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Glory days: how legal firms can get the most out of entering awards

May 5, 2017

With eight weeks to go until the closing date for this year’s Yorkshire Legal Awards, we thought we’d take a look at what awards can do for your firm – beyond simply giving you another trophy to dust – as well as sharing our thoughts and tips for entering and getting the most out of them.

Be selective.

There are so many legal awards out there, you could easily spend all your time writing entries. You’ll know the ones that are most highly regarded in your region or sector, and most relevant to your firm and areas of work. Pulling the right information together and writing a winning entry takes time, so choose wisely. Selecting one or two awards or categories and giving them all you’ve got is a far better strategy than diluting your efforts by submitting lots of entries you’ve had less time to work on.

Think strategically.

Always look to align the awards you enter with your firm or department’s overall strategy. If you’re looking to attract staff, winning a ‘best employer’ award can certainly help create the right impression among would-be employees and give your firm the edge over the competition. Candidates are increasingly looking beyond salary for firms whose values match their own, and who have a reputation for investing in staff and treating them well. Positioning yourself as the best will in turn help you attract the best talent to your firm.

Gain value from the process.

Not many people consider the value of simply going through the application process. Compiling your submission can be incredibly insightful, as it involves taking a critical look at your firm and its achievements, evaluating successes and benchmarking what you do well against your competitors. You’ll need to demonstrate how and why you stand out from the crowd, which might include business growth, innovation, service, CSR or staff wellbeing – the list goes on. Not only does it help clarify your strengths, it also helps you identify where there might be areas for improvement, giving you valuable insight to inform future business strategy and planning.

Share the love.

Winning awards is great for staff morale. It’s fantastic for your employees to know that they’re part of a winning team and important for them to understand how they’ve contributed to that success. Sharing the fact that you’re entering an award and recognising the contribution your team has made to helping you build a strong submission will also give staff a boost.

Shout about it.

There’s no doubt about it. Winning an award brings great publicity and a resounding third party endorsement of your work or firm. But don’t wait until you win to shout about your achievement. Being nominated or shortlisted is in itself a mark of quality, and can often create just as much of a buzz around you and your firm as winning. Share your success on your website and social networks – believe us, you’ll be surprised just how much engagement and exposure it can create.

We’re sponsoring the Corporate and Commercial Award once again at the 2017 Yorkshire Legal Awards, and look forward to seeing the entries come flooding in over the next two months! Hope to see you there on 12 October.

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