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ABA Law Practice Magazine "What Works" columns and LMA Best Of Show articles
 

ABA Law Practice Magazine "What Works" columns and LMA Best Of Show articles

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A dozen of Ross Fishman's case study-based "What Works" marketing columns from the ABA's Law Practice magazine, plus the LMA's "Best of Show" award book for International Lawyers Network (ILN) ...

A dozen of Ross Fishman's case study-based "What Works" marketing columns from the ABA's Law Practice magazine, plus the LMA's "Best of Show" award book for International Lawyers Network (ILN) campaign

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    ABA Law Practice Magazine "What Works" columns and LMA Best Of Show articles ABA Law Practice Magazine "What Works" columns and LMA Best Of Show articles Document Transcript

    • Your Honor AwArds Best of Show 2008 Winners shoWcase
    • Best of Show: International Lawyers Network Art and artifice combine for Best of Show: International Lawyers Network’s Multi-Media Campaign Getting 5,000 lawyers in 70 countries to pay attention to any- thing like an ad campaign defines the words “ultimate challenge,” according to Lma’s Your honor judges. Yet that is just what this multi-media campaign delivered by the international Lawyers Network (iLN) set out to do. it has met with “super Bowl” success so far, and the judges have honored this program with Best of show for its boldly creative and deft approach. No newsprint ads, no direct mail, no press releases or inter- views…this campaign takes a radically different visual twist. With a goal to convince the 85% less-active lawyers in the international Lawyers Network to become active, the campaign needed a simple message with a stop-you-in-your-tracks visual to hook the target audience of bright, overworked and time- cramped lawyer members. and the budget was limited. “We needed to grab them quickly with a powerful, unexpected image and tell our entire story within five seconds – and get them to talk about it with their peers,” according to iLN spokespeople. how to do it? the creators came up with ideas for life-sized, out-of-the-box designs made of sticky plastic that could be applied to a variety of surfaces without damage. these would be two-dimensional figures so large and theatrical they startled 2
    • the passer-by and made him or her stop, take note and tell someone else. the final selection of adhesive- backed images took shape as people of various nationalities and career modes, out-of-pro- portion and representative hats, and renderings of exotic travel destinations. these “trompe l’oeil,” or visual deceits, would be applied to bathroom mirrors, elevator doors, even interior walls of a building or law office. the hats, a representative sample of international headdresses, were applied to restroom mirrors and positioned high enough to “fit” the heads of the onlookers. the message, “imagine you need a lawyer in (that representative country),” gave clarity to the surprise, out-of-context reflection in the mirror. illusory “people” affixed to mir- rors smiled at bathroom visitors, reminding them that “the iLN is always with you, worldwide. www.iLN.com.” these sticky images resembled people from all over the world. there were more. a set of elevator doors – cloaked in plastic sheeting adorned with words and images reminiscent of various countries (camels for egypt, for example) – reminded the onlooker of his or her membership in international Lawyers and asian countries led to an excited discussion and far-reaching Network. mock, life-sized doorways, slightly ajar and leading to ideas about other applications for the products.” exotic, mock locales, were “affixed” to various interior walls. the following meeting in Phoenix gained the same swell of initial approval was thunderous, nearly 100%. “our first presen- enthusiasm – complete buy-in by the group and a desire to tation was in istanbul, to the european regional meeting,” said send the materials electronically to kick off the program. the group’s representative. “these lawyers are conservative; the campaign’s entire budget was a fraction of a global print/ marketing is not something they have adopted as readily as U.s. media/ad undertaking of comparable scope: $20,000 took care firms have. the presentation to 50 attorneys from 35 european of interviews, research, creative development and production. 3
    • 4. mULtimeDia CamPaiGN First Place: Goldberg Simpson Movement, Agility Key to Campaign starting from a blank slate – no marketing materials at all – Goldberg simpson was challenged to create something that would establish it as not only a great firm but a standout. to compound the challenge there was little synergy within the 30-member firm, combining conventional business lawyers and tragic personal injury specialists; high-dollar divorces and high-volume house closings, international adoption specialists and front-page criminal attorneys. this seemingly mismatched Louisville outfit badly needed the cohesion of a brand. the firm took the bait. What resulted caught the eye of the Your honor judges who bestowed the first-place award for multi-media Campaign to Goldberg & simpson. an intense research phase identified key commonalities within the firm: energy, leadership, creativity and a type a business attitude. With that in mind, marketing products first developed included a new logo and tag line, “a law firm