Strategic Communications

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Strategic Communications

  1. 1. American Bar Association Section of Business Law Advance II: Strategic Communication Team Report 1. The Issue Team Mission Statement: Recognizing the importance of strategic communication in helping achieve the Section’s goals, leaders of the Section met in April, 2000 to begin developing a plan to guide the Section’s communications in the following years. With the help of the ABA Communications Group, that group was presented with but did not implement a draft Strategic Communication plan. The Section then formed a Strategic Communications Committee to deal with communication issues. The role of the Strategic Communication Advance II Team is to create a communication blueprint to meet the complex, specialized needs of our large and diverse Section. At the beginning of its work, the SC Team faced these issues: • Does the Section have a clearly defined message or brand identity? Are we communicating this message effectively to our target audiences? • How can we increase awareness of the Section’s work among our members, other lawyers, business professionals, and the public? • How can we harness the expertise of our members to expand the products and services the Section provides to its target audiences? • Does the Section provide sufficient opportunities for members to interact and share information? • How can we build an inclusive environment so that diverse views may be heard, and diverse groups may participate actively in the work of the Section, thereby increasing the value of the Section to its members and audiences? When studying the Section’s communications efforts, we were asked by the Advance Team to consider the following items:  developing a comprehensive communication strategy and implementation plan  identifying the Section’s target audiences and how best to reach them  evaluating all Section marketing and communication  developing a brand identity for Section’s products and services In the end, we distilled these items into three closely related reports: • Brand Identity and Marketing: How the BLS defines itself and markets its products and services • Media Communication: How the BLS publicizes its activities in the media. • Technology: How the Section can use new and existing technology to serve its members and expand its influence. 2. Process of the Team As part of the Section’s Advance II project, the SC Team conferenced biweekly from August through December to discuss and develop this report. The Team divided into subgroups, to focus on media communication, brand identity and marketing, and technology. We present our report in the three areas described above. Conference calls with the entire Team were held at the beginning of each subgroup’s work, and drafts of each subgroup’s report were circulated first among the members of the subgroup, and then to the entire 1
  2. 2. Team. A draft of the complete task force report was circulated to the Team, and a conference call was held to confer on its contents. The report was circulated to select experts for input and revised again. Finally, an executive summary was prepared and circulated to the Team for approval. In addition, the technology subgroup held a meeting with Cindy Semrau, director of ABA Information Services, the branding subgroup held a meeting with the BLS Publications Board, and the media communication subcommittee met with staff for the ABA Media Relations Division. 3. Specific Issues A. The Need for a Communication Blueprint In order for the Section of Business Law to be an effective tool for business lawyers, it must communicate effectively to a broad range of audiences in a cluttered and competitive environment. Our challenge is to help the Section’s leadership and staff develop and implement this Blueprint. The Blueprint: • is an integrated communication plan intended to increase the value of Section membership, reach a wider audience, increase Section revenues, • includes a new “brand identity” that will help us to accomplish all of our communication goals. • will identify and structure opportunities for the Section to communicate about its work in the media, to broaden awareness of our products, and to enhance the Section’s reputation. • is also a design for the use of technology as a communication tool, so the Section can lead the ABA in this field. To aid in developing an effective Communication Blueprint, the SC Team identified Section products and services, and target audiences. Products and Services: The Section produces a wide variety of products1 and services including: • Books • The Business Lawyer • BLT • Newsletters • BLS electronic communications, including websites, listservs, web board discussions and e- mail • Model acts and proposed legislation • Model agreements and forms • Program and course materials • Committee and task force reports • Meetings • CLE: live, video and audio tape, teleconference (BLT Live) with the potential for direct-to-desk video, both live and on tape. Section Target Audiences: The Section has a broad range of audiences that fall into three categories. 1. Lawyers, both in the U.S. and international: 1 These products are collectively referred to as our “Knowledge Base.” See the Marketing Plan below. 2
