August 28, 2021 Annie Teich

Edtech PR Specialists Share Strategies for Best-in-Class Award Entries

Learn Secrets from Insiders to Make the Best Impression with Judges

Research tells us that educators are usually skeptical of product marketing claims. When it comes to trying new education products or services, they trust their colleagues’ recommendations and award winners from reputable award programs, such as the CODiE Awards, Tech & Learning, Bett, and Edtech Digest.

As an experienced awards judge, I can’t tell you how many product submissions were dead on arrival because of incomplete documentation, insufficient information, or inadequate research. Product award submissions often suffer from excessive marketing jargon that fails to distinguish the product from its competitors. As we launch the new Best of STEM Awards, we turned to some of our Edtech PR friends for advice on how to make your product submission stand out from the pack. Here’s what they had to say.

Kati Elliott
KEH Communications

  • Make descriptions as clear as possible, recognizing that the award reviewer may not be familiar with the job role of the person you created your product for.
  • Include details of how your customer would use your product.
  • If you include images, make sure they’re images of your product in use.

Charlotte Andrist
Nickel Communications

  • Show don’t tell. Focus on explaining “why” the product is essential. This will make the judge’s decision easier and set your entry apart from the others.
  • Award programs are highly competitive. Organizers frequently receive hundreds of submissions for each category. By submitting multiple entries across several categories, you are highlighting the breadth of the product and improving its chances of being
    selected a finalist and/or winner in a number of categories.

Jacob Hanson
PR with Panache

  • Be authentic in your submissions. While you may not know exactly what the judging process is like behind closed doors, they will see through any marketing speak that is used in the submission.
  • Leverage your case studies, videos (with customers if possible!) as well as quotes or testimonials from customers.

Charlene Blohm
C. Blohm & Associates

  • Provide product screenshots, videos and demos with award submissions. Visuals bring your products to life and help others understand what your services look like and the valuable benefits they offer educators.
  • Offer resources that help explain or expand on your award submission. A link to a recent case study or new users guide will set your product apart and let others see how educators are using your program in schools.

Key Takeaways

  1. Respect the judges. You can accomplish this through authentic, accurate, and clear descriptions that are succinct and do not rely on marketing jargon.
  2. Use visuals to help tell your story. Videos, graphs, and charts add dimension to your entry.
  3. Enter multiple categories. This strategy increases the chances that your product will be selected from a variety of categories.

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Applications open May 1, 2024 for Best of STEM!