that really moves.” New ad materials and website images showed creativity and action – men, animals, women running, jogging, riding ahead of the pack. Web copy reflected agility and a willingness to move: “Clients tell us we’re different from those big, lumbering downtown law firms. We move. We don’t bog down our clients’ business plans with process, procrastination and endless reconsidera- tion. We help our clients make timely decisions and then move swiftly to put those decisions into effect.” SM in another unusual move, silhouettes of different athletic images -- e.g. horse racer, basketball player, runner – were cut out of the firm’s new logo to demonstrate the firm’s deft and targeted approach. Distribution channels included more traditional - newspapers, A Law Firm that Really Moves.TM magazines, community sponsorships – and more creative - manicures that featured logo-painted nails, floaty pens, and running-man billboards, unusual for a corporate law firm. the reaction and success were immediate. Within two weeks of launching stage one, the firm began receiving the type of resumes they’d targeted for firm membership. accomplishments were impressive on any scale, but especially with the allocated budget. the entire campaign, including message, creative work and production of logo and identity materials, billboard, pens, direct mailers, announcements, web site, ballet-related materials, etc. – all were produced for less than $100,000. 18
    • LAW PRACTICE FrontLINES M A R K E T I N G M A N AG E M E N T T E C H N O LO GY F I N A N C E INTELLIGENCE, INSIGHTS & TACTICS FOR YOUR LAW PRACTICE W H A T R E A L LY W O R K S ? All the right moves. Not all firms can align their marketing with their practice areas. Some gallop to the fore by branding their culture and style instead. How? With a message that conveys their personality— and impeccable execution. Floaty pens help, too. Lots and lots of floaty pens. Turn the page to learn the strategy behind Goldberg Simpson’s aggressive and quirky campaign. INSIDE What Really Works 10 • Trends 12 • ABA TECHSHOW Q&A 16 • Ask Bill 18 • Strategy 19 • LPM News & Events 20 January/February 2008 Law Practice 9
    • LAW PRACTICE FrontLINES What REALLY M A R K E T I N G M A N AG E M E N T T E C H N O LO GY F I N A N C E Branding a Firm’s Progressive Personality hen your firm and your lawyers W are creative and dynamic but the practice mix is fluid and BY ROSS FISHMAN eclectic, what value proposition do you sell? Your overall style and innovative approach is the key—but the message and execution must be consistent and thorough. WHO Goldberg Simpson, a 30-lawyer firm and estate matters, while defending in Louisville, KY. headline-grabbing criminal cases. It’s like a restaurant that serves lobster and BACKGROUND Goldberg Simpson is a chicken nuggets … and sushi and grits. midsize law firm by the standards of the The mix makes no logical sense—until Louisville market. It competes aggressively you realize that the synergy is not with the city’s large firms—although it between the practice areas, but the isn’t really built along a traditional full- lawyers themselves. They’re all hard- service model. This firm is more like a charging, Type-A personalities. In each collection of opportunistic boutiques: a area, they either lead the pack or they group of small, efficiently run, largely don’t bother practicing there. independent practices brought together In addition, management views the under one roof by some dynamic leaders. firm as a business and, in professional Sure, the firm has the typical range of services, the best businesses have the business-oriented legal services, including best people. So Goldberg Simpson puts sophisticated corporate and litigation equal emphasis on attracting and retain- practices. But it also closes 3,000 residen- ing top professionals, which means a tial real estate deals per year; has an insur- strong focus on building a defined ance-defense practice down the hall from culture—and having fun. They’re high- a catastrophic personal injury plaintiff’s energy, but not high-strung. Loud- practice; and handles high-dollar divorces mouth jerks or raging egos are quickly and high-profile adoptions. It also shown the door. represents wealthy families in trust MARKETING GOALS The firm wanted a campaign to increase its visibility and name recognition, one that would differentiate it by conveying its strengths and thereby drive new busi- ness and improve lateral hiring. But how do you brand a firm as eclectic as this one? Clearly you can’t focus on a specific practice area—but you can 10 January/February 2008 Law Practice WWW.LAWPRACTICE.ORG
    • Works M A R K E T I N G M A N AG E M E N T T E C H N O LO GY F I N A N C E LAW FIRM MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS market the culture and personality. horse or wearing race helmets by the while doing things that “really move”— We wanted to show the business water-cooler. These ads are supported dribbling basketballs, tossing volley- community that Goldberg Simpson is by a series of running-lawyer billboards balls, carrying field hockey sticks, rid- a young, vibrant, very cool business along the main highways heading ing bicycles and more. Every time you firm, a smart choice for executives downtown, helping to promote the turn a corner at lunchtime, you’ll see seeking sophisticated services provided firm’s relocation to a hot suburban cor- another happy sports team dribble, in an agile, personal, cost-effective