  3. 3. • Section members • Members of the ABA who are not in the Section • Business lawyers who are not ABA members • Corporate counsel (who may or may not be ABA members) • Young Lawyers • Law Students • Law Professors • Law Librarians Most communications generated by the Section of Business Law will be targeted at one or more of these audience categories. 2. Business professionals who are not lawyers but who use legal information, including: • Domestic and international business clients • Corporate executives • Board members • Accountants • Other librarians • Financial institutions and other businesses that regularly use legal information Many current Section products, particularly publications, are currently targeted at one or more of these audiences. As the range of Section products and services grows, more will be developed and directed at this group. 3. Target audiences for specific Section communications: • State, local, minority, and relevant specialty bar associations (such as ACCA) • ABA leadership2 • National and international policymakers3 • The media4 • Consumers5 Occasionally, the Section develops communications directed to one or more of these audiences. Because these audiences are targeted for specific purposes, it is important to develop communications suitable for the audience, and delivered in the most effective and cost-efficient way. 2 ABA policy makers recognize the importance of the Section’s views on issues, and seek its leadership on key topics. 3 Public policy makers respect the Section’s vision and good judgment, and regard it as a source of new and thoughtfully considered ideas that help shape law to serve American business and enhance economic growth. 4 Although there is an argument that the media are a conduit to an audience and not an audience themselves, this is only true when we are publicizing Section products via the media to other target audiences. When we expand media awareness of the Section, and gain identity as the source of cutting- edge information about business law, we also expand the Section’s brand identity. For this purpose, the media is itself an audience. See the Brand Identity Report, below. 5 Part of the Section’s mission is to serve the public. We currently reach this audience through pro bono activities, web sites, and brochures directed specifically at consumers. 3
  4. 4. B. Technology Introduction Technology is an essential element in a comprehensive Section Communications Blueprint that reaches out to: • the ABA • the Section’s 60,000+ members • lawyers practicing business law throughout the world • policy makers throughout the United States and the world, and • the public. The Section’s Information Capital: The Knowledge Base The Section’s most valuable asset is the cumulative information developed, warehoused, and deployed by the Section, whether in the form of publications, reports, programs, or the cumulative knowledge of the collective members. We call this information capital our “Knowledge Base.”6 Yet the very volume of information and its dispersal into multiple formats make it difficult to find and cumbersome to use. Technology is the key to capturing, accessing, capitalizing on, and sharing this Knowledge Base. 6 See further discussion of the Knowledge Base in the Branding and Marketing plan, below 4
  5. 5. Role of Technology: The Guiding Principle The Section should seek out and lead in the deployment of new technology that provides Section members with value-added information in an efficient and cost-effective manner. The SC Team recommends that the Section develop, maintain, support, and promote a wide range of on-line tools and capabilities. By January 1, 2003, the Section (working with the ABA Director of Technology) will deliver a web-based collaboration platform available to Section members and non-members. This platform will facilitate access to a broad array of information, knowledge, and services available from the Section and its committees. This platform will: • provide an easy-access and user-friendly experience; • provide appropriate security for access to different levels by members and non-members; • capture attention and interest; • facilitate the development and delivery of new kinds of high-value information to Section members, including information that incorporates members’ knowledge and expertise; • provide a searchable library of the Section’s Knowledge Base, • be capable of delivering the Section’s traditional publications, programs, and journals and • facilitate member-to-member dialogue and collaboration. Additional off-line technologies will be developed to distribute Section information broadly to the community of business lawyers world-wide (using an appropriate revenue model), including: • teleconferencing; • satellite broadcasts; and • CD-ROM and DVD-ROM. The Ultimate Goal The Section should use technology to become • Lean (efficient); • Keen (timely); and • Green (aware of the economic and social costs of paper and mail delivery). As a result, the Section will become the leader in the use of technology to share knowledge among business lawyers world-wide, an organization of “lawyers without borders.” When fully implemented, the Section’s technology goal will allow for the Section’s Knowledge Base to be shared among business lawyers: • A2M (ABA to Members) • B2M (Section to Members) and • M2M (Member to Member) Action Steps To achieve this goal, the Section should immediately undertake these steps: • Dedicate appropriate permanent staff members to the development, promotion, execution, and maintenance of the Section’s technology blueprint, with salary and experience commensurate with the importance of this task. • Educate Section leadership and committees on the importance of incorporating technology into the mainstream of the Section’s activities. • Train members in the use of the new technology, and provide sufficient Member Help services. • Identify a Section Committee to take a leadership role in bringing the Section’s technology blueprint to fruition. This Committee will have direct line responsibility for the management of the Section’s technology platform (functioning much as the Section’s Publications and Program Committees do now.). This Committee will take an active role in specifying the operational requirements of the new platform. 5
  6. 6. • Take a leadership position within the ABA to become an early adopter of new technology, and assist the ABA by setting standards and advancing best practices in on-line communications and web site design. • Develop content across platforms, from CD-ROM to PDA. • Work in close coordination with ABA entities, including SCOTIS, the SOC Technology Committee, and the Director of Information Services, to accomplish the Section’s technology goal. Challenges In taking these steps, the Section will encounter and overcome the following obstacles and challenges: • A lack of technological expertise (or willingness to embrace technological change) among many Section members. This will require implementation of the Section’s technology goal in phases, so that members who do not presently have the necessary technology or expertise will not be left behind, while those who do will have immediate access. This will also require deployment first of the simplest possible technologies. All new software systems will be accessible by use of a standard browser (e.g., Netscape Navigator™ or Microsoft Internet Explorer™), to minimize users’ learning curves. • Inertia among Section members (and within Section leadership) may impede the pace of implementation. The technology blueprint represents a paradigm shift that requires innovative thinking and action. The responsible committee will help shape the new business-operations model for this initiative. • A risk of information overload of Section members, which could result in ineffective communication, and sloppy or delayed implementation. • Funding constraints. The Section must find ways to implement its goal in a cost-effective manner. The emphasis on new technology will require a reallocation of Section resources to fit the new paradigm. At the same time, there are potential financial benefits to the Section arising from this initiative, both in terms of cost savings and non-dues revenue. • Time constraints on the staff and volunteers implementing this initiative. There must be a high level commitment to this initiative by Section leadership. The ABA is a volunteer organization and relies heavily on a strong and committed leadership as well as on enthusiastic supporters from within Section membership for initiatives such as this to become effective. Section leadership must embrace technology for this new paradigm to succeed. • A current lack of clarity within the ABA as to the responsibility for implementation of technology. It is not clear which ABA entity (SCOTIS; SOC Technology Committee; Office of Information Services) has ultimate responsibility for technology enhancements. This must be clarified to achieve coordination between the Section and the ABA. The Section must use its political resources within the ABA to effect streamlined (and downstream) decision-making. C. Media Communication Introduction The Communication Blueprint should include a Media Communication Plan for the Section to reach out via the media to increase awareness of its activities and members among our target audiences. Role of Media Communication: The Guiding Principle The Section is the source of an extraordinary variety of valuable information about business law. The Section should use the media to increase awareness of the Section’s activities, and to highlight the accomplishments of its members, which will in turn enhance the value of Section membership. 6
  7. 7. By July 1, 2002, the Section (working with the ABA Division of Media Relations) will develop, adopt, and implement a Media Communications Plan. Ultimate Goals The Media Communications Plan will: • identify the Section as a single point of entry for accurate and valuable information about business law; • enhance public and target audience awareness of the activities of the Section; • assure that the Section is perceived within the ABA as a leader; • assure that the Section is recognized in the media as the authoritative source of information about business law; • expand public awareness of the Section as a source of valuable consumer information, and • expand awareness of the Section’s Brand Identity.7 Action Steps In order to accomplish this, the Section Strategic Communications Committee should develop a Media Communication Plan that will: • Identify Section activities and members