Awards are given to the people who enter the award competitions.
The winners may not be the best of the best who currently exist anywhere on the planet. The winners are typically the best of the people who submitted.
If you want to win an award, you have to enter the competition.
If you want to get more press, you have to submit more often.
If you want to be chosen for something, you have to put yourself in a place where people can see you in order to choose you.
The Oscars were invented to both legitimize and market membership in the Academy – a trade association much like ILEA, NACE, or WIPA. Most awards are marketing, pure and simple. Marketing isn't a dirty word and it certainly shouldn't be an afterthought — it's what sells your art and puts your employees' kids through college.
So if you don't win this time around, don't get the press feature you want, lose a really great job to a competitor — keep submitting. There will always be more awards and more opportunities, and they will always go to the people who show up to play.
Originally published January 2015