector
Constructing Excellence Awards North East June 2020 tbc https://cene.org.uk/award/ Regional – North East
Construction Manager of the Year Awards March 2020 November 2020 https://www.cmya.co.uk/about-entry-process/ construction
Insider North West Property Awards March 2020 May 2020 https://www.insidermedia.com/event/north-west-property-awards-2019 Property
The ABB Leaf Awards May 2020 October 2020 LEAFA@arena-international.com http://www.arena-international.com/leafawards/ architecture and design
RIBA President’s Awards for Research tbc tbc research@riba.org https://www.architecture.com/awards-and-competitions-landing-page/awards/riba-presidents-awards-for-research academic research
AJ100Awards tbc June 2020 https://aj100awards.architectsjournal.co.uk/ architecture and design
The AJ Retrofit Awards tbc tbc https://retrofit.architectsjournal.co.uk architecture and design
AJ Architecture Awards tbc November 2020 Charlotte.McKenzie@emap.com https://awards.architectsjournal.co.uk/resources/register-your-interest-2020 architecture and design
Archiboo Web Awards tbc https://awards.archiboo.com architecture and design
RIBA Stirling Prize tbc https://www.architecture.com/awards-and-competitions-landing-page/awards/riba-stirling-prize architecture and design
Architects Journal Women in Architecture Award tbc https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/women-in-architecture-2019-schedule/10035194.article?blocktitle=schedule architecture and design
RIBA regional awards tbc tbc architecture and design
Manchester Society of Architects Awards tbc November 2020 https://www.manchestersocietyofarchitects.com Awards
North West Property Awards tbc October 2020 http://www.nwpas.com Awards
Lloyds Bank National Business Awards 2018 tbc December 2020 https://www.nationalbusinessawards.co.uk/enter-now business
Construction Enquirer Awards tbc October 2020 https://www.ukconstructionweek.com/construction-enquirer-awards construction
On The Tools Awards tbc November 2020 info@dontpanicprojects.com https://onthetoolsawards.co.uk construction
The National Federation of Builders Awards tbc tbc info@builders.org.uk https://www.builders.org.uk/the-nfb/awards/ construction
British Demolition Awards tbc July 2020 http://www.britishdemolitionawards.com/enter-the-2020-awards/ Demolition
The Energy Awards tbc November 2020 https://www.theenergyawards.com energy
The British Engineering Excellence Awards tbc October 2020 https://www.beeas.co.uk engineering
ACE Consultancy & Engineering Awards tbc 04/06/2020 events@acenet.co.uk https://www.acenet.co.uk/events/awards/consultancy-engineering-awards-2020/4-june-2020/ engineering
World Architecture Festival tbc tbc https://www.worldarchitecturefestival.com Festival
The House Builder Awards tbc tbc https://www.house-builder.co.uk/events/housebuilder-awards-2019/ housebuilding
The Sunday Times British Homes Awards tbc tbc morrison.foden@haymarket.com https://www.britishhomesawards.co.uk housebuilding
The Daily Telegraph Homebuilding & Renovation Awards tbc tbc https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/awards/ housebuilding
The BALI National Landscape Awards tbc December 2020 leah.brookes@bali.org.uk https://www.baliawards.co.uk landscape
The Wood Awards tbc November 2020 info@woodawards.com https://woodawards.com materials
Brick Awards tbc November 2020 matildemenegotto@brick.org.uk https://www.brick.org.uk/brick-awards/ materials
The Concrete Society Awards tbc November 2020 awards@concrete.org.uk http://www.concrete-awards.org.uk materials
Construction Investing in Talent Awards tbc November 2020 https://talentawards.constructionnews.co.uk people
Constructing Excellence Awards East Midlands tbc 10/5/2020 rhian.hassall@radar-communications.co.uk http://www.east.celebratingconstructionawards.org/ Regional – East Midlands
Constructing Excellence Awards West Midlands tbc April 2020 rhian.hassall@radar-communications.co.uk http://www.west.celebratingconstructionawards.org/ Regional – Midlands
Constructing Excellence Awards Norfolk tbc May 2020 http://www.norfolkconstructingexcellence.org.uk/awards/awards-2019/ Regional – Norfolk
The Grafters Awards tbc 15/10/2020 https://www.grafters-nw.co.uk/the-grafters-awards/ Regional – North West
“Greater Manchester Chamber Awards, including Building of the Year ” tbc tbc https://www.gmchamber.co.uk/events/property-construction-annual-dinner-awards-2019-october/ Regional – North West
North West Regional Construction Awards tbc July 2020 http://www.constructionawardsnw.co.uk/event.html Regional – North West
Constructing Excellence Awards South West tbc tbc rhian.hassall@radar-communications.co.uk http://www.buildswawards.org.uk/ Regional – South West
Constructing Excellence Awards Yorkshire & Humber tbc tbc http://ckegroup.org/cexcellenceyh/ceyh-awards-2019/ Regional – Yorkshire
The WAN Residential Awards tbc tbc https://www.wanawards.com residential
AR House Awards tbc December 2020 diana.zieba@emap.com https://arhouse.architectural-review.com/ residential
Inside Housing Development Awards tbc November 2020 https://ihda.co.uk/ihda-dynamic-forms?DynamicFormScreen=EntryForm&ccs=1892&cl=186& https://ihda.co.uk/ residential
The Building Awards tbc November 2020 https://www.building-awards.com The building
The British Construction Industry Awards (BCIA) tbc tbc https://bcia.newcivilengineer.com construction
The APS National CDM and Student Designer Awards tbc tbc rosalind.grozier@aps.org.uk https://www.aps.org.uk/awards-0 health and safety
The Construction Computing Awards – The Hammers http://www.constructioncomputingawards.co.uk Construction IT

