Awards: Tips for Turning Award Setbacks into Strategies

Posted by Georgie Palm
December 5, 2023

Learning that the award nomination you prepared didn’t succeed doesn’t exactly feel “merry and bright” or an ideal way to end the year. You spent time gathering information, scheduling interviews, reaching out to clients or referees, drafting the submission and chasing approval and signoffs. Still, you didn’t get the win or tier you wanted. So, what’s the next step? If you get coal in your stocking once, you don’t give up on the holidays entirely.

First, remember that, in many cases, the results are more about the competition than your candidate. That may sound like semantics, but the reality is that the candidates were all excellent contenders and, like yours, have been portrayed in the best light. Other candidates may have had a bigger deal this year or have been under consideration longer. Experience has taught us, too, that patience can be key. Some outlets take more than one submission to get onto the full radar of the editors, peer voters and decisionmakers.

Second, use this experience as a learning opportunity. An easy place to start is assessing the procedural side. For example, did you miss the deadline, change the outlet’s submission template or answer any of the questions incorrectly? Did your referees not respond? Any of these could give the researchers and editors an incomplete picture of your candidate.

Beyond that, review the market and assess your candidate’s position. Look at information on the matter(s) or submission(s) that did win. This will help you understand what the judges are looking for and may help you better position your candidate in the future.

Finally, you could use this as an opportunity to connect with the publication or organization. While outlets typically cannot share details due to confidentiality concerns or proprietary demands, most will gladly provide general feedback about your position and what information helps them most when making decisions. Not only does this inform your understanding of their processes and aid future submissions, but the conversation could also help the editor understand your firm’s presence as a knowledgeable and invested figure in the market.

Understanding how best to move forward with worthwhile awards may not bring peace on earth, but it can give you real peace of mind for moving forward.

How We Can Help

Poston Content has a team of writers and researchers with decades of awards experience. We can advise you on the most fitting award opportunities, the best practices for award submissions, and help create a strategy for earning recognition for both your firm and your clients. Our team can also help you prepare the submissions – conducting interviews, writing award responses and more. Contact us today to discuss your specific needs and find out how we can help.