Serial Agency of the Year award winner and Drum Network Awards judge Noel Penrose shares his top awards tips


By Richard Draycott, Managing Director

September 26, 2016 | 4 min read

As we all know there is a certain knack to entering and winning marketing awards. Some people have a defined formula and stick to it rigidly, while others often spend alot of time and effort re-inventing the wheel each and every time they enter an awards scheme.

There are just five days to go until the deadline to enter The Drum Network Awards – the awards scheme that gives independent agencies of all shapes and sizes the chance to go head to head with the big ‘networked’ boys (and often win) – so, I thought it would be opportune to outline what works for me as a judge in many of these types of schemes.

In recent years I have worked with and helped agencies such as JKR, Zone, Born Social, Velocity Partners, Agency UK, Whitespace and BWP all win Agency of Year awards in various different awards schemes and I have also sat on The Drum Network Awards panel for a number of years, so I have a fair idea of what grabs the judge’s attentions and what gets their goats.

So, on that basis I wish you all the best this year and here are my top ten tips:

Be Smart when entering

Try to enter categories with a small number of entrants; you can often see how many entrants there were in prior years from the website of the awarding body.

Don’t waffle

Make sure the entry narrative is concise and easy to read; judges don’t have a lot of time to plough through reams and reams of content to get to the nub of the story.

Be tailored

Write a custom-tailored response that is integrated rather than form-filling to match the entry form; add colour and imagery where possible to liven up your report and to stand out.

Introduce yourself properly

Have a short introductory overview that talks in one paragraph about why your entry deserves to win.

Back up claims

Incorporate client testimonials always to support your entry and claims.

Focus on what matters

Quote impact, effectiveness clearly, using hard numbers on profits, sales, market share (which are always stronger than awareness, likes, clicks etc.)

Action speaks louder than words

Try to show how customers have taken action from your work.

Offer context

Try to draw a simple picture of ‘before' and ‘after’ to help the judges realise the impact you achieved

Think film

Think about including a short film with your entry. Maybe time consuming, but again gives you stand out and enables judges to relate to your personality.

Validate your claims

Make sure your case study is on your website; it adds validity to your claim

Noel Penrose is the founder of agency business advisory Juniper2.

The entry deadline for this year’s Drum Network Awards is Friday 30th September. If you entered The Drum Marketing Awards this year you can also qualify for a reduced entry price to The Drum Network Awards.

Contact Hannah Docherty on 0141 559 6061 or by email for more details.


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