The best awards for Leeds creative agencies to enter

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    • 23rd April 2019

    If you're working in a creative agency, we're sure you're incredibly proud of the work you've achieved.

    So why not share your success with the world by entering your work for an award?

    Leeds agencies are eligible for many different design awards, but that doesn’t mean the prize is in the bag.

    In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the best awards to enter, and some best practice tips for award entries.

    How awards can help your creative agency

    Not every Leeds creative agency utilises the opportunity that creative awards offer. Often this is due to time pressures or not knowing which award to go for. (This article should help out with both of these points).

    Sometimes, it’s also due to being unable to get senior management on board with putting the required time behind an award entry. To help with this, here are the main reasons to why awards matter:

    · Award wins are a great opportunity to raise the agency’s profile

    · The publicity gained from the awarding body puts your agency in front of a new audience

    · An award win can help you win new clients (serving as a deciding factor in a pitch situation if you’re tied with another agency or as a good first impression when someone is looking at your website)

    · Award wins can help you retain the great talent you have in the agency, as your staff share the success with you and feel valued

    · Awards help you attract candidates, as they’ll see what an innovative agency you are and how involved you are in taking the industry to the next level

    pineapple wearing sunglasses with balloons
    creative agency = creative awards

    Awards offer a variety of benefits to Leeds creative agencies, but which ones are worth your time and how can you improve your overall chances?

    The best awards for Leeds creative agencies

    leeds town hall with sunrise
    the creative hub of the North

    Prolific North Awards

    As their name suggests, Prolific North focuses their news and analysis on the North of England. This makes their Prolific North Awards an excellent choice for Leeds creative agencies.

    Judged by a mix of experts and industry leaders, the Prolific North Awards come in several useful categories. There are dedicated awards for small digital and small integrated agencies, as well as more specialist awards like media sales, content teams, websites and apps. Awards will be given to companies who show consistently high standards of work, exploit new opportunities, demonstrate significant increases in user traffic and understand their target audience well.

    This year’s deadline has passed, but you can prepare for next year’s award by visiting the official website. You’ve got some handy Gloss tips on award preparation coming up.

    The Drum Awards

    The Drum takes a global approach to its awards, identifying the best people (and practices) in the creative industry. Winners of the award will be given plenty of exposure by The Drum itself—one of the world’s largest marketing platforms—making a win highly sought after by any company.

    The Drum actually runs several different competitions, focussing on different sectors such as content, B2B and online media. They also run two other awards with some more out-of-the-box thinking.

    The Roses Awards celebrates creative work outside London’s M25, with agencies from the likes of Manchester, Edinburgh and Leeds all entering. If you think you’re a hidden gem in the worlds of advertising, design or digital, the Roses Award may be perfect for you.

    The Chip Shop Awards, meanwhile, are more freeform. They celebrate pure, unadulterated creativity with no rules or boundaries; enter work for clients you don’t have, work that never ran, or work that pushes the boundaries of your industry. The possibilities are quite literally endless!

    For more information, visit the official website here.

    Northern Marketing Awards

    As the name suggests, the Northern Marketing Awards focus on showcasing the creative work of businesses in the North of England.

    The awards celebrate the excellence, creativity and achievements of the North’s marketing industry. Judges look for campaigns that utilise several different channels, demonstrate customer insight, details on how the campaign was carried out, and clear evidence of clear objectives being met.

    While there are awards for Best Agency (large and small) many of the awards focus on specific campaigns. Several different categories are represented, such as B2B, B2C, Tourism & Leisure, Outdoor Advertising and many more.

    Read more about the Northern Marketing Awards at the official website.

    D&AD Awards

    The D&AD Awards have been running for over 50 years, celebrating commercial creativity in a variety of forms.

    Entrants can win awards at one of four levels; whichever award you come away with, though, you can be sure your work represents some of the year’s best.

    There are many different categories of award to enter, with judges from the likes of Amazon, Aardman and United Artists assessing the entries. If you want to enter a more unusual award, such as Cinematography, Photography or Sound Design, the D&AD Awards may be just what you’re looking for.

    For more details on these awards, visit the official website.