appropriate for media communication; • Identify the appropriate target audience for each activity or member and develop a media communication strategy appropriate for each;8 • Identify the Section as a single point of entry for accurate and valuable information about business law; • Utilize the Section’s Brand Identity in all communications with the media; • Develop measurable goals for success in media communications; • Create a media communication strategy with a consistent look and feel that identifies the Section as the source of the communication. • Seek recognition for our consumer information: o using expanded press releases and getting our members before the press o developing strategic partnerships with consumer education organizations like Consumer Union, Consumer Federation, or legal services organizations o using site registration and metatags to increase consumer awareness of our websites and hiring professionals to work with us to accomplish this goal • Provide information about the Section to the media: o creating an electronic facebook for the media, to identify the Section as a source of experts o placing editorials by and stories about Section leaders in the national media, including newspapers, magazines, radio, and television o publicizing Section work in the media, including WSJ and NY Times, Time, Newsweek, and Business Week, as well as the ABA Journal, the National Law Journal, and The American Lawyer o getting Section work cited, and leaders quoted, in the national media o placing Section leaders as sources and commentators on national news programs. The plan will include communication steps for the following Section activities: Media Communication Opportunity AUDIENCE Ethics 2000 ABA leaders 7 See more about the Section’s Brand Identity in the Brand Identity and Marketing Report, below. 8 See the identification of the Section’s target audiences above. 7
  8. 8. ABA Day in Washington National policy makers Success in attracting under- Members, potential members, young represented members lawyers, law students, specialty bar members Corporate Law Project in South Africa Domestic and international business clients Ukraine Commercial Law Project Domestic and international business clients Temple Business Law Center Domestic and international business clients A Business Commitment Section members, business lawyers, the public Intellectual Property in Insolvency ABA Members, Section members, lawyers, non ABA members, bankruptcy bench and bar, the press Debit Card Brochure Consumers, consumer organizations, legal aid lawyers, pro bono lawyers, consumer press Road Map to Success Law Students SafeShopping.com Consumers, consumer organizations, a website with information on e- the press commerce SafeBorrowing.com Consumers, consumer organizations, a website with information on the press predatory lending practices D. Brand Identity and Marketing Introduction An effective Brand Identity and Marketing plan for the ABA Section of Business Law will: • Identify the Section’s products and services, broadly defined9 • Identify the Section’s target audiences and focus on their needs10 • Develop measurable goals for marketing and branding • Implement action steps to achieve these goals • Create a single message with a consistent look and feel, that identifies the Section to its target audiences: the Brand Identity • Market the Section strategically across all delivery platforms, reaching each audience efficiently and cost-effectively, considering both the audience and the product • Cross-promote all Section products to the relevant target audience 9 See the identification of the Section’s products and services above. 10 See the identification of the Section’s target audiences above. 8
  9. 9. • Expand the Brand Identity to develop a wider impact within the target audience. Guiding Principle: A Section Brand Identity The goal is a new Brand Identity, reaching all target audiences. • This will be a single message, repeated consistently and effectively, across all platforms and products. The SC Team recommends that the new Brand Identity11 be: WE SHAPE THE LAW THAT MAKES BUSINESS WORK We write it, we teach it, we deliver it The Brand Identity Plan By developing an effective brand identity plan, we will change the identity of the Section: • We will bring the perception of the Section into alignment with reality: o We currently produce high-value, cutting-edge products, but perception lags reality. o The Section is not widely perceived as dynamic, strategic, or as a competitive source of products and services The Current Section Image • We are viewed as conservative, slow to respond to change, and closed to new ideas and leaders: A glacier • Although we are the biggest Section, we are perceived as unwelcoming, and we fail to provide the vast majority of our members a meaningful opportunity to participate : An iceberg The New Section Identity The Section is responsive, ahead of the curve, creating law, anticipating not awaiting changes in the practice of law: Quick, sharp, and strategic: A bobsled • The truth is that the Section is a diverse, widely dispersed, gathering of cutting-edge lawyers, using technology to network and interact, leading the way in a time of great change in the law and the practice. 11 The Section’s brand is “The Section of Business Law.” When we shortened our name from “The Section of Business, Banking and Corporate Law,” we changed our brand to make ist more precise, more modern, and more inclusive. Previously, the Section has not had a specific, targeted brand identity. Now, we are recommending not a change in brand (that is, not a change in name) but deployment of a new identity tied to that brand. 9
