This is your ‘go-to’ section for everything awards-related. Find out how we work and what the entry process involves, as well as what to do at each stage of your awards journey.
There are 8 different FAQ sections below, including:
What does August mean?
As well as referring to the eighth month of the calendar year, August also means ‘respected and impressive’ – which neatly sums up the reputation that we’ve built up since the business was launched.
How long have you been helping people win awards?
Our Founder, Donna O’Toole, started working in the awards industry in 2012 and has amassed extensive experience that has been instrumental in establishing and developing the August name into a top UK awards agency.
What are your success rates?
Our success rates are exceptional. 9 out of 10 of our full-service clients win when we write their awards and create their presentations. 85% of our entries reach the awards finals, and over 75% of those win an award.
Are you part of a bigger group?
Yes. On 30th April 2021, we became a part of Dent – a multi-award-winning training organisation that services over 3,500 clients globally from head offices in London, Sydney, and Toronto. We will, of course, continue to offer the same fantastic service to our clients, and this partnership has only made us even stronger.
Do you work internationally?
Yes, we do. We have worked with clients to win awards in a number of countries across different continents, whilst we also have a great understanding of international awards.
What is your mission as a top UK awards agency?
Our mission is to empower businesses, teams and individuals with the trust, credibility and authority to build a better future for themselves and others across the world.
Discover how our Mission, Vision and Values work together to create the unique business that we are.
What are your company values?
We pride ourselves on three core values that epitomise everything about our business:
- We will always operate with Clarity to ensure the process is as transparent and clear as possible for you.
- Our Confidence stems from our excellent success rates and the strength of our experienced team – by working with us, we will ensure that you are confident, positive and bold in your awards journey.
- Our final value, Commitment, is evident in every facet of our operations – whether it’s our determination to make you a winner, our carefully crafted awards entries or our dedication to customer care.
Who do you have in your team?
August Recognition is led by our Founder, Donna O’Toole, who is supported by:
- Shannon Amos – Operations Manager.
- Ben Griss – Marketing & Communications Manager.
- Alex Barton – Administration Assistant.
- Our growing team of trained awards consultants and writers, who bring a collective knowledge and experience from a wide range of sectors.
Why should we work with August Recognition?
Quite simply, you will have the best chance of winning with our exceptional success rates. Benefit from being involved with a top UK awards agency as we enable you to grow your profile, increase sales and transform company culture. 75% of our clients chose us because of our ‘Good Reputation’.
What will it be like working together?
You will enjoy the process and benefit from the best customer experience provided by a dedicated account manager. We will communicate on a regular basis to keep you aware of progress, while maintaining complete confidentiality and professionalism at times. Rest assured that we are 100% with you on every stage of your awards journey.
What is the customer experience like?
Exceptional. We’ve had countless glowing testimonials from clients, and we pride ourselves on providing the very best service – meaning you can sit back, relax and have complete peace of mind that we are taking care of each step in your awards journey. 100% of our clients felt that entering awards with us has been a ‘Good Investment’.
How do you work?
By applying our effective ‘WINNER’ method to all awards projects, you will be in the best possible shape when it comes to securing prestigious awards. We will:
- Write and plan your bespoke awards strategy.
- Investigate and reveal your award-winning USP.
- Narrow the competition with unique awards insights.
- Nail your awards wins with outstanding entries and pitches.
- Elevate your profile with high-value awards opportunities.
- Review your results and use insights to achieve your ultimate goals.
What will happen if I become a winner?
You will benefit from numerous positive outcomes, ranging from increased sales and a more visible profile to better recruitment and staff retention. Research from the British Quality Foundation found that award-winners experience, on average, a 63% increase in turnover following their win.
We have also surveyed our own clients and found that:
- 83% said ‘Team Morale’ increased.
- 67% said ‘Turnover’ increased.
- 80% said ‘Brand Awareness’ increased.
Which partners do you work with?
We partner with some of the world’s most sought-after awards, including the Great British Entrepreneur Awards and the Lloyd’s Bank British Business Excellence Awards.
Which brands and entrepreneurs do you work with?
We have worked with everyone from Dragons and Unicorns, to global brands and celebrities. Our Founder has also previously worked with The Body Coach, Joe Wicks, and Samsung. No matter how big or small your business, we can give you the insights you need to win.