    Marketing Week Masters

    Marketing Week offers a range of quality news and features for brand marketers, meaning an award from them is highly prized. The Marketing Week Masters awards go to marketing campaigns that go above and beyond best practice, show new and innovative approaches, and set new standards for their industry.

    There are several categories to choose from across sectors, channels and special awards; your work is sure to fit into one of them. Whether you’re proud of your work in the non-profit sector, want to celebrate the customer experience, or go for something big like Brand of the Year, Marketing Week Masters offers plenty of opportunities!

    Learn more about these awards at the official website.

    Best Practice Tips

    Now that you have a better idea of which awards Leeds creative agencies often enter, follow our best practice tips to increase your chances of success.

    table with marketing brochures
    don’t stand still

    Plan ahead

    When putting together an award entry, always remember; it’ll take a lot longer than you think. Look carefully at the deadlines for an award you’re aiming for.

    If a deadline for an award closes fairly soon—and it’s one you’re keen to enter—consider entering a similar one with a more distant deadline, or postponing your entry until next year. You want to make sure your entry explains your work as clearly as possible; many awards require evidence of the improvements and progress you’ve made.

    Rushing into your explanations—or failing to refine them—in order to meet a deadline will only reduce your chances of success. 

    Choose the right category

     Since there are so many awards out there, it’s tempting to submit a single project for multiple categories. However, this is a bad idea. It’s unlikely your project (whether it’s a website, marketing campaign, app or something else) will fit neatly into boxes from multiple awards hosts, and this starves you of time you need to polish up your pitch.

    It’s better to focus on one or two awards, refining your message and thinking in detail about what you want to highlight.

    Focus on relevancy

    The key benefit of winning an award for your work is to highlight your skill as a creative agency .Be wary of though of just going for the generic “best of” awards or with your biggest client. There are so many different award categories to choose from.

    Don’t just nominate the most popular project or the one you want to show off the most. Instead, consider which project best answers the award criteria. One relevant award entry in a niche category is better than five vaguely connected entries that are more of an agency ego boost than a serious entry.

    Understand the entry requirements

    Each award has different requirements, but as a general guide, judges are looking for a high level of innovation, evidence-based results, and examples of a detailed understanding of both a specific industry sector and the campaign’s target audience.

    Where appropriate, consider if there are any other ways you can support your point. Statistics, tables and images are a highly effective way to strengthen your award entry.

    Avoid jargon when writing about your entry, as judges are looking for a well-phrased entry not an example of how many marketing buzzwords can be crammed into one paragraph. Make sure you pick statistics that are relevant to both your project and the award. Ensure that your entry has an enticing narrative. Judges are looking to understand the challenge you faced and the exceptional solution your agency provided. That’s the best way to stand out from the crowd.

    Consider your award application as a pitch—something that needs to make a point quickly and concisely. Sell your project as you would any other piece of work, and work to catch a judge’s eye as quickly as possible.

    Think about appearance

    You only have one chance to make an impression with the award judges and considering the amount of entries they receive, it’s vital you make your entry as strong as possible to stand out from the crowd.

    Therefore, you need to make your successes as transparent as possible. But you work at a creative agency, so an eye for style is expected of you.

    A sleek design of the document, attention to detail of which images are used to break-up the text and what narrative they add to the entry combined with some on brand colours, helps to highlight who you are as an agency. This also shows the judges that you’re taking the award seriously as you’ve put effort into every aspect of the entry.

    Final check

    You must also make sure you fill in the award’s entry form properly.

    Check what address you need to send entries to, that any files sent digitally are in the right size and format, and that you read any fine print.

    Don’t let an otherwise solid entry be undermined by a lapse in concentration.

    If you’re an agency looking to fill creative agency jobs in Leeds, we at Gloss Recruitment are here to help. We’re a creative recruitment agency with more than a decade of experience, and we work with cream of the crop candidates of Leeds. Our team knows the Leeds creative and digital industry inside out.

    Whatever your agency needs, we work alongside you to identify the most relevant candidates for the position you’re looking to fill.

    If you’d like to find out more about our process, have a look at our client pages here.

    Alternatively, if you have a role to fill right away, submit your vacancy using our handy online form or call our team on 0870 321 9788 to discuss.