  10. 10. • We are making the law for emerging business, in areas such as: o The Model trading partner agreement o The Model asset purchase agreement o The Cyberspace jurisdiction report • We welcome diverse lawyers, young lawyers, are open to new ideas, and provide meaningful opportunities for participation and leadership, with programs such as: o The Cyberspace Committee, the fastest-growing committee in the Section o The Diversity Plan, which is the model for all Sections o The Fellows and Ambassadors programs, now being copied throughout the ABA o The Pro Bono Committee, and its development of the Pro Bono Awards, and “A Business Commitment” to expand pro bono activity among business lawyers. • We have products that get valuable information to lawyers ahead of the competition, such as: o The New Article 9 o Business Law Today o Cyberspace Committee listservs and web discussion boards The Marketing Plan The Section’s products and services consist primarily of information, in various formats. • This is our “Knowledge Base” o This is the most valuable Section asset o This is why members want to join, buyers choose our products, and sponsors wish to be allied with us. There is also the value of belonging to a group of experts in the field • This is our “Network” • We are a network of experts developing and explaining business law: o Participating in the creation of new law o Meeting the experts and sharing experiences with them o Client development • Getting the information faster: we beat out the competition and make you look good to your clients • WE are where the clients are: There is no other section in the ABA so full of clients! The Marketing Message For practicing lawyers: The Section is a single point of entry for all these assets. • For the price of a Section membership, the value of the Knowledge Base and the Network is fantastic: no one whose practice touches on business law can afford not to have access to the Section • We are pro-active: we seek out the needs of our members and deliver information to our audience Goals: By January 1, 2003, the Section will be: • Using a single brand identity, repeated consistently and effectively across all platforms and products: WE SHAPE THE LAW THAT MAKES BUSINESS WORK. • Marketing its knowledge base and network as the premier source of information to help lawyers develop and expand a business law practice. • Cross-promoting all Section products and services. • Perceived within the ABA as a leader, consistent with our technology marketing plans.
  11. 11. • Delivering all of our products and services to our audience in the most efficient, cost- effective way, consistent with the product, and the needs of the particular audience. Action steps to achieve the Brand Identity and Marketing Goals To achieve these goals, the Section should immediately undertake these steps: • Developing a plan for testing, monitoring, and advancing the brand identity and marketing plans • Using technology to market our products most effectively, considering all the costs of mailing: o postage (which is rising), paper, and the fact that mail is now viewed with suspicion and may be dumped at some firms o Expand the use of e-mail for Section marketing across all products, including buying e-mail lists o Consider use of telephone for some targeted audiences, like law librarians, who are accustomed to being contacted directly by publishers o .pdf delivery to desktop, or e-mail click-through to web ads o Advertising on web sites • Advertising the Brand Identity: ABA journal; websites; broader journals • Sponsoring programming on media outlets like NPR or Marketplace • Marketing: study our product, identify how we market it now, create templates for marketing product consistently, but also appropriately for the product, platform and audience. • Moving products that are costly to produce, expensive to ship, and cumbersome for our members to store, to a format that is cheaper to produce and deliver, and easier for our members to use and store (such as giving members the option to receive the BL as a searchable database on CD ROM, with attractive packaging calling attention to the contents) • Giving all membership, marketing, promotional materials, books, magazines, journals, and websites a consistent look and message • Working in law schools to advance the Section Brand Identity o Teaching students that the Section can help them succeed, by marketing our knowledge base to them o Creating more materials for students and market existing materials to students as appropriate o Developing (or market existing) course materials that are deal-driven, not case driven o Continuing to bring law students into our meetings o Working with the Law Student Division as we have worked with the Young Lawyers Division o Helping professors find and use Section materials and ask them to link their law school course page to the BLS web pages o Actively marketing student membership in the Section o Inviting Section leaders to law schools to talk to classes and SBAs • Working with the YL to continue our successful joint venture: o doing public service projects jointly and publicizing them o Expanding the opportunities for young lawyers in committee work at every level • Continuing the Fellows and Ambassadors programs and expanding them to include more people; improving the relationship with committee leaders so that more Fellows and Ambassadors remain within the Section • Developing strategic partnerships with ACCA and other groups to bring more in-house counsel into the Section, including joint programs and publications