Do you offer any kind of promise or guarantee?
Our Customer Promise guarantees the best value and service in the UK, and we will do everything we can to perfect your awards entries, presentations and nominations – don’t forget that 9 out of 10 of our full-service clients win when we write their awards and create their presentations, 85% of our entries reach the awards finals, and over 75% of those win an award.
Which awards services do you offer?
We can look after as much or as little of the awards entry process for you. Our ‘full-service’ clients – where we manage all aspects of the process from start to finish – are the most successful (9 out of 10 win their awards presentations). Our core services cover each stage of the awards journey:
- Building a bespoke awards strategy
- Written awards entries
- Producing awards presentations
In addition, we can offer other services such as entry reviews, press releases and consultation.
Check out our Roadmap to Recognition, which illustrates how you will progress along each step en route to becoming a winner.
How can I get the best value package?
We have three different packages that provide a range of benefits – depending on what you’re looking to achieve – and these offer the very best value, with significant savings against the cost of individual services. Our packages include Awards Credits for a varying number of entries / presentations.
Do you provide any ad-hoc services?
Yes – you can simply pick and choose individual services or products that suit your requirements, such as a bespoke awards strategy or a written presentation. The most cost-effective option is to explore our selection of packages, each of which contains multiple entries or presentations at a discounted rate offering considerable cost savings.
Can you train me or my team to win awards?
Yes, we can indeed. Our full-day online Awards Accelerator training course provides everything you need to start winning awards now, by empowering you with all the techniques, templates and tips that you need to give you every chance of success.
How can I spread my payments?
To make it as easy as possible to secure our services, we can be flexible when it comes to payment. Our lower-value products are paid upfront in a single payment, however our packages can be paid for in 12 monthly instalments.
How much time will I have to spend?
This depends upon the nature of your project, but we will save you a significant amount of time, so that you can focus on your key business function. We recognise that entering awards can be a daunting and complex process, which is why we have developed our products and services to make the whole experience as straightforward and easy to understand as possible.
How many different types of awards are there?
There are literally thousands of different awards and categories available – all with a different emphasis. There are specific industry awards, cross-sector business awards, and personal awards for entrepreneurs and leaders – these can either be local, regional, national or international in terms of their reach and focus.
We have an ever-growing database featuring the best awards in the world, which ensures you have access to the exact award(s) that are best for your needs. Whether you are a new entrepreneur, a large established corporate or anything in between, there are awards out there to suit your personal circumstances.
Which award disciplines are available?
While some awards concentrate on pure business growth and financial performance, the great majority focus on a particular sector or business function, such as Retail, Employee Experience, Customer Service or Learning & Development.
Each set of awards then features a number of categories (anything from around 10-50) that are relevant to achieving success in a specific domain, like ‘Diversity and Inclusion in the Use of Digital’, ‘Customer Experience for SMEs’ or ‘Food & Drink Entrepreneur of the Year’.
What are ‘premium awards’?
There are certain awards such as the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise and Queen’s Honours (MBE, OBE etc.) which command the very highest recognition and praise. Read more about these here.
How will I know which awards I should enter?
It’s a real minefield knowing which ones are best for you. That’s why, at the outset, we will analyse and assess your business, research all the awards and categories you could enter, then compile a detailed awards strategy to ensure that we choose the awards that will support your business goals.
Will you tell me if I can / can’t win?
Of course. We are always transparent and honest with you – after all, ‘Clarity’ is one of our core business values. There is no point pursuing a particular award if it doesn’t suit your company’s objectives and achievements, and we will steer you towards the best fit for your personal and business goals.
How do I know if I can win awards?
Our FREE Win Business Awards Scorecard can be easily and quickly completed online in less than five minutes. This helpful tool benchmarks your current ability to win awards and identifies how to increase your chances of winning awards in the future, with a handy report supplied on completion.
What size does my business have to be to win?
Often, your business can be any size with no minimum or maximum requirements. Whether you’re an individual, team, SME or a large corporate organisation, a wealth of awards are out there for you. Selected awards have specific criteria like the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, which require a minimum of two staff.
Can I enter an award with my client?
