There are many benefits of credible, reputable legal awards – whether entering, sponsoring, or attending an awards ceremony. However, firms must be selective when choosing which award to associate themselves with. While some are prestigious and will help to elevate a firm’s reputation, others are somewhat more dubious. By remaining aware of the ‘red flags’ of awards, firms can fully reap the benefits of legal awards.
• Increased brand awareness
• Connection with industry peers
• Objective recognition of expertise
• The opportunity to celebrate
• Time to reflect when entering
• Internal recognition for individuals, teams and jurisdictions
Read on to learn more about these benefits, as well as how to ensure your choice of award is reputable.
Increased brand awareness
Brand awareness is central to building your firm’s reputation. Communicating your expertise and values to peers, clients, and talent alike through thought leadership should be an aspect of any law firm’s marketing strategy. And winning or being shortlisted for an award is the ideal vehicle to communicate this. Make sure that you maximise your position as a winner or finalist, utilising any assets wherever appropriate. Press releases, blog and social media posts, using awards badges and logos in email signatures: all are valuable ways of communicating your knowledge and experience and raising the profile of your firm and Partners.
Sponsoring an award is another opportunity to increase your brand awareness. A range of sponsorship packages exist for many different awards. These can include displaying your logo on marketing collateral, profiling your organisation on social media, the opportunity to attend the ceremony and present your award and more.
Kidd Aitken recently sponsored the TMT Team of the Year category at the Legal Business Awards 2022. We had a wonderful evening connecting with friends and co-workers across the industry, as well as enjoying the company of the Kidd Aitken team outside of work.
Connection with industry peers
Glitzy awards ceremonies are the highlight of many work calendars. As well as the opportunity to celebrate your achievements with your team members, they allow you to build connections with fellow industry professionals in an enjoyable, more relaxed setting than traditional conferences and exhibitions. Even if you are finalists for the same awards shortlist, you should remember that collaboration is as important as competition. By establishing relationships with your peers, you are helping to build a more connected industry. Whether that’s through mentorship, friendship, or simply sharing ideas to help develop the industry, these relationships will help to better an industry-wide future.
Objective recognition of expertise
Recognition of your firm’s and Partners’ expertise through a third party is invaluable. While legal directory rankings are similarly useful for this, legal awards provide another opportunity to demonstrate your insight and innovation. Judging panels are objective and impartial, and therefore their recognition of your firm’s skill will support your own assertions. After all, awards entries can be utilised and reframed in different forms of marketing, such as blogs, case studies and social media posts. Squeeze every drop of value from the process of entering, as well as any award wins.
The opportunity to celebrate
Your Partners and team members all work hard. Time to celebrate achievements is well-deserved. And what better achievement to celebrate than an awards nomination?
However, it may be difficult to identify your areas of achievement in writing the submission itself. Especially if you are closely embedded in the matters. So, it is always worthwhile to have another pair of eyes to understand the areas of strength in your entry. And maximise these areas to secure a place among the finalists and winners.
When you have achieved a nomination, enjoy the time to bond with your colleagues. Whether that’s at the dinner table or on the dance floor!
Time to reflect
The legal industry is notoriously fast paced. Time to reflect on achievements, opportunities and challenges may be in short supply. But writing a legal awards submission is the ideal time to understand your firm’s growth trajectory over recent years – both areas to celebrate and improve upon. Helping legal marketing teams to identify further areas to leverage in communications and business development teams to identify areas of success to share with potential clients. And even if your entry is not shortlisted, the content within it can be leveraged for case studies and other marketing collateral, for sharing in blog posts, email campaigns and more.
How do I choose a reputable legal award?
There are hundreds of legal awards in the market today. It can be difficult to identify which are worth an investment of time and money, and which could be potential scams. Before accepting a nomination, you should consider:
• Have you been announced as a winner of an award that you have not entered? If so, this award is most likely to lack authenticity and may merely be vying for your money.
• Is it a pay-to-play ranking? Many awards require an entry fee, and this does not prevent them from being authentic. However, awards that ask you to claim your ranking by paying an entry fee may not be as trustworthy as they appear.
• Has it been established by a reputable industry body? Identifying their relationship with a larger organisation, if applicable, may be helpful in solidifying the award’s reputation.
• Is it difficult to find a trace of it online? A website and social media presence are essential for any business nowadays, so an award without accompanying social media buzz may be suspicious.