ridor with the giant caption “We jump, hit, toss or play something. manner. For laterals, we wanted to moved so you wouldn’t have to.” showcase the firm’s unique culture so To have additional fun with the RESULTS We hadn’t fully launched the that top lawyers feeling frustrated “moves” theme, we created floaty pens campaign before the results began to working in stuffy firms would see with the image of a running lawyer show. The local newspapers wrote a Goldberg Simpson as the alternative. that were so hot we’ve had to reorder. number of articles, and the firm attracted We wanted to convey the firm’s sense We changed the firm’s Web site to two more best-of-class partners who of excitement, that it’s admitted the ads and creative and progres- billboards brought the sive—a firm on the firm to their attention move, where the most and persuaded them interesting and inno- to join. vative things are hap- There’s a palpable pening. excitement coursing The tag line to through the firm. convey the firm’s With Goldberg overall style and innovative, fast- show the smiling managing partner Simpson on the town’s collective lips, paced approach became clear. running, while a small runner moves all the firm’s employees see how much Goldberg Simpson is: “A law firm that in the corner. Interior pages repeat the greener the grass is here. Now that the really moves.” horse and helmet ads, and retouched firm owns a clear theme, ongoing exe- headshots place the lawyers in front of cutions are easy and all the firm’s mem- IMPLEMENTATION We started by revising horse races and running tracks. bers are looking for new “moves” ideas. the firm’s bland logo to a bold and col- To further generate conversation, in One idea that was a natural for them orful one conveying the “moves” the summer we glued Goldberg was to become a primary sponsor of theme. And we also created an addi- Simpson logos to hollow cicada shells both the local triathlon and the tional half-dozen versions with that clung to downtown trees. It was a Moscow Ballet’s Louisville tour—we cutout silhouettes of things that rare once-every-17-years opportunity. even created a ballerina logo for the move—including racehorses, jet Having a “moves” theme offers the promotional materials, as well as print planes, arrows, motorcycles and even opportunity to further stir up the ad materials showing dancing lawyers. running lawyers. To create interest and campaign to create a splash that the High-quality resumes are pouring in, as reinforce the brand, every lawyer’s city will talk about. So to visibly and new people seek to jump on board the pack of business cards alternates with memorably connect the firm to speeding Goldberg Simpson train. LP different versions of the logo. “movement,” we are hiring small Ross Fishman (www.rossfishmanmarketing.com) We developed advertisements that, groups of high school sports teams to specializes in marketing training and creating among other images, showed a suited walk around downtown Louisville differentiation programs for law firms worldwide. lawyer as a smiling jockey on a race- wearing Goldberg Simpson T-shirts WWW.LAWPRACTICE.ORG January/February 2008 Law Practice 11
    • LAW PRACTICE FrontLINES What REALLY M A R K E T I N G M A N AG E M E N T T E C H N O LO GY F I N A N C E Narrowing Marketing Efforts to a Single Industry ndustry marketing is an effective way to I differentiate your services. Of course, by focusing on this level, you are mar- BY ROSS FISHMAN keting to a smaller audience. But by marketing more deeply, you develop the kind of close relationships that generate business more quickly. WHO Noland Hamerly Etienne & Hoss, a were deep in dirt. Moreover, no other 20-lawyer firm in Salinas, California firm had staked out the territory as the leading agriculture-oriented law firm STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE Noland Hamerly was in the area. a skilled but unremarkable full-service So instead of broad and shallow, we firm. It had never done any marketing, decided to go deep and narrow, develop- and now aggressive new competitors were ing a focused industry-based campaign moving into town. The firm wanted to targeting a specific audience: the Salinas develop more business by increasing its Valley’s fruit and produce growers, ship- visibility as a high-quality business law pers and ranchers. Making Noland firm in its core geographic market, the Hamerly the go-to firm for them would Salinas Valley. To drive new revenue bring in significant new business. quickly, it needed something that would have an immediate impact. RESEARCH AND IMPLEMENTATION Our research showed that this community— MARKETING GOALS A tight budget required one of the nation’s most vibrant agri- making some tough decisions about cultural areas—has significant and var- allocating resources. Marketing broadly ied legal needs. Plus, an internal study to the business community as a high- found that it was already the firm’s quality full-service law firm would be a largest industry group, even though the costly and long-term process—it was too firm had not actively marketed to it yet. general a message. This firm needed So we created “The Lettuce something unique. Lawyers,” a memorable, easy-to-spell Through the windows of the firm’s and alliterative title, to make it feel offices, mile after mile of rich farmland more like a tangible thing. Next we was visible. Green fields of broccoli, arti- bought both lettucelaw.com and chokes and lettuce stretched as far as you lettucelawyers.com to make it easy to could see. I asked whether they had any find the practice online. agriculture clients. Of course they did. Now we simply needed to use a range Every local firm did. It was the region’s of tools to show the firm’s intimate con- dominant industry. And Noland nection with the industry. We started by Hamerly had a long history in that designing a unique logo and stationery industry—many of the firm’s founders for the ag practice, modifying the firm’s 8 December 2007 Law Practice