Yes – you can enter as a partnership with one of your clients if you’ve been working on a specific project together for mutual benefit.
Do I need to be in profit to win awards?
It is not essential to be in profit for most awards, however it is always advisable to include your most recent business plan to show how you are looking to strategically grow and develop over the next 1/2/3 years.
Do I need to show growth in turnover to win awards?
While demonstrating that your business has grown is good, not all awards look at finances. You can win even without growth if you’re able to supply an effective and successful client project.
How many client projects do I need to win an award?
You will need to reference just one client project that includes a strong case study explaining the objectives, how you set about achieving these and a summary of the outcomes – including measurement of these in a range of metrics.
Are there any awards I should avoid?
It is best to avoid awards that fail to meet your business or personal goals, and we definitely don’t recommend getting in touch with awards that email you to say you’ve ‘been nominated’ – accompanied by a request for money to ‘win’ or feature on some kind of list.
What are ‘premium awards’?
There are certain awards such as the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, Queen’s Honours (MBE, OBE etc.), the Institute of Directors and the Princes Royal Training Awards – amongst others – which command the very highest recognition and praise. The entry and judging process for these is particularly robust and there are often strict conditions which must be met. We have a great deal of experience in winning these types of awards for our clients.
What are the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise?
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious business award a UK business can win. There are only four categories – each with extremely rigorous eligibility criteria:
- Queen’s Awards for Innovation
- Queen’s Awards for International Trade
- Queen’s Awards for Sustainable Development
- Queen’s Awards for Promoting Opportunity (through social mobility)
What are Queen’s Honours?
The British Honours system, or ‘Queen’s Honours’ mark the extraordinary contributions and service of people across the UK, and include four main awards:
- GBE, KBE or DBE (Knight or Dame)
- CBE (Commander of the British Empire)
- OBE (Officer of the British Empire)
- MBE (Member of the British Empire)
Honours are announced twice each year – firstly on New Year’s Day (1 January), then the Birthday Honours are awarded as part of the Queen’s Official Birthday celebrations during June.
When will I know if I’ve won a Queen’s Honour?
The process for Queen’s Honours can take anything from 6-18 months to complete, and you will be notified when a decision has been made. You have the opportunity to add a written update if the candidate has gone on to achieve anything particularly notable after the nomination has originally been submitted.
Is it a fair process?
The rigorous, robust processes that are put in place for these premium awards ensures that only the most outstanding and deserving nominations are successful.
Can I nominate myself for a Queen’s Honour?
No. A designated person (who knows the nominee very well) must instigate the nomination process and act as the main point of contact throughout.
What happens once the entry has been submitted?
Every award operates differently. For example, some will just require a written entry, whereas others include an additional presentation stage. The awards panel will consider all entries and give each one its respective score – this process takes several weeks.
Can I tell people that I’ve entered an award?
Absolutely. Feel free to promote the fact that you’re in contention for the award through your social media channels and business contacts – this PR all helps to increase your credibility.
Is there a shortlist of finalists?
There will be a process of choosing a shortlist (typically of around 6-10) featuring the highest-scoring entrants. Making this stage is a credible achievement, even if you don’t ultimately win the top prize, as businesses benefit from using ‘Highly Commended’ or ‘Bronze Award’ in their marketing materials and comms.
Will I have to do a presentation?
Some awards have a two-stage entry process. This means that those businesses or individuals progressing from the entry stage will make a shortlist, requiring them to produce and deliver a presentation – typically around 15 minutes in duration. You can get other member(s) of your wider team to help present.
Who can help with my presentation?
We can! we can put together an effective and professional presentation that’s perfectly produced to fit the award’s objectives. What’s more, we can coach you through the presenting part to ensure you’re as prepared and comfortable as possible before your big moment in the limelight. A judging panel can even be arranged to simulate the kind of environment you’ll face, with expert feedback provided after your presentation.
Will there be an awards ceremony?
Awards have a variety of ways to celebrate your success. The majority do have a ceremony at the end of the process, which is when the winners are crowned – please be aware that some awards will make online announcements for shortlisting etc. This ceremony could come in one of several forms:
- ‘Live’ – when the ceremony takes place at a venue (often a prestigious hotel) and people physically attend.
