So I’ve been doing a bunch of judging this year and while some have been great, a lot have been fucking terrible.
It is kinda scary what some people think represents effectiveness.
Seriously, if they were running their own business based on their effectiveness measures, they’d be dead in a week.
Which is probably why they’re not running their own business.
Now there’s a bunch of stuff that can be done to make a Judge take notice.
Of course there’s the usual.
1. Actually have a story that shows effectiveness.
2. Appreciate judges know all the ways people try to polish bullshit.
3. Understand you have to have done something different to convention or you can’t claim you were directly responsible for the effectiveness.
But there’s one more thing.
Seriously, the amount of times I have to read, re-read and then re-re-read to try and work out what is being said is incredible.
I get some of the submissions are from people where English is not their native language so they feel they have to write more in a bid to make sure judges really understand the points they want to make.
I also know that I’m a bit thick so take longer to get stuff that the average person.
But – and it’s a huuuuuge but – some of the submissions are ridiculous, using 500 words when 10 would do.
I get the desire to add emotion and texture to the case study, but when you’re asked to ‘describe the insight that drove the strategy’ and you take 3 paragraphs to explain it, it’s either a bullshit insight or you’re trying to hide something.
A bit of advice worth thinking about is what a chef told my wonderful colleague Maria when she was doing some research with chefs …
“The more confident you are, the more simple your dish”
What I’m saying is that if your submission is good, have the confidence in it.
Seriously, good things will stand out and so all you need your paper to do is provide the stage for it to shine.
Failing that, you can always throw in a weird quote to capture the judges attention.
Recently, someone wrote this in their entry …
“It is only when a mosquito lands on your testicles that you realize there is always a way to solve problems without using violence”.
I even wrote on the judging paper that this may be the best quote I’ve ever seen.
Sadly – for them – that was the only highpoint of their submission.
Anyway, I digress. Again.
Look, I understand we get excited about the work we do.
I understand we all want to explain the journey to get there.
But for gods sake, think of the context and environment you’re playing in.
When your competitors are bombarding judges with long and complicated explanations and charts, less will most definitely be more.
[I fully expect John Dodds to agree, given I’m basically saying ‘no one reads long copy’]
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