For Your Consideration: How To Get Nominated For An Award – Part 1

On January 4, 2010

The nominees for this year’s Best App Ever awards are out.

This contest is a great free publicity opportunity. In snapshot form:

The awards and nominations are news; accordingly they’re covered by the press. The awards will be announced at a party during Macworld; lots exposure to decision leaders. Some of the nominees will be featured in write-ups in iPhone Life Magazine. 27,000 people have have already voted and the voting’s only been open a few hours!

In short, it’s a bonanza of zero cost exposure. What’s more, you need not win to get the benefit; being nominated is enough. This article is about getting on the ballot.

All Are Equal, Some Are More Equal Than Others

Awards are not won as the result of a democratic process. You won’t find an award whose selection results from a single-step public acclamation. It’s typical to have selection committees, screeners and other checks on the popular sentiment. See, for example, the selection criteria for the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Academy Awards, bicameral legislatures, and caucuses in US Presidential elections.

Votes are not equal in these systems. So, your job is to find a way to make your votes count disproportionally. Do that by campaigning directly to the more equals.

In the case of the Best App Ever awards, half of the nominees are selected by its Nominating Committee. To be nominated for this award, your job is to campaign directly to these people.

I’m on the committee. I was surprised that I didn’t receive a single unsolicited For Your Consideration pitch.

For Your Consideration pitches are common in the entertainment industry. Expensive too: Disney spent $675,000 pitching Wall-E to Oscar’s fewer than 6000 voters. That more than a grand per voter!

Fortunately, targeting Best App Ever Nominating Committee members is easy and inexpensive. It’s no secret who’s on the committee: they’re listed, along with their Twitter handles and companies/blogs/associations, in the Award’s About Page. You need only pitch them:

One-Time Product

Eric Ries observes that sales during the earliest stages up involve crafting one-time product pitches. He says,

True salesmen are artists, able to hone in on just those key words, phrases, features, and benefits that will convince another human being to give up their hard-earned money in exchange for even an early product. For a startup, having great sales DNA is a wonderful asset. But in this kind of situation, it can devour the company’s future.

The problem stems from selling each customer a custom one-time product. This is the magic of sales: by learning about each customer in-depth, they can convince each of them that this product would solve serious problems. That leads to cashing many checks… These salesmen used their insight into what their customers really needed to make the sale and then deliver something of even greater value. They are closing orders. They are gaining valuable customer data… They are close to breakeven. What’s the problem?

This approach is fundamentally non-scalable. These founders have not managed, to borrow a phrase from Steve Blank, to create a scalable and repeatable sales process…

Eric’s absolutely right. One-time products don’t scale. But, as he points out, a one-time pitch, perfectly honed for its recipient can win converts. And, with only 37 people on the Best App Ever Nominating committee it need not scale. 37 personalized product pitches is easily achieved. I’ll show you how in the next article in this series. Stay tuned!

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0 responses to “For Your Consideration: How To Get Nominated For An Award – Part 1”

  1. Mark Johnson says:

    For part 2 are you going to reveal the way I got our app Focus for Facebook nominated in the Social Networking category? Do you know how we did it? By making a wide appeal app people use of course, and them mobilizing our users to nominate.

  2. Sergey says: vote for Star Walk! Please! (I’m polite, OK?)
    (and don’t forget to get pleasure from this amazing app!)
    Met more stupid advertising posts than this? You are just lucky!

    P.S. I believe in efficiency of simplicity! Vote! Come on! 🙂