Guest columnist Danielle Kovac, Director of Social Media Support at Rogers Communications, shares her 6 tips on how to write a winning Lithy submission.
Last year, we were pleasantly surprised to take home one of the Lithy Awards’ top honors – Total Community All Star. Okay, we were more than surprised; we were ecstatic and so humbled because our team worked so hard for years to deliver world-class customer care.
The Lithy Awards are not only great recognition from our industry (so many great brands submit!), but it also allows us to reflect on our hard work and it is truly the best way to showcase our teams’ success.
We all know award submissions can be time consuming and (sometimes) heavy lifting, but there’s no doubt how valuable the content is – the effort is so worth the ROI. So, when Lithium asked us to write a few tips and tricks on what we learned from submitting a Lithy, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to help our peers. Plus, it gets us focused and geared up to write our own 2016 submissions.
Here are 6 things we learned from writing a Lithy that we hope you find useful as you put pen to paper (or fingers to keys):
Tell a story. First, don’t lose sight that this is YOUR story. Our Lithy submission reflected our challenges, solution and road to success. We made sure to use our unique brand voice and tried our best to take the judges on a journey. We told our story from 2010 to present to really set the stage. We were honest about specific challenges and the key insights that made our story unique. Plus, we tried to stay away from marketing jargon – we found that goes a long way. It’s all about storytelling.
Categories matter. There are 6 categories to choose from, so be very precise on which one makes the most sense for you and your story. What are you most proud of? Where are your metrics the strongest? If you’re in doubt, check with the Lithium team. That’s what we did, and they pointed us in the right direction.
Industry disruptor. How are you different from your competitors and shaking up your industry? What’s your vision, strategy and how is that unique? It’s important to include the bigger picture story and how your work maps back to business goals. For us, we tried to showcase how we’re changing the social care mindset in telecommunications in Canada. You should do the same. That’s a powerful way to showcase that your work is award-worthy.
The power is in the metrics. What we found is that the strongest way to convey your story and prove your success is through numbers and sharing data. The Lithy judges want to see the actual impact your digital strategy has made. And the only way to tell that story is through metrics. We understand some data can’t be public, but we tried to be creative. We used percentages, showed averages and asked our PR team what is possible. What we noticed is that metrics is the key to a successful entry.
Visual magic. Who wants to read a story without accompanied images? While we didn’t use visual aids in our submission last year, we know that was a missing piece for us. Several other brands submitted images, videos or links to much more content to bring their story to life. This year, we’ll want to include images to make our submission pop.
A look inside your organization. We also tried to show what our success looked like internally. We included the teams that were involved and the impact to employees. We also tried to include the senior executives and teams that were involved in our digital success. Is your CEO involved in community or LSW? Do you have an executive quote to include in your entry? Demonstrating the internal impact of your work and the visibility that you have achieved within your organization is a benefit worth including to round out your entire story.
And one final tip for after you’ve submitted your Lithy: Don’t let your submission become just words on paper! When online voting opens in May, make sure you tell your colleagues and business partners about your submission, and make it easy for them to read and vote for it. We wanted our company to share in our success last year, so we invited employees to vote for our submission and be a part of our journey.
Best of luck as your write your Lithy submission, and I hope you get a chance to take home a Lithy trophy!
P.s. Instructions on how to submit your 2016 Lithy entry here. Get to it!
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