Many law firms cannot dedicate a marketing team member who solely handles awards for the firm, its lawyers and staff. While most firms simultaneously benefit from and support awards and rankings as marketing tools, they don’t necessarily make that same level of investment. So, as a marketing team member, how can you best manage an award submission project while you have 4,783 (approximately) other tasks on the docket competing for attention? How can you know which path to take?
Ideally, you would have an expert on hand who lives and breathes these publications, knowing the ins and outs, timelines, etc. An important first step for a marketing team of any size is to determine which are the most important rankings or awards for the firm to attract its potential clients. It might be an award for the named partner. Or maybe it’s an award unrelated to the practice of law that instead recognizes an attorney for their time and effort saving puppies. Those are all good things, especially because everyone loves puppies. However, most puppies are not hiring attorneys for an intellectual property or real estate matter.
What we are hoping to convey from our puppy discussion is that second level considerations should be given to those aspirational or reputational awards. Such niche awards can not only be helpful for bringing in clients, but also they tend to boost morale of the firm, the marketing team who helped usher in the win and the impacted partners. They just don’t necessarily have the same impact to a broad selection of potential clients.
In a pinch, narrow your choices to a few awards. Learn the methodology of the award process and determine if it is worth your already limited time. Make sure it’s credible and built on solid research practices, such as Chambers or Legal 500, or it ultimately won’t be helpful in gaining clients.
Your next step is to check for timelines and what submissions would take in terms of bandwidth. If you only have a few minutes to devote to a submission this month, opt for one with a later deadline instead. Or if your research has shown that a particular award should be the priority, you could request an extension from the outlet or even opt to submit the following year. Just be sure you have calendar alerts set so you don’t end up with déjà vu.
It’s important to not rush through an award submission. If a submission is incomplete or not a strong representation of your firm, you won’t win the recognition—and you’ve just wasted your precious time.
How We Can Help
Poston Content helps law firms tackle a variety of awards submissions. Our range of services starts with a key dates calendar for major legal industry awards and includes tailored award recommendations. Our full-service offering provides “soup to nuts” services – from a kick-off meeting and strategy planning, to interviews with practice leaders, to counseling clients on selecting the right referees, even to support during the research phase. Contact us to learn more about how we can assist your firm.