27 Mar Writing Winning Bid Applications
How to understand criteria and use it to your advantage
Any bid or tender you submit will be judged. No amount of planning, embellishment or seductive offers will get past the first hurdle if you don’t or can’t offer what the ‘Judge’ is looking for. You need to offer up what they are want, and in so doing, you need to have a very firm grasp on the core components and to plan your response thoroughly.
Judges will be looking for a range of content approaches in your bid, and this blog helps you get to grips with the creative content side of creating winning applications.
Talk it through with your team first
Share why are you going for this bid. Identify what the team and the business have done to equip yourselves to win this award. This will help create key points you need to get across to articulate this before you even try and start writing
Every business has multiple stories. Tell yours
Storytelling is the most ancient of communications, yet it is even more urgent and relevant now than ever before. But many company owners and senior management are ‘too close’ to the business to see and articulate their story in context.
A story has a universal power to move people, so you need to build a compelling core story and apply it across a range of communications to establish the human connections – connections upon which trust is built.
Your application should be a compelling story, with a beginning, middle and end to get buy-in from the reader as they journey through your business.
There’s a place for modesty. This is not it
The late Ronald Regan wrote ‘There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.’ That’s true in most circumstances, but don’t hide your company’s abilities in a modest cloak of defraying language in your bid. Getting the tone right and avoiding being boastful is a subtle balance.
Don’t be generic
You will have some kind of marketing communications library in your company, no matter how modest. But don’t rely on that to fill the gaps in your application, because you need to have high relevance and bespoke content that reflects the needs of the client. Moreover, judges are highly attuned to weed out the ‘cut and paste’ culture sometimes used by harried executives as they battle to meet the deadline for the tender
Get to the point
If it’s easier for you to create bullet points to articulate the key the stages of your bid, that is more desirable than rather than drawn out waffle. Start with brainstorming ideas in bullet points
Structuring your response and avoiding dreaded ‘writers block’
Don’t waste time waiting for inspiration. Begin, and inspiration will find you. Here are our tips to get you going…
* If you get stuck, get away from your desk, walk, draw, exercise, listen to music, meditate or change your environment. But don’t just sit there willing it to come. Open a gap for ideas, create a space. Be patient.
* Remember writing is an art, not a science, and you need to approach it as such. There is no formulaic fix-all, aside from ‘just get started’. The possibilities are endless, but movement is critical. You need to generate momentum to get out of your creatively blocked space
Create ‘wow’ content and evidencing responses
Build messages about your company that your client will care about – human, emotional, personal stories that bring your business to life. What difference has your success made to others? To your customers, community, and wider stakeholders. Remember, it isn’t just about your business, it’s also about your value, your wider impact
Add hard data and compelling evidence
Statistics, case histories, and evidence based claims will help build a credible narrative to bolster your application. This can include customer testimonials, comments and feedback received. Make sure to pack a punch with your opening line – making the points you need to get across and then go about backing that point up with the story
Make sure your messages are properly aligned
Check that that the stories you are telling have a consistent tone of voice – a distinct and harmonious character across all customer touchpoints, ensuring that your messages are credible