Top 6 benefits of using CRM in construction businesses

Top 6 benefits of using CRM in construction businesses

I have blogged about CRM before here and here. This post details the top 6 benefits of using CRM in construction businesses.

The top 6 benefits of using CRM in construction businesses

#1 Managing the flow of business development intelligence

[bctt tweet=”CRM systems organise the diverse flow of information from wide-ranging stakeholders.“]

Companies working in the construction sector strategically manage relationships with a wide range of stakeholders, including contractors, architects, engineers, clients, consultants and local authorities. Efficiently capturing, managing and interpreting this data is critical to effectively controlling the business development and bidding processes. A CRM system streams this diverse inflowing information, allowing it to be efficiently interpreted.

#2 Knowledge and understanding of clients, consultants and other stakeholders

[bctt tweet=”Segmented information allows you to understand your clients and target your marcomms”]

Over time a significant bank of quality data will be captured, including projects worked on together and opportunities referred. This information is extremely valuable in the business development and work-winning processes. Segmented information also enables you to sort the organisations you work with and target your marketing communications. For example segmenting by discipline, by value of opportunities referred or by client type.

#3 It provides quality management information

[bctt tweet=”CRM provides real-time management information, allowing for informed decision-making”]

Decision making is well-informed by real-time data and provides real visibility across the business, accessible by everyone. This is particularly useful around pipeline management and sharing relationship/marketing information across the business. A CRM system can also provide the perfect location for sharing project-related collateral, or information on organisations you have relationships with.

#4 Proactive management of business processes

Tasks and activities can be diarised and centrally coordinated, as well as providing total visibility around who is responsible for specific actions.

#5 Drives efficiency throughout the business

CRM provides a single location for a whole host of information. This ranges from the simple to the more complex and minimises replication.

#6 Improved relationships within the business

[bctt tweet=”Sharing information across the business improves relationships and increases efficiency”]

Sharing client information across the business improves relationships between teams, as well as developing a culture of working together towards common goals. This is particularly important for organisations based in a number of offices.