- ‘Virtual’ – some awards organisers choose to host a virtual ceremony online, where guests join via a digital link (such as Zoom). The pandemic forced almost all ceremonies to go online, due to health & safety guidelines.
- ‘Hybrid’ – this refers to a ceremony that combines a mixture of the above approaches. Parts of the ceremony might be live at the venue, while other sections could either be pre-recorded or delivered via an online link.
It’s a fantastic opportunity to share your story with other finalists and raise your business profile. There is no obligation to purchase a table at the event, and it certainly won’t influence your chances of winning.
In addition, some awards incorporate networking events into their programme of activities.
What should I do now I’ve won an award?
Immediately share your success on social media so that all of your followers (and competitors!) are aware of your victory. We recommend circulating a press release to the local / regional / national media (depending on your business size and objectives) as soon as possible following your win.
How can I maximise my success?
By undertaking research before and after your awards win, you’ll be able to quantify how much impact it has had on specific aspects of your business, such as ‘team morale’ and ‘brand awareness’. These kinds of metrics can even be used to achieve more success, such as better recruitment and staff retention.
Use the appropriate awards logo on all of your platforms and marketing channels to showcase your achievement. For example, SciChart experienced a 30% increase in sales within a month of adding the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise logo to their website.
Research from the British Quality Foundation found that award-winners experience, on average, a 63% increase in turnover following their win, so be prepared for a spike in sales once word of your success has spread.
Take a look at some of our Case Studies to see how individual companies have benefited from their awards wins.
What happens next?
Once you’ve been successful as an award-winner, that is only the start of your awards journey! Now is the time to capitalise on your achievement and seek out more awards that help to grow your business and provide new opportunities, investment etc.
TIME TO START YOUR AWARDS JOURNEY!
Our FREE Win Business Awards Scorecard benchmarks your current ability to win awards and identifies how to increase your chances of winning in the future. It takes less than five minutes to complete and you’ll receive a FREE report showing your strengths and weaknesses.
What People Say About Us
“I couldn’t be happier, or more shocked, to have won a Queen’s Awards for Enterprise. Donna’s guidance was invaluable, and without her support and expertise we would have never even entered, nevermind won!”
Andrew Burnett-Thompson, CEO, SciChart
What People Say About Us
“We are delighted to have won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category and would highly recommend Donna’s services. Her professional advice and guidance was invaluable during the application process. With Donna’s help, we were able to put together a comprehensive submission for the esteemed award and we are thrilled with the results.”
Steve Kaye, Marketing Director, HiB
What People Say About Us
"I have been working with Donna over the last few years and I have to say, I have found her to be the consummate professional, always keeping her promises, a great marketer and PR guru."
Neil Skehel, Ceo, Awards International
What People Say About Us
“Donna’s masterclass gave me a fantastic insight into what it takes to win awards. I found the training extremely useful as this is something that can be carried forward and used on a day-to-day basis."
Pauline Saunders, Head of Events, The Learning & Performance Institute
What People Say About Us
“We were so proud to win gold in our category at the UK Business Awards. Thanks again Donna for your advice on our initial submission – which really helped shape the entry. The whole team is delighted with the result!”
Helen Nesbitt, Head of Content, Farrer Kane
What People Say About Us
“Donna’s guidance and advice was invaluable when preparing our submission for a number of awards this year. She helped us to lay out the detail in a way that ensured judges could clearly see compelling evidence aligned to judging criteria, challenged our thinking and helped us to ensure that nothing was left to chance. Time spent with Donna is time very well invested!”
Moyra Smith, Strategic Business Manager, Mercuri International
What People Say About Us
“The awards training has been one of the most unique, informative, and inspiring days the team have ever completed. I was really impressed Donna at how you engaged and interacted with my team – you are a real inspiration and a lady bursting with personality. Keep up the amazing work!”
Andrew Scott, CEO, Ascot Group and Business Leader Magazine
What People Say About Us
“We haven’t won an award since 2007 but in the last 5 months – we have won 5, including a really prestigious one last Friday from the City of London. So just wanted to say thank you – the course really helped switch the way we thought about entering these and the results speak for themselves!”
Amy Walters, Business Manager, Bow Lane Dental Group