  12. 12. • Tarketing advertising, both image and product, on the web and in highly specialized publications, organizations (including listservs and websites) • Developing brands across product lines to increase cross-promotion, and brand distinct product lines, as we have with the ABCs. Challenges • BLS is a big organization: how do we make it all work together for a single goal, message? • We have different missions and motives for doing what we do, including serving the profession, serving the public, helping our members, getting new members, improving the law, getting our work product out to the widest audience, and making money. We need to make sure that we are using the best marketing method for each product and service, consistent with these differing motives. • Leadership is independent in a volunteer organization: we need leadership to achieve buy-in and accountability. • Inertia: overcoming the perception that the old way was good enough • Funding constraints: is branding worth the money? • Does our product live up to our marketing? • Who will be accountable for information quality? Editorial control of committee materials, and PARTICULARLY program materials. • How widely should we make our information available? Are we over copyrighting? Aren’t we producing product that we want to circulate widely and brand, yet still give away? • Opposite challenge: to protect copyright in certain materials when presented in an electronic form: we need to use technology effectively to do this, such as .pdf (but is that sufficient?) • We must resolve conflicts with other ABA entities to reach our goals, such as the SCOPO policy that we can get labels for mailing to other sections but cannot e-mail to them! 4. Solutions: Action Steps The SC Team has identified three major action steps to implement the goals defined in this report. The key to success in the overall Communication Blueprint will be to devote both priority and resources to its implementation. 1. Implement the Technology Plan by January, 2003 o Identify a committee to supervise implementation of the plan, using the committee model developed for BLT, the Publications Committee, and the Business Lawyer 2. Implement the Media Communications Plan by July, 2002 o Develop, obtain Section Leadership approval for, and implement a Media Communications Plan 3. Implement the Brand Identity and Marketing Plan, beginning immediately, with full implementation in place by January, 2003.
  13. 13. American Bar Association Section of Business Law Advance II: Strategic Communication Team Report EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Key Issues The Strategic Communication Team identified several key issues relevant to the Section’s diverse and specialized communication needs: • Does the Section have a clearly defined message or brand identity? Are we communicating this message effectively to our target audiences? • How can the Section use the new and existing technology to serve its members and expand its influence? • How can we increase awareness of the Section’s work among our members, other lawyers, business professionals, and the public? • Does the Section provide sufficient opportunities for members to interact and share information? • How can we build an inclusive environment so that diverse views may be heard, and diverse groups may participate actively in the work of the Section, thereby increasing the value of the Section to its members and audiences? • How can we harness the expertise of our members to expand the products and services the Section provides to its target audiences? Goal The goal of the Strategic Communication Advance II Team was to offer Section leadership a Communication Blueprint to guide the Section’s communications into the future. Recommendations The Strategic Communication Team recommends three key action steps to implement the Communication Blueprint: • Deployment of a Technology Plan under the supervision of a committee of members (modeled on the editorial boards of our publications) • Adoption of a Media Communication Plan to increase public and professional awareness of Section activities and those of its members • Adoption of a new Section Brand Identity and Marketing Plan