    • Works M A R K E T I N G M A N AG E M E N T T E C H N O LO GY F I N A N C E LAW FIRM MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS existing logo by morphing its tradition- distributed lettuce seed packets with What Do We Do? al ampersand into a green sprout. (See the new logo as business cards; and Ideas You Can Use page 8.) And for agriculture-specific created client giveaways, including Clients crave industry expertise, but it’s business cards, we developed a double- logo’d bib overalls. hard for them to find—which means that if entendre “Together We Grow” tag line. The firm’s LettuceLaw.com you can develop expertise in an industry The core of the campaign was a col- micro-site boasts luscious images of and demonstrate that through your mar- lection of creative advertisements local landscapes, as well as the adver- keting, you can build significant business. showing the lawyers dressed in suits in tising imagery. In addition, even The goal is to become an industry though the agriculture practice was insider and know more about the industry than any other lawyer. So you need to get the primary marketing push, we active and visible, by regularly attending updated the general firm site with a industry meetings, writing for trade publi- complementary design. This was both cations, speaking at industry conferences, to showcase the firm as a high-end joining committees and working to provider and to show the lawyers who become a leader. Soon you’ll be recog- weren’t representing the agricultural nized in industry circles as the lawyer who sector that their marketing needs knows their business, their concerns, their were not being neglected. jargon. It’s not only great marketing; it also makes you a better, more value-added RESULTS The broadcast marketing tac- lawyer. tics grew momentum and visibility, Select an industry where you have a supporting the lawyers’ face-to-face head start. Does your spouse have a job where you have an established network? activities as they focused in on local Do you have an outside interest that you agriculture trade groups and began can blend with your practice? Do you writing articles, speaking and net- have clients you enjoy who are in a small working. And when the ads launched industry? Where is there growth potential in the California trade magazines, or an area that is currently ignored or almost immediately clients and com- underserved by other law firms? American Gothic-style postage stamps petitors took significant notice. The Whatever you select, you should enjoy were one tool used to help position the buzz grew in the local agriculture the industry and the people who work in it firm—and draw free publicity. community, and judges even men- because you’re going to have to spend a tioned the ads in court. lot of time inside that industry. agriculture settings—as the American The entire campaign to lock the The more involved with it you become, Gothic farmers (a la the Grant Wood firm into a market-leader position the more you learn, and the more you learn, the more valuable you become. painting), casually parking their tractor has brought in new agriculture Once you get some traction, you’ll find in front of the firm, lifting NHE&H clients, while also delighting existing that prospects talk among themselves lettuce crates and the like. clients, who are sending the firm about your knowledge, leading to new We also created tools to encourage more business as a result. business and more referrals. the media to write about the firm, Ross Fishman (www.rossfishmanmarketing.com) —Ross Fishman using free publicity to expand the specializes in marketing training and creating dif- ferentiation programs for law firms worldwide. A campaign’s reach and credibility. For Fellow of the College of Law Practice example, we created firm-specific Management, he is an inaugural member of the American Gothic-style USPS stamps; Legal Marketing Association's Hall of Fame. December 2007 Law Practice 9
    • LAW PRACTICE FrontLINES M A R K E T I N G M A N AG E M E N T T E C H N O LO GY F I N A N C E INTELLIGENCE, INSIGHTS & TACTICS FOR YOUR LAW PRACTICE W H A T R E A L LY W O R K S ? WHAT WORKS? So you want to grow your firm by opening an office in a new state and city with an aggressive growth market where you have low name recognition. You need to recruit top local lawyers—and you need to do it fast. Think extremely bold materials that will whack your market over the head. Lather, rinse, repeat. Turn the page to read What Really Works to learn how Carlton Fields cuts through the clutter in the Atlanta legal market. INSIDE FRONTLINES People & Places 10 • Trends Report 12 • Strategy 13 • Ask Bill 14 • LPM News and Events 16 July/August 2007 Law Practice 7
