February 13, 2009
COMPETE - Tips To Make Your Entry Shine
At the end of March, representatives from industry associations, CropLife magazine, DuPont Crop Protection and previous Environmental Respect Award winners meet to select the next class of award recipients. What does the selection panel look for in a good entry? How can you prepare your entry to best communicate your environmental stewardship initiatives? Below are some tips from past judges:
- Supply photos. Photos help the selection panel visualize your business and help support the claims you make in your Self-Audit Booklet. Selection panel members will look for photos including but not limited to the following areas: security (fencing, cameras, locks, security guards); mixing and loading (mixing area and equipment, loading pad, drainage); storage (dry and liquid bulk storage facilities and containers, valves, containment); safety and security (fire extinguishers, safety signs, emergency plans). Photos can be submitted digitally or printed out and mailed in with the entry.
- Supply supporting materials. Supporting materials include copies of newspaper clippings, magazine articles written about the business, letters from community members, community presentation materials, marketing materials and brochures, copies of written emergency plans, facility maps, and copies of news releases or press materials. This information will further cement your Self-Audit booklet, and will help the selection panel better understand and appreciate your business practices. The more information you can gather and provide, the better!
- Include comments and explanations. There are several areas throughout the Self-Audit booklet that request comments or explanations. Do not ignore these areas. Use them to explain your business procedures, provide background information and communicate your company policies. The selection panel refers to these comment sections and counts on them to help make final decisions about winning entries. Your comments (or lack of them) could make or break your entry.
- Organize your information. Present your information and your entry materials in an organized way. It is much easier for the selection panel to go through an entry that has been thoughtfully put together. Some suggestions:
USE A BINDER or folder to hold photos and supporting materials.
SEND A PHOTO ALBUM or scrapbook along with your Self-Audit to help tell your story.
ADD PHOTOS and documentation to each section of the Self-Audit.
- Make sure you answer every question. All unanswered questions in the Self-Audit are counted as a "No" response and can significantly affect your entry score and the selection panel's decision-making process. Make sure that every question is answered.