  14. 14. Communication Blueprint The Blueprint: • is an integrated communication plan intended to increase the value of Section membership, to reach a wider audience, and to increase Section revenues; • includes a new “Brand Identity” that will help the Section to accomplish all of our communication goals; • identifies and structures opportunities for the Section to communicate about its work in the media, to broaden awareness of our products, and to enhance the Section’s reputation; • is designed to use technology as a communication tool, with the goal that the Section will lead the ABA in the use of technology; and • Identifies Section products and audiences, to assure that each product and audience is addressed by the plan in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. Technology Plan Goal The Section should use technology to become • Lean (efficient); • Keen (timely); and • Green (aware of the economic and social costs of paper and mail delivery). The Section will be the leader in the use of technology to share knowledge among business lawyers world-wide, creating an organization of “lawyers without borders.” The Section’s Information Capital: Its Knowledge Base The Section’s most valuable asset is the professional information developed, warehoused, and deployed by the Section, whether in the form of publications, reports, programs, or the cumulative knowledge of the collective members. We call this information capital our “Knowledge Base.” When fully implemented, the Section’s technology plan will allow the Section’s Knowledge Base to be shared among business lawyers: • A2M (ABA to Members) • B2M (Section to Members), and • M2M (Member to Member) Action Steps The Section should lead in the deployment of new technology that provides Section members with value-added information in an efficient and cost-effective manner. By January 1, 2003, the Section (working with the ABA Director of Technology) will deliver a web-based collaboration platform that will be available to Section members and non-members. This platform will facilitate access to a broad array of information, knowledge, and services available from the Section and its committees. This platform will: • provide an easy-access and user-friendly experience; • provide appropriate security for access to different levels by members and non-members; • facilitate the development and delivery of new kinds of high-value information to Section members, including information that incorporates members’ knowledge and expertise; • provide a searchable library of the Section’s Knowledge Base, • have the capacity to deliver the Section’s traditional publications, programs, and journals and • facilitate member-to-member dialogue and collaboration.
  15. 15. Media Communication Blueprint Goal The Section will reach out via the media to increase awareness of its activities and members among our target audiences. The Section’s Value to the Media: A Single Point of Entry for Information on Business Law The Section is the source of an extraordinary variety of valuable information about business law. The Section should use the media to increase awareness of the Section’s activities, and to highlight the accomplishments of its members, which will in turn enhance the value of Section membership. Action Steps By July 1, 2002, the Section (working with the ABA Division of Media Relations) will develop, adopt, and implement a Media Communications Plan that will: • identify the Section as a single point of entry for accurate and valuable information about business law; • enhance public and target audience awareness of the activities of the Section; • assure that the Section is perceived within the ABA as a leader; • expand public awareness of the Section as a source of valuable consumer information, and • expand awareness of the Section’s Brand Identity. Brand Identity and Marketing Blueprint Brand Identity Goal The goal is a new Brand Identity, reaching all target audiences. • This will be a single message, repeated consistently and effectively, across all platforms and products. • The Brand Identity will bring perception of the Section into alignment with reality. Action Steps The SC Team recommends that the Section adopt as its Brand Identity: WE SHAPE THE LAW THAT MAKES BUSINESS WORK We write it, we teach it, we deliver it Marketing Plan Goal To identify the Section as a single point of entry for business lawyers. • The value of Section membership for business lawyers is fantastic: no one whose practice touches on business law can afford not to be a member of the Section. • We are pro-active: we seek out the needs of our members and deliver information to our audience. The Knowledge Base and Network The Section’s products and services consist primarily of information. • This is our “Knowledge Base”
  16. 16. o This is our most valuable asset o This is why lawyers want to join, why buyers choose our products, and why sponsors wish to be allied with us. There is also value in belonging to a group of experts in the field of business law. • This is our “Network” • We are a network of experts developing and explaining business law: o We participate in the creation of new law o We meet with the experts and share experiences with them o We promote client development Action Steps By January 1, 2003, the Section will: • Market its knowledge base and network as the premier source of information to help lawyers develop and expand a business law practice. • Cross-promote all Section products and services. • Deliver all of Section products and services to our audience in the most efficient, cost- effective way, consistent with the product, and the needs of the particular audience.

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