I have worked with many CRM systems, particularly during implementation stages. I can work with you to develop the right protocols for your business to drive the right insights from the data.

Reshaping project information into bid and marketing collateral

Reshaping project information into bid and marketing collateral

My earlier post talked about how to capture project information. In this post I am going to talk about the myriad ways you can recycle and reshape it, to create a range of content suitable for multiple channels and platforms.

Marketing Examples
Bid collateral 
  • Case studies
  • Project information on CVs
Marketing communications
  • PR
  • Awards submissions
  • Online and offline media
Online and social media
  • Website content
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
Submission responses 
  •  Develop a bank of library of project information, ready for a range of questions.
Construction marketing: how to capture project information

Construction marketing: how to capture project information

Project information capture: a construction marketer’s biggest challenge 

Without a doubt a construction marketer’s biggest challenge is securing and interpreting a never-ending stream of project information to enable quality content marketing to be produced, build profile and win projects.

Project information capture: why, what, when?  

There are some key considerations for project information capture.

They are:

  • Why do we need project information?  
  • What does quality project information look like? 
  • When do I capture it?
Why do we need project information?

Project information shifts your marketing content and tender responses from being descriptive and features-based, to being outcomes and benefits-based. 

From a marketer’s perspective, quality project information is literally worth its weight in gold. I believe its value can be demonstrated in one simple formula:

(Quality project information = quality content) = more projects won + more people in work.

Showcasing benefits, rather than features, speaks directly to client needs and wants, as well as demonstrating innovative thinking and added-value. It also creates amazing bid responses, award submissions and shareable blog posts.

From a purely practical point of view, proactively captured project information goes a long way towards making any kind of submission process a lot smoother.

What does this information look like?

Quality project information clearly shows why your organisation provided a better service to the client and project than your competitors. It will tell a story using examples, evidence, pictures and some words.

First things first 

It may sound basic, but double-check the project details you have on record. Include the contractor, architect, engineers and of course the client. Also find out who the contact is for references going forward.

Speaking with your project-based colleagues (the who bit of the process)

Speak with technical colleagues about projects regularly and schedule a formal interview when the project is completed.

Consider the following points during your conversations:

  • Challenges of the project and the solutions developed to meet them. Challenges will generally focus around key areas of site, programme, budget or sustainability. These issues require innovation and ingenuity to solve them and its these solutions we need to capture and communicate efficiently to our stakeholders.
  • Benefits delivered to the client and project through approach.
  • Examples of innovation, including why the approach or solution was innovative and quantification of the project and client benefits.
  • Added-value examples.
  • Examples of sustainability, quantifying benefits.
  • Examples of cost and programme savings, with the impacts properly quantified.

Use these conversations to develop your knowledge (assuming you’re a desk-bound marketer). If you are unsure of technical language, ask for clarification. And remember the golden rule: evidence, evidence, evidence. Any claim which can’t be backed up by proper evidence or examples shouldn’t be included in any piece of collateral or content marketing.

Information storage 

Using a tabulated format like this facilitates capture, storage and eventual retrieval. You will also find that this kind of format will provide a great ‘starter for 10’ when putting together those pesky last minute PQQ responses.

Challenge Solution Outcome Benefit to the client Examples or evidence
Challenge A
Challenge B
When do you capture project information? 

Please see above about regular dialogue with technical colleagues and a project completion interview. 

I’m a great believer in creating a project sheet right from the project being formally commissioned by the client, so essentially project information should be captured and organised from a project’s inception.

Please don’t leave project information capture to when a job is handing over. Clearly the delivery team will have other things on their minds to be wanting to help you.

Construction Marketing podcast – capturing project information 

For some more detail on this topic, last year I took part in a podcast with Pritesh Patel and Mike Reader. On the podcast we discussed the challenges and provided some solutions. The podcast can be listened to here.

Next steps

If I can help you to to efficiently capture project information, or use it to create amazing content marketing or scheme-winning PQQs, please get in touch and let me know.