Tommie Tips for a Successful Entry
How to Start
To avoid last minute panic attacks and possibly a less than best effort, start the awards preparation 4-6 weeks before the deadline.If you are using outside help with your entry, contact the photographer and writer well in advance. It's always a good idea to get in line early and avoid the stress!
No Ugly Ducklings
Make sure your entry home is ready for the photo shoot. It has to show like a winner. Hire a top notch photographer and meet them at the property to discuss the required shots as well as shots of your choosing.
For example: No excess clutter or personal effects that will take away from the elements you wish to show. Do everything in your power to make the entry look great!
If suitable, have a dusk shot in addition to the daylight photos. Judges like creative photography and often the shots of choice will swing more votes to a particular entry!
Awards Budget $$
It's best to budget +/- $1000 for project photography. Amortize the investment over several categories and over years of promotional marketing for your company. You'll appreciate having done it when you had the chance!
Always use the best photography in your marketing materials:
- Website Gallery
- Printed Brochures
- Exhibition Graphics
- Press Releases
- Builder's Storyboard
- Portfolio Book
Co-op $$$ for Entries
Ask your consultants to sponsor your entry in return for copies of photos that they can use for their business.
For example: Architects, lawyers, interior designers, graphic designers, trades, lenders, accountants etc.
Everyone likes to associate with a winner so send out a request for sponsorship to this year's awards. You'll soon find out who shares your passion for success!
It's All in the Photos
Most photo sequences should start from outside to inside and back to outside. The marketing statement should refer to elements of the photos so the judges will take note of the feature or design theme.
Secret: First and last shots have to be memorable. Take advantage of all the photos allowed in the entry and put interesting ones in the middle of the sequence.
Secret: Use a photo or two of Green sustainable construction features.
Review and re-write the marketing statement until you are satisfied about the way it describes your entry.
Secret: Put the marketing statement aside for a day and review it again with "fresh eyes" to try and improve it. There is always something that can be perfected. Repeat as often as necessary!
The Judges Listen
Write your project description statement to follow along with the series of photos in the entry. The entry is better defined with words and photos that are in sync.
Secret: Touch on all topics required in the criteria for the entry. Check them off against your entry statement. Don't sweat it if you can't cover all criteria topics-do a great job with what you have.
How to Leverage your Tommie Award into more Publicity
Consider hiring a freelance PR consultant to do a press release and distribute it to the media in your city. Explain what the nomination or Tommie means to you and your employees. Be proud of the achievement. Talk about the challenges in home building and how you overcame them in making the winning entry. The budget for this should be +/- $500.00.