We’ve discussed the importance of choosing the right award opportunity for you and your firm, as resources may limit you to pursuing just one or two awards. However, many award programs are trying to make participation as easy as possible while maintaining their security.
Some outlets, such as Best Lawyers and Chambers and Partners, do not technically require a submission each year for a lawyer to be considered, though it is certainly advisable to participate to stay on their respective radars. Even further, some outlets have prioritized creating toolkits for firm marketing teams to ease the administrative demands around submission and improved tracking of wins. For example, Chambers has introduced a Referee Management Tool for firms that are a part of its profile program. In these cases, a user has to log in or use a secure link to view and edit any submission information.
But those two outlets are reputable. They’ve both been in existence for more than 30 years and enjoy a significant reach. Not only are some awards not illustrious, but some are also full-on scams, and you must be mindful of their dangers if you are able to pursue multiple opportunities or have one sent to you.
Avoid the embarrassment of promoting a non-reputable award by applying these questions to opportunities you see or receive to your inbox:
- Did you or someone you know submit you, your lawyer or your firm for this award opportunity?
- A “cold call” or unsolicited email can come from any corner of the world. If you did not take action to apply for the award, treat the announcement message with cautious appreciation. Sure, it’s nice to be recognized, but it isn’t worth much if that email went to everyone scraped from a reputable outlet’s website.
- What are the criteria for submission or winning?
- Is it clear how someone is successful in receiving recognition? Or is it vague and buzz-word-filled? That said, don’t confuse an outlet being cautious around its trade secrets with one intentionally misleading you or shifting their explanations.
- Have you seen anyone else publicizing this recognition?
- While you have been taught not to follow others blindly, looking at your peers can be helpful in gauging the validity of an opportunity. If you’ve never seen a particular award, and none of your colleagues have either, it’s probably one to skip.
- Is there a cost involved?
- A fee for submission isn’t necessarily a red flag, but it can be a yellow one, especially when combined with other points like those listed above. Generally speaking, the most reputable outlets have opt-in costs that are not required for submission, consideration or recognition. That is, their recognitions are truly borne out by their methodology, not by pay-to-play tactics or by honoring only the biggest firms with the deepest pockets.
How We Can Help
There are hundreds of recognition opportunities available for firms of all sizes. We can help find the right one for you. Poston Content has a team of experienced writers and researchers with many years of awards experience. We can advise you on awards research and strategy, conducting interviews, writing award responses and more. And when you do win an award, Poston can help you promote and share the accomplishment.