    • LAW PRACTICE FrontLINES What REALLY M A R K E T I N G M A N AG E M E N T T E C H N O LO GY F I N A N C E Recruiting in a New Market with Shock and Awe Tactics our campaign will be dead on Y arrival if what you need is imme- diate impact and try to a splash BY ROSS FISHMAN with a mediocre series of ads that trickle out one at a time. Solution: Front-load for massive visibility. WHO Carlton Fields, a 250-lawyer national and regional firms had also full-service firm. opened Atlanta offices recently, although BACKGROUND Established in 1901, most of them had limited, if any, local Carlton Fields is one of Florida’s oldest name recognition either. The new firms law firms. It is also one of the state’s seemed similar, if not interchangeable, largest, with offices in Tampa, Orlando, and few of them were really fighting to Tallahassee, West Palm Beach, St. get noticed. Petersburg and Miami. It had called So although Atlanta was an aggressive itself “The Florida Firm” since 1992. legal market, the firm had an outstand- But when it developed a growth plan ing opportunity to one-up the other that including opening offices outside newcomers—if it could leverage its rep- of the state, beginning with Atlanta, utation and quality-of-life ratings. Carlton Fields found that it had a MARKETING GOAL: Carlton Fields needed recruiting problem. significant name recognition among To comprise the ranks of its planned highly skilled Atlanta partner-level office, the firm’s aggressive lawyers within weeks. The project began growth goals targeted high- near the beginning of recruiting season. level partners at top Atlanta The objectives were to (1) inform the firms. The firm had signed a lateral targets of the firm’s dominance in lease for significant office the Florida market for credibility, and space that it needed to fill (2) showcase its friendly work environ- with top local lawyers quick- ment. And because Atlanta is such a ly. However, despite the fact large and saturated market, the cam- that Carlton Fields was a ter- paign materials needed to be extremely rific firm with high quality- bold to cut through the clutter. of-life scores in AmLaw sur- RESEARCH: We interviewed headhunters, veys, it was having trouble lawyers who had accepted or rejected the getting its headhunter calls firm’s job offers, prospects, consultants returned because of its low and other parties to pinpoint the mar- local name recognition. keting challenges and obstacles to suc- Initial research disclosed cess. The firm then conducted market that another problem was research to identify its competitors and that dozens of prominent learn more about the invasion of new 8 July/August 2007 Law Practice
    • Works M A R K E T I N G M A N AG E M E N T T E C H N O LO GY F I N A N C E LAW FIRM MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS out-of-state firms. one right after the other, multiplying What Do We Do? IMPLEMENTATION: We developed three the campaign’s early impact. We negoti- Ideas You Can Use primary messages: (1) Credibility, (2) ated a good deal with the publication, Good campaigns will make you money, Work Environment and (3) Recruiting. and the shocking red color caused the but they’re costly—which puts them in a We then created a four-ad series of ads to jump off the page. If you read the precarious position in a firm’s budget. humorous, colorful, eye-catching ads paper, you couldn’t miss the ads. Not a For example, firms typically buy a “13x” that used both visual stereotypes of chance. We reduced them in quantity advertising rate in monthly magazines, Florida (e.g., sunburns, beaches and and frequency after the first few weeks, which is the point of frequency where alligators) and connected the firm’s after the initial impact was achieved. the multiple-placement discount begins. roots with similarly iconic imagery that We also reprinted them as 8.5 x 11- Then the firms run their ads once each conveyed the concept of either “lawyer” inch glossy handouts and mailed them month, which seems perfectly logical. After three to four months, though, the or “Atlanta” (e.g., a giant Georgia peach directly to lateral prospects at select tar- bean counters who live in every firm will and the city’s downtown). get firms. Therefore, the hottest targets start asking, “What clients have these Firms often trickle out their cam- not only saw the campaign materials in ads generated?” paigns evenly over a long period of print, but also saw them landing on In other words, “Since the ads start- time, such as one ad each month for a their desks. ed running, how many CEOs we have year. Instead, we chose a shock-and-awe RESULTS: Anecdotal evidence indicated never had contact with have called our strategy—front-loading the advertising that the campaign attained massive visi- receptionists and said, ‘I saw your ad placement, thereby overwhelming the bility in the Atlanta legal community. and would like to hire one of your attor- Atlanta legal market with the impact in Every Atlanta lawyer we surveyed neys, any attorney, to take my company the early weeks. remembered the ads and commented public’”? At less-sophisticated firms, if To reach the campaign’s broad audi- approvingly on the content. Most you answer “None,” or “I don’t know,” the ence, we decided that a single publica- importantly, they remembered the mes- consequence is that the campaign is then probably teetering on life support tion was the most appropriate advertis- sage—the name of the firm, its Florida dead, if not officially dead. ing vehicle—specifically because there roots, and that it was seeking laterals. Powerful, potentially effective pro- was a very well-read local legal publica- Research with local headhunters indi- grams often die