Then read this – a plea from a shy Sony-winner and former judge…
Dear Sound Women
Right now many of you will be working all the time given frantically getting your work done in time for Christmas, so you may be pushing the thought of Sony entries aside to the last minute. Please think again.
Sound Women are on a mission to get a higher proportion of female Sony winners in 2012 and that can’t happen if you don’t enter.
We can think of many reasons why Sony Awards have been predominantly won by men in the past, such as more male judges, women not pushing to get their shows entered, or women not being the named producer or presenter on the entry. We have spoken to the awards organisers and have provided them with our list of 200 women in radio, so we are hopeful that this year women will be better represented amongst the judges, if not on the awards organising panel itself.
However women can’t win the awards if they don’t enter them, or indeed waste the entry they do put in. It’s down to you to you to ask your bosses to think about entering your work, or if you are your own boss – enter it yourself. It could be the best £102 -£180 you spent. It’s also down to you to edit an entry which puts your work in the best possible light.
Here are some top tips to make the best of what you have got and ensure your entry is the best it can be.
1. Put your best content at the start
You would be surprised how many award entries don’t do this. Imagine that the Sony judges only listen to the first 5 minutes (they may have 40 to get through) and make sure that those 5 minutes are the highest quality, most engaging, entertaining and downright special audio you have got.
2. Follow the instructions clearly and to the letter
If they ask for a maximum of 30 minutes content, don’t enter any more, and don’t put 15 minutes either. Use the entire arsenal you have up your sleeve without cheating to make it the best it can be. Look at the rules for your entry clearly – If you put the wrong entry in you can be immediately disqualified.
3. Clever tricks
Some stations make sure they include trails in their submissions, which have been beautifully edited with show highlights from across the month. These are valid as they went on air in that form. Do check the rules to make sure your tricks are within the guidelines though…
4. Write an all-singing, all-dancing write-up of your programme
Needless to say, your written submission needs to be full of enticing and exciting reasons why your programme is outstanding. The catch is that this needs to be 250 words or under (in 2011 – do check for 2012) so try to make every word count. Focus on what makes your entry outstanding, why is it unique in your category? Why should the judges pay special attention to this award? Don’t bombard them with stats and RAJARS and don’t assume the judges know your station history, the presenters or the area you broadcast in.
5. Finally just like a school essay, tailor your entry and the written material to the criteria outlined for that category
Judging panels are made up of 3-5 people and they take each entry at face value and will simply decide what piece of audio is best for their category’s criteria. Edit the entry so it gives the judges goose bumps, or shocks them, or simply makes them take notice. The audio must stand out from all the rest from the outset.
6. If you make a show on the internet or produce a podcast, don’t be put off by these awards, they’re for you too
If you can find a way to raise the funds, give it a go, as this category has a lot of variety in the entries and it might just be your turn in 2012.
Following these instructions isn’t a sure fire way to get a Sony Award nomination, you’ll also need a little bit of luck, but it will help… Go for it.