Tips on entering the awards

 Top tips for making the HPMA Awards finals:

• Read through all our award categories and make sure you enter your project in the most suitable category

• It would be a shame to have done all the work only to be told by your director at the twelfth hour that you can't enter it. Get senior management approval, and even involvement, to help your case

• Complete all questions on the online submission form, and keep the category you have entered in mind as you write

• Keep to our word count limits

• Thoroughly check your entry form before submission, and ask a colleague to take a look too

• Complete your submission well in advance of the deadline, so you have plenty of time to ask questions and prepare your answers

• Don't forget to call us if you have a query 020 8334 4500

• And remember you can enter as many projects into the competition as you like.

Make your awards submissions stand out:

Remember that by the time the judges get to reading your entry, they may have already sifted through 40 others, so make yours stand out...

1) Tell a good story
Write your project summary as though you are writing a really good story. Imagine you are back at school and have to think of a "beginning", a "middle" and an "end". The beginning should set out the objectives clearly. The middle should explain the strategy, and the end should reveal the results.

2) Keep it simple
As many judges say: "less is sometimes more", avoid jargon and flowery language. Check for typos, grammatical mistakes and spelling.

3) First impressions count
First impressions count, so make an instant impact.

4) Stick to the truth
Don't exaggerate, lie or include spurious claims, as judges will see through them.

5) Involve the whole team
Make the entry a joint effort, this will often produce a better, more comprehensive summary, as well as making the story more interesting.

6) Be ruthless when redrafting
Once you've written your rough draft submission, read it over several times and cut out superfluous information. This will make it much clearer. It's also a good idea to get someone who hasn't been directly involved to cast their fresh eyes over it to double-check clarity.