young, before they’ve tion, the Fulton County Daily Report. cated that the recognition problem was had a chance to succeed, and the Most of the target audience read this completely solved. The success rate of efforts and opportunity for greatness are publication and we had to hit those headhunter calls more than doubled, squandered. Once dead, the opportunity readers quickly with ads that caused and in-person recruiting success tripled. won’t come back around for at least them to (1) take notice and (2) remem- And the entire campaign cost less than another five years, or at the next man- ber the firm name, the message and what half of one headhunter fee. agement turnover at the earliest. For it offered. We wanted to make a big The next year, the campaign ran campaigns to succeed in firms that do splash instantly—in case another com- again and we added another couple of not have lots of marketing experience, or petitor saw what we were doing and versions to the mix. have potentially short attention spans, you need to create a big buzz, fast. The decided to do it, too. Carlton Fields’s Atlanta office now best option is to market the heck out of DIFFERENTIATION: In the first weeks of the has 21 top-quality lawyers.LP it early and create a big buzz as soon as launch, we ran two or three half-page or possible, so people can feel the differ- two-third-page ads two or three days per Ross Fishman (www.rossfishman.com) specializes ence. Spend much of the money early week on consecutive odd-numbered in marketing training and creating differentiation and whack your market over the head pages near the front of the newspaper programs for law firms worldwide. A Fellow of the with your campaign. — Ross Fishman College of Law Practice Management, he is an (e.g., pages 3, 5 and 7), so readers turn- inaugural member of the Legal Marketing ing the pages saw the ads in sequence, Association's Hall of Fame. July/August 2007 Law Practice 9
    • LAW PRACTICE FrontLINES What REALLY M A R K E T I N G M A N AG E M E N T T E C H N O LO GY F I N A N C E Distinctive Give-aways to Reinforce a Winning Message ost firms have lawyers who M are known for the stacks of unreturned message slips gather- BY ROSS FISHMAN ing dust on their secretaries’ desks. So if you return client calls faster than the rest, you have a real differentiator to promote. One great way to do it: Put something on the prospects’ desks that will keep you front of mind. WHO Laner Muchin, a 40-lawyer we developed a series of brochures, ad Chicago-based labor and campaigns and direct-mail pieces to employment firm exclusively repre- push the message to the firm’s market. senting management. We changed the firm’s logo to incorpo- STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE For decades, clients rate a stylized clock and conceived the have complained about their lawyers’ tag line“Two hours. Period.” lack of responsiveness. Nonetheless, We also wrote the “Laner Muchin very few firms have actual policies Challenge,” which created a first- regarding returning phone calls, and response competition with prospects’ those that exist weakly suggest that existing lawyers. It challenges people to client calls be returned within 24 leave a message for their lawyers, then hours. But the lawyers violate those call Laner Muchin to see who returns policies, and no one in management the call first. If the callers’ current does anything. Frustrated clients lawyer does, Laner Muchin loses, and quietly take their business so must donate $100 to the callers’ elsewhere. favorite charity and buy them lunch. It’s a vastly different (Get it? For just $100 Laner Muchin story at Laner, gets to take some other firm’s presum- Muchin, Dombrow, ably dissatisfied client out to lunch.) Becker, Levin and The campaign had helped generate Tominberg, a labor millions of dollars of fresh revenue and employment firm from brand-new clients. But to contin- that was established in ue growing, the firm needed to push its 1945. In all the years of message to more new prospects. And its existence, the firm’s we needed something extra for the lawyers have returned second phase. phone calls within two hours. MARKETING GOAL In communicating with Yes, two hours. Remarkable. prospects, we wanted to show Laner This outstanding responsiveness Muchin as the alternative for other serves as the hub of a marketing cam- firms’ clients when they feel unappreci- paign that began two years ago, when ated by their skilled-but-unresponsive 8 September 2007 Law Practice
    • Works M A R K E T I N G M A N AG E M E N T T E C H N O LO GY F I N A N C E LAW FIRM MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS lawyers. The phase-two objectives were remaining stock. We prioritized our What Do We Do? to generate awareness and in-person top prospects and delivered the hour- Ideas You Can Use meetings with human resources VPs at glasses with a letter that invited them Conceiving a useful, creative give-away top Chicago companies, while also creat- to take the “Laner Muchin Challenge.” is difficult for law firms. There are only ing a casual, friendly reason to follow up DIFFERENTIATION In part, the campaign so many logo mugs, mouse pads, with them. We decided to do a give- letter asks prospects to turn the hour- pens, baseball caps, umbrellas, T-shirts away gift, to put a year-round reminder glass over; leave a message asking their and golf balls that clients can stand— of the two-hour phone-response prom- current lawyer to return their call; and we hear that most of them get ise on top prospects’ desks. And so they leave the same message for one of tossed. It’s even harder to find one that leverages the firm’s brand message. could reach the firm easily, we wanted Laner Muchin’s lawyers; then when But you are building your brand and the reminder to include contact infor- the hourglass runs out, turn it over awareness if you can create something mation, the firm’s clock logo and the tag again and see who has called back first interesting or useful that sits on the line of “Two hours. Period.” by the end of the second hour. Thus, clients’ desks and acts as a constant RESEARCH AND IMPLEMENTATION We the hourglass serves as a tangible tool reminder of the firm and what differenti- extensively surveyed the existing to implement the challenge. ates it from its competitors. research and studies and talked to At the same time, sitting on the For example, Chicago’s Levenfeld clients and in-house counsel regarding prospect’s desk it acts as a daily Pearlstein cleverly sent small logo’d what service issues were most impor- reminder of the firm—and its position racecars when marketing its “Built for tant to them. This verified our belief as the alternative when you’re frustrated Speed” campaign. that responsiveness remains among the that your existing employment lawyer Three-lawyer Scandaglia & Ryan attributes most valued in lawyers. doesn’t call back quickly enough. mailed a popular Ty Inc. Beanie Baby bear as part of a mailing announcing Elsewhere, responsiveness was declared RESULTS The reaction to the mailings the hire of Ty’s former general counsel. the most important thing a firm can do has been overwhelming, with a 50 to In lieu of business cards, 20-lawyer to improve its client relationships, apart 60 percent response rate! (You simply Noland, Hamerly, Etienne and Hoss from reducing cost. We elected to grab have to call when you receive this sig- distributed logo’d seed packets as “responsiveness” as our differentiator, nificant, expensive-looking hourglass.) part of the marketing of its agricultural to accompany the firm’s tag line. In initial tests, 25 to 30 percent of the law-focused “Lettuce Lawyers” After a visibility-enhancing ad cam- hourglasses sent to non-client campaign. paign, we wanted to focus the next step prospects led directly to in-person The point is, narrowly toward our 100 hottest meetings—and 25 to 30 percent more you don’t want prospects. For months, we looked for generated phone calls from the recipi- to settle for the an appropriate mailer to spread the ents, many of which have requested same old thing as two-hour response message and cause more information about the firm. The everyone else. Push your more of them to take “The Laner mailings also give Laner Muchin a marketing Muchin Challenge.” We looked at reason to follow up with recipients people and countless promotional stopwatches and who have not communicated directly promotion- other items, finally finding a striking, with the firm. al compa- foot-tall, hand-blown hourglass. At $50 All from a $12 hourglass. LP ny to con- each, however, they were outside our Ross Fishman (www.rossfishman.com) specializes ceive of some- budget. Then research uncovered a in marketing training and creating differentiation thing different. programs for law firms worldwide. A Fellow of the closeout retailer offering the hour- College of Law Practice Management, he is an —Ross Fishman glasses at just $12 a piece. We went inaugural member of the Legal Marketing store-to-store to buy their entire Association's Hall of Fame. September 2007 Law Practice 9
    • LAW PRACTICE FrontLINES M A R K E T I N G M A N AG E M E N T T E C H N O LO GY F I N A N C E INTELLIGENCE, INSIGHTS & TACTICS FOR YOUR LAW PRACTICE W H A T R E A L LY W O R K S ? What works? Too many firms rely on safe, bland marketing— and wonder why it fails. Boring marketing takes forever to gain traction. Wildly innovative mes- sages, visuals and activities get attention more quickly, at a much lower cost. Of course, it’s also harder to persuade lawyers to try those things. What happens when a firm does break out and tries something new? Turn the page for our new column, What Really Works, and get the story behind Shefsky & Froelich’s full-service identity makeover. INSIDE FRONTLINES Trends Report 12 • Benchmark 13 • Ask Bill 14 • Strategy 15 • LPM News and Events 16 June 2007 Law Practice 7
    • LAW PRACTICE FrontLINES What REALLY M A R K E T I N G M A N AG E M E N T T E C H N O LO GY F I N A N C E Identity Update for a Full-Service Firm ou can’t differentiate full-service, Y midsize law firms. They all look alike. They all do the same thing, the BY ROSS FISHMAN same way. Heck, half of their lawyers used to work for competitors, so all their marketing gets muddled into the middle. Unless … Shefsky & Froelich: Putting had increased significantly and an Imagination to Work impressive group of new senior part- WHO Shefsky & Froelich, a 70-lawyer ners had enhanced the firm’s practice full-service Chicago firm. and reputation. The clients were now larger, more-sophisticated companies. STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE Shefsky & Froelich The firm’s charismatic founders had historically had a reputation as a busi- developed great individual relation- ness-oriented firm representing small, ships and so hadn’t invested in market- entrepreneurial clients. In recent years, ing the general firm. More recent rain- though, the firm had gone upscale in its makers were individually renowned client base and its senior partners. The and so the marketplace was not aware percentage of large, institutional clients of the firm’s current composition. The firm was not well-known, and those who knew of it had a decade-old view. It was losing work to less-skilled but better-known firms. Good clients were telling the lawyers that they couldn't hire them for larger matters because the firm wasn’t high-profile enough. We needed to do something that caused the marketplace to view S&F differently, to leverage its historically creative reputation, but in a way that moved the firm up a tier in perception. We needed a new identity, a new message, and a visual treatment that supported it. The challenge with full-service firms Caption text here is how to distinguish them from the describing imagery countless other seemingly skilled, look- usedCaption text here describing Caption text alike firms. “We're smart” isn't differen- here describing imagery tiating. Neither are claims that the firm usedimagery used 8 June 2007 Law Practice
    • Works M A R K E T I N G M A N AG E M E N T T E C H N O LO GY F I N A N C E LAW FIRM MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS is skilled, service- or client-oriented, IMPLEMENTATION One word that came up dedicated, ethical, excellent or any of repeatedly during the interviews was the countless generic platitudes firms “imagination.” It was how S&F lawyers mumble when they have nothing to say. develop new solutions to tough prob- How often do we hear clients plead, lems. Imagination is a strong word. It “Gosh, if only I could find an ethical, says “creativity” in a more interesting dedicated law firm”? Not very. way, and it was a word we could own. We needed something strong, fresh and unique. And with a limited DIFFERENTIATION We trashed the original budget, we needed to do it boldly skyline-burdened Web site and created enough that people would quickly take ImaginationLaw.com. Bell-bottoms notice. This meant a complete image were in style when their logo was overhaul, from logo to Web site to designed, so it needed to be refreshed, What Do We Do? brochure. Boring marketing takes for- and we conceived “Imagination at Ideas You Can Use ever to gain traction. Wildly innovative Work” as the tagline. Just before we Conceiving a unique message is hard. messages, visuals and activities get launched, General Electric began using Executing it creatively is even harder. attention more quickly, at a much lower it! There was no real risk of confusion, Convincing lawyers to let you launch it is the cost. Of course, it’s also harder to per- but marketing partner Allan Slagel still hardest part. Long ago, I’d storm into a suade the lawyers to try those things. preferred to use our second choice, lawyer’s office with an idea that was guaran- “Putting Imagination to Work.” teed to make the firm rich and famous. And MARKETING GOAL The audience was both they'd recoil in horror. It was so obviously a internal and external. We needed to RESULTS It gave them a message to go brilliant idea, why didn’t they see that? Why show the lawyers how they were to market with. There’s a new spring do law marketers routinely complain that unique and also explain it to in the lawyers’ steps, and the firm is their lawyers get in the way? Here’s what I’ve learned. Lawyers are prospects. Volvos are safe. Baker & growing and attracting more top smart, but most haven’t had marketing class- McKenzie is global. My wife is fun. lawyers and clients. Administrator es. So if you want to try something new, What word could this firm stand for? Georganne Binnie was integral to the educate them first, before showing them the re-branding and talks with pride idea. Springing powerful new ideas on a RESEARCH AND PLANNING We interviewed about how the cool new image has lawyer is the easiest way to hear “no.” (They nearly the entire firm, listening for improved the firm’s recruiting, too. were expecting gavels and globes and you themes. We gleaned that S&F lawyers Clients love it, and other Chicago showed them … this?) have a unique focus on finding nontra- firms admit to borrowing the Web site Teach the difference between good and ditional solutions to clients’ problems. design. It differentiates the firm in bad, between safe and effective, between They’d always been this way. Cid head-to-head competitions and helped dull and powerful. Help them see what catch- Froelich recalls the early days—with bring in a multi-million-dollar case in a es their eyes and what doesn’t. And then few clients but plenty of time—sitting national RFP. This marketing thing—it show examples of the extraordinary market- around thinking up brand-new solu- just might catch on. LP ing used by high-end firms. Once you have tions to tough problems. After they Ross Fishman (www.rossfishman.com) specializes in prepared them to accept great work, make developed a solution to some interest- marketing training and creating differentiation pro- your recommendations. That’s what works. grams for law firms worldwide. A Fellow of the ing problem, they’d figure out who College of Law Practice Management, he is an inau- The safe answer is always “no.” The hard- they knew who had that problem, gural member of the Legal Marketing Association's er answer is, “Okay, let's try it.” then call and tell them what they’d Hall of Fame. If a brilliant idea is rejected by smart peo- discovered, and often get hired. Clever. ple, it wasn’t