Getting the recognition you deserve.
Awards are given to the people who enter the award competitions.
This means that 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 known as innovative, you have to show original ideas consistently.
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 of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – a trade association much like PPA, 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 wedding to a competitor — revamp your strategy if needed and 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