As community bankers, we're naturally very humble. It can be uncomfortable to tout the good work we're doing without feeling like we're bragging or feeling like we think our programs are better than other organizations who are also doing good things.

However, community banks have an almost exclusive opportunity to help our communities thrive. It's commendable that organizations typically think about their community bank first if they're in need of sponsorships or volunteers. If the opportunity arises to share about the good works we're doing, we absolutely should!

If you're being true to your brand, serving as an influencer in your community or have amazing programs to share about, it's easy to find something to nominate your bank and/or colleagues for. There are numerous organizations that request many different types of nominations, including locally, state-wide, and nationally. For example, the Wisconsin Bankers Association opens nominations for Banker of the Year every year in September and the Independent Community Bankers of America opens nominations throughout the year for awards like the Community Bank Service Awards and 40 Under 40: Emerging Community Bank Leaders.

Once you find something to nominate your bank or colleague for, use the quick tips below to help guide you in writing a compelling nomination:

  • Follow the rules. Read the instructions carefully and submit all required information.
  • Provide evidence. Share specific examples, including the impact made and any data, such as the number of people involved, dollars spent, or hours contributed. Be sure to fact-check any data used prior to submitting and cite your sources, if possible.
  • Get perspective. Talk to others who worked on the project or with the individual to get their perspective, and consider using testimonials to provide further support of the nomination.
  • Use Powerful Language. Do more than just saying they're "great" or "nice"; instead, use power verbs and adjectives (a quick Google search of "power verbs and adjectives" will help with this) to help bolster your main points. Even if the person was "just doing their job," tell the committee what made this example so special.
  • Keep it simple. Longer doesn't necessarily mean better. Make it easy for a selection committee to understand the key points while making sure there's enough information to make an informed decision. One method is to write out all the things to include in a nomination, categorize each idea and then scale it back to 3-4 main points that you can really drive home.
  • Write a story. Bullet points can be useful if they contribute to the overall story, but take the nomination committee on a journey instead of providing a bullet list of items or a resume of achievements.
  • Spell check! Before submitting the nomination, review it for grammar and spelling and have someone else proofread it to get additional feedback. Take pride in your nomination by sending in a polished final product.

Remember, we all do amazing things, so let's share about the ways community banks and bankers are making a difference!

Adams is assistant vice president of brand development at Royal Bank, Elroy and a member of the 2019-2020 WBA Marketing Committee.