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7 benefits to winning a copywriting award

James McCann-Ellerington

Zinc Communications group

PRO

A famous football manager (Bill Shankly) once claimed, ‘first is first, second is nowhere’. This was for a Liverpool team in its pomp during the 70’s and ’80s sweeping up awards and accolades season upon season. 

There are those that argue that it’s only a game and football is nothing to be taken so seriously. As an aside, the same manager is also quoted as saying, ‘football is not a matter of life or death. It’s more important than that’.

Others point to the consistent standard of excellence that elite sport considers the benchmark of success. While there is a merit for both cases, what is in no doubt is that today, 30 years on, Liverpool is still a club synonymous with success and trophies.

But what does this have to do with writing? Aside from the mechanics, everything. We’re all here for our love of words, writing is a passion. It’s our job. And this means we need to strive to be the best in our hyper-competitive and high-quality field. 

You don’t have to look far on this site alone to find some of the best wordsmiths in the business. Throw in the competition from people on LinkedIn and Facebook groups, and the opportunity to stand out becomes harder and harder as time moves on.

So it’s important, if not critical, to do what is necessary to differentiate. Which leads me to the importance of awards. 

It’s easy to get swamped with client work and the day to day grind, and overlook the best of our work in favour of delivering for others. But I’d urge you to stop and see if there is a platform to showcase your talent. Your work. You.  

Find and enter industry awards. Winning an award one day doesn’t automatically make us a better writer the day after. But it does have a heap of other benefits important to our work, business and emotional and mental state.

Here are seven reasons why winning awards is important: 

  1. Recognition — it’s not necessary, but it’s always nice to be recognised for our work. In a service industry that’s not always the case and especially when writing itself is such a subjective art. No matter who you are, it’s good to hear you’ve done a great job
  2. Promote your best work — it’s hard to promote all the work we do, especially if it’s long-form or attributed to somebody else. So, an award is a  platform to do that
  3. Share your success (and your clients) — friends, family, colleagues, clients and prospects all want to share your success. They’ve supported, proofed and been there to bounce ideas off so give them a chance to get involved in the glory
  4. Win more business — the obvious one. Money makes the world go around and being a copywriter is no different. Award wins mean you can wave a flag of quality to let prospects know what you’re about and that your work is officially good.
  5. Positive PR – we have to keep working on our profile. We may have done great work last year but the world moves on. It’s vital to keep your positioning and personal brand current and strong
  6. Competitive differentiation — writing is a highly competitive field so being able to stand-out and differentiate from your competitors is key 
  7. Increased confidence — winning, or even being shortlisted for an award puts a spring in our step and reinvigorates our positive energy. This is a very good thing.

Thinking of entering?

The D&AD Awards, DMA Awards and The Majors should be a few awards that are on your radar, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg. There’ll be loads in your chosen field or vertical. 

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there, find an award that fits and get applying. The worst that can happen is you spend some time writing and honing your personal position and, you never know. You might win one.

Best of luck.

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