Top tips for creating a winning awards entry

The entry deadline for the 2022 Pharmacy Business Awards is Friday 1 July 2022, so the sooner you send your entries in, the better.

Here are some tips from our roving judge Richard Brown on what to include, what to leave out, and to increase your chances of success.

The Pharmacy Business Awards allows you the opportunity to celebrate all that is great about the profession. Please take time to consider how you and your team have made a difference and put pen to paper to shout about it because as the roving judge for the awards, I consider it an honour to read about and visit excellent pharmacies delivering outstanding outcomes for their patients. Over the course of a couple of months, I will review your entries (and yes, I do read every one!) shortlist the top three to four in each category and then arrange either a visit, or if necessary a phone call.

Here is my guidance about how to prepare your entry and ready yourself to be shortlisted.
Entering an award category is easier than you think. Firstly, consider what it is that you do. Don’t question whether you think others may or may not offer what you do, but write from your heart about your service. If you care about what you do this will leap off the page when I read it.

Provide factual evidence for what you have achieved. If you have doubled attendance for a service because of your community links, then say so. This evidence is important as it shows your initiative works.

Don’t make it too serious. If your entry makes me smile, then I will remember you, but don’t be too brief, as I have to be clear about what you have achieved.

If you are one of the lucky ones to be shortlisted then be proud. You have already made it to the top three in your category. In itself this is a huge achievement.

When preparing for the visit or call, be clear about what you have achieved. Take time to make certain your team are also prepared as I will always speak to the team in a pharmacy as it adds weight to the entry.

Have your evidence ready. As a pharmacist, I know all great pharmacies deliver great patient outcomes. Be prepared to talk about these. Don’t be shy, I can get most people talking about their achievements, but as a profession we are often very modest.

Importantly, don’t get nervous about the visit. I gain a huge amount of pleasure visiting pharmacies to see great teams in action. I am not looking to trip you up, but to find out more about your entry and to lift it off the page. I will eventually present all my findings to a larger judging panel and the enthusiasm you show me will come over to the judges’ weeks later.
You must complete a separate application form for each category you wish to enter. You may enter up to three categories.

Ensure you answer all the questions and fill in your full contact details in space provided.
Send photographs of your pharmacy outside and inside to support your entry.
The Pharmacy Business Awards competition is open to all pharmacists working in independent pharmacies or an independently owned group.

So for all of you thinking about entering, let me give you give you the confidence to be proud of what you do, for those of you that don’t think you can win; I say, the best pharmacies are often the ones that think they are ordinary. If you have achieved something, care about what you do, then tell me about it. You have nothing to lose, but a lot to gain.

Good luck!