Winning an award or receiving a special professional recognition is something that you and your firm should celebrate. If you or your firm receives such an honor, it's a sign that you have gone above and beyond for your clients. Many of these awards are peer-driven, which means even your peers recognize the amazing work you do.
Unfortunately, sometimes these recognitions go underrecognized and aren't celebrated. However, taking the time and effort to honor them will maximize their benefit to you. When choosing an attorney for any legal issue, most people will gravitate towards those who have received some sort of award or recognition as opposed to someone with similar experience and education who hasn't. So, how do you properly celebrate a law firm or attorney award?
Be Aware of Embargo Dates
First, be aware of any embargo dates that might apply to announcing your award. Many don't release until a specific date. The sponsor or giver of the recognition doesn't want its receivers to reveal their awards until that date. Doing so could cause significant problems. If you can't find a specific date that the winners will be announced, it's a good idea to check to ensure you aren't letting the cat out of the bag too soon.
Get the Word Out
Once you are free to share the information, don't be afraid to toot your own horn and get the word out. After all, you've worked hard to receive this award. The public, your colleagues, peers, and current and prospective clients should know about it.
Depending on whether it's a local or national award and the award's level of prestige, you may want to take one or more of the following steps to share your news:
Update Your CV
If you don't already have an awards section on your CV, add one. Include the award's title, the year or date you received it, and if it was for any specialty area of law. Depending on the type of award and how much room you have on your CV, you could add a one- or two-sentence description of the award or the entity giving the award. If you receive the same award across multiple years, simply add the years to the same award.
You can also add the same information to your bio page on your website. Attorneys or law firms with several awards may want to add a section dedicated to awards and recognition.
Post on Social Media
Make a post on all your social media channels announcing the award. Here you can be more detailed and even include an official link to your listing for the award or explain more about the award's purpose and selection process.
Mention in an Email Newsletter
Feature an announcement about your award in your law firm's email newsletter. Here you can also include the same links and explain more about the importance of this recognition and what it means to you and your firm.
Update or Add Award Badges on Your Website
Many awards have official badges you can use on your website to show that you are a recipient. These come in handy to quickly and easily let potential clients know that you have received a significant honor, as many won't read through your bio on your website.
Write a Blog
Finally, if it's a significant award or multiple attorneys in your firm won, consider drafting a blog post about it. Such a blog doesn't have to be lengthy but should discuss what the award is for, the awarding organization, how selections were made, and why it's important. If your firm, the same attorneys, or other attorneys in your firm previously received the same award, mention that too.
Whether it's your first ward or your 20th, a local or national recognition, maximize its benefit by taking some of these steps. You'll be glad you did.
Meranda M. Vieyra is the owner of Denver Legal Marketing LLC. She is one of the most visible legal professionals in Colorado law with over 20 years of service in the Denver legal community. Her award-winning marketing firm has earned a strong reputation as the go-to for impactful, cost-effective legal marketing strategies. She has helped her clients secure coverage by well-known publications and has obtained local, national, and international awards on their behalf. Meranda enjoys working with solo practitioners and small law firms helping them attract recognition, promotion, and visibility to their practices. She also advises medium-sized and national law firms on business development and marketing strategy. Meranda is a lecturer and author on issues related to marketing including how lawyers can use LinkedIn effectively, how to develop a personal brand, and the promotion of legal services through community service. In 2018, she was honored to be named to the 40 Under 40 list by the Denver Business Journal and to be given the 10 Under 10 Award by the Metropolitan State University of Denver Alumni Association (top 10 alum of the decade). In 2019, Meranda was named in the Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Business by the Colorado Women's Chamber of Commerce and in the Top 100 young professionals in Colorado through the Gen XYZ Awards published by ColoradoBiz Magazine.