6 ways lawyers can use downtime to build for the future

May 21, 2020

6 ways lawyers can use downtime to build for the future

While much has been written about how to network and build business during the coronavirus pandemic, a lot of the advice has focused on short-term activities and gains. And while the recommendations are solid (as marketing and biz dev are critical during a downturn), a basic principle of marketing cannot be ignored: Marketing and business development are long-term endeavors. In professional services like the law, those who succeed are consistent over the long term with their marketing and business development.

However, marketing is time-intensive and requires the involvement of the attorneys themselves. This becomes a Catch-22 — marketers and publicists need access to lawyers’ knowledge and expertise (I call our role in the process “knowledge extraction”), while lawyers’ time is stretched thin as they meet aggressive billable targets.

That’s why, as COVID-19 disrupts every aspect of our society, I see an opportunity. While some lawyers are busier than ever in areas such as bankruptcy, healthcare, insurance, employment and cybersecurity, others aren’t faring so well, as M&A deals and court proceedings are put on hold. For those attorneys, now is the time to focus on the labor-intensive marketing activities that form the foundation of any successful practice.

Here are six ways lawyers with coronavirus-induced free time can build for the future:

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Meet the Legal Media: Angel Coker, The Birmingham Business Journal

March 4, 2020

Meet the Legal Media: Angel Coker, The Birmingham Business Journal

Name any major metropolitan area in the United States and it more than likely has a local edition of the American City Business Journals. Birmingham, Alabama is no exception. The Birmingham Business Journal keeps local entrepreneurs and professionals up to date on the trends and issues that affect their bottom line. 

While not every Business Journal has a dedicated legal reporter, most have someone covering law firms as part of their beat. For the Birmingham Business Journal, that’s Angel Coker. She joined the publication two years ago. Before that, she was an editor at a small paper in Mississippi, and also worked at the Tuscaloosa News for three years. 

We asked Angel about her beat, how she finds sources and story ideas and what she’s looking for when working with law firm marketing and PR folks. 

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Meet the Legal Media: Rebekah Mintzer, Bloomberg Law

February 20, 2020

Meet the Legal Media: Rebekah Mintzer, Bloomberg Law

Bloomberg Law is known for its coverage of the business of law, particularly Big Law. It has become a go-to source for information on the legal industry as a whole, as well as specific practices with newsletters published under the Bloomberg Industry Group banner. 

Rebekah Mintzer is a Deputy Team Leader with Bloomberg Law. For our Meet the Legal Media series, we asked about how she finds sources and story ideas, her preferences for working with law firm PR professionals and what tips she might share for getting coverage. 

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Four 2020 legal marketing trends we’re watching

January 7, 2020

Four 2020 legal marketing trends we’re watching

It’s hard to fathom that it’s 2020. Where the heck did a decade go? I guess it’s true — time flies when you’re having rum (maybe that’s just me). 

Four 2020 legal marketing trends we’re watching

And, yes, we know you’re just now recovering from the holiday season, which can be a blur of budget planning and executing holiday marketing ideas. But, as we jump start this new decade, it’s time to get ready for what’s next. 

For 2020 there are four trends that have caught our attention: the growth of niche marketing, an emphasis on consistency, the rebirth of LinkedIn and the continued dominance of email as an essential content channel. 

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The ultimate law firm marketer holiday gift guide

December 10, 2019

The ultimate law firm marketer holiday gift guide

‘Twas the night before holiday vacation, and all through the law firm, not a body was stirring — except for you, that dedicated marketing director finalizing next year’s budget. OK, maybe you’re also watching for price drops on Amazon. ‘Tis the season, after all. And, since you likely bought, wrapped and sent all the firm’s client gifts, plus dreamed up an awesome holiday e-card, isn’t it time to treat yo’ self a bit?

With that in mind, we’ve compiled the ultimate holiday gift guide for legal marketers. There’s something on this list for everyone — and you might want to share it on your social media so, you know, colleagues and loved ones see it in case they’re at a loss for what to buy you. Printing off copies and “accidentally” leaving them lying around is also acceptable. Make sure to circle your top choices in red ink.

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Boo! Five scary pitfalls to avoid during law firm marketing budget season

October 24, 2019

Boo! Five Scary Pitfalls to Avoid During Law Firm Marketing Budget Season

*Foreboding, creepy music plays*

Our law firm marketer hero is alone in the office, at her desk. Everyone else went home hours ago. It’s deathly silent, aside from the echoing sound of her keystrokes as she sets up tomorrow’s social media posts on Buffer. She’s just about done. She can go home after a long day of helping build the financial future of her firm.

*Ping*

An email? At this hour? Annoyed, she switches windows to look at the offending message. Annoyance morphs slowly into creeping dread and then abject horror as she reads the name of the sender and the subject line. 

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The hidden costs of cutting your legal marketing budget

June 19, 2019

The Hidden Costs of Cutting your Legal Marketing Budget

Note: This post was first published on the Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute blog

It’s the classic chicken-and-egg problem: You don’t have money to invest in marketing, but you need marketing to grow. And while there are plenty of studies clearly demonstrating a direct link between law firms’ marketing investment and financial growth, many firms still choose to cut back on marketing when money gets tight.

This was one of the findings from a recent study by the Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute. In the 2018 Dynamic Law Firms Survey, law firms categorized as “static” (no growth or contraction) reduced their marketing spend by 1.7% in 2017. That’s a 5% point difference from “dynamic” (high-growth) firms, which grew their marketing spend by 3.4%.

So why do many law firms still axe the marketing budget first when looking to save money? My guess is that there’s a lack of understanding surrounding the many hidden costs of cutting marketing. Below are seven of these tangible, day-to-day losses and how they impact a law firm long after the financial crunch is over.

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