Award Submission Planning Part II: ROI vs. Impact

Posted by Poston Communications
September 5, 2023

With Labor Day now behind us, we’re in the unofficial (or perhaps official at your firm) end-of-year planning period. Consider both the past and the future in assessing where to focus your business development efforts and how to maximize your awards marketing impacts for the next year.

Pre-Halloween Postmortem

What worked? What didn’t? Think of this task as a postmortem. Generate a summary of your major projects and award efforts from the year, including the goals you set at this time last year and lessons learned. Get your whole team involved and sharing their experiences.

This analysis serves a few purposes: It can help you recognize wins (concrete or not) and determine what is sustainable and where you need to pivot.

If your firm’s leadership team has decided, for example, that recruitment is no longer a priority but does want to ensure current lawyers and staff have a voice in the organization, you might change your focus from best places to work award opportunities to diversity and inclusion and related award opportunities.

Forget the Traditional ROI Question

As you know, marketing and awards don’t always have trackable and measurable ROI. If focusing very closely, the lines and connections of cost to benefit aren’t always visible. However, if you pull the drawing away a little, the picture becomes clearer.

Measure the impact of a project (including an award submission) as it fits within the team’s and firm’s overall goals. Even not winning an award can be helpful. Your nomination is now on the outlet’s radar, and the information you gathered may help with future projects. The overall importance of marketing projects and the team lies with their cumulative impacts.

Maximize Those Impacts

As mentioned previously, perhaps your firm’s leadership has called for a shift in focus. Your marketing plans will inevitably shift as well, but you might still be able to maintain lasting impacts. If there is no fee to submit for an award that aligned with previous goals and the information needed by the award outlet is already available, go for it.

For the awards you are actively pursuing, make sure you share a win far and wide as soon as the outlet permits. Prepare your press releases and social media posts, but don’t forget to also inform the firm’s network in more intentional ways. Perhaps the individual lawyer recognized is a member of a practice-area specific bar association. Many are happy to celebrate the victories of their members. If there is an award ceremony, your winner may make invaluable introductions. Award impact and reach isn’t limited to buying a badge or receiving helpful SEO.

How We Can Help

Poston Content has a team of experienced writers and researchers with many years of awards experience. We can advise you on awards and other content and marketing needs through research and strategy, conducting interviews and writing award responses and more.