Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Pointless Professional Awards - with hidden extras

Last week I was treated to the news, via an unsolicited email, that following months of research by the in-house awards team at the Spennymoor & Cricklewood Combined Pigeon Fanciers’ Association International*, my law practice had been named the “Most Innovative Law Firm of 2016, your region”.

Well, whoopeedoo. There’s something to crow about. Even if they were so bird brained as to omit a specific reference to the West Midlands. If they really want to describe us as one of the UK’s “most competitive, cutting-edge and inventive law firms…most deserving of one of our prestigious awards”, who are we to bury our heads in the sand? Especially when we are reminded that we can put a further feather in our cap by announcing this news publicly?

Now for the catch. Publicity from the makers of the award comes at a price. It starts at £300 for a basic package comprising a listing in print and online, a trophy, and a “Most Innovative Law Firm” logo. The creative package, a bargain at £800, would bring a “full page inclusion” of an article that we were evidently expected to write. If we really wanted to push the boat out, we could go for the cutting edge package with a front cover headline and a double page spread, which we would again evidently be expected to write. Quite a lot for £1,400?

Well, perhaps not. Even if it could be taken on trust that the makers of this prestigious award did in fact have over 100,000 subscribers and 40,000 monthly website visitors, it’s still a lot of money to pay for some here today gone tomorrow advertising. Especially without any guarantee of a worthwhile return that was actually generated by the advertising.

“Oh, but it’s not just advertising! Don’t forget the award!” But let’s get some sense of perspective here. It’s not the Oscars. And many potential clients would quite reasonably think that professional advisers’ awards were, frankly, not that much of a reliable illustration of true quality and skill, but were more comparable to an exercise in mutual backslapping and self congratulation, often fuelled by an excess of food and drink.

That may be the main reason why the Most Innovative Law Firm award will, deservedly, fall flat on its face. Not the Nigerian scam undercurrent of the unsolicited email. Not even the unfortunate acronym that the award’s trophy would no doubt graphically illustrate. Think again, lads. If you’re going to give us the perfect chance to waste money for your benefit, at least give us an excuse for a booze up.


*Name changed to protect the innocent/guilty. For all the commercial benefit likely to have been generated from the award, it may as well have made by the SCCPFAI. One small clue: the award peddlers’ actual name is two words, the second of which is International, and it sounds remarkably similar to one ending in Monthly.

No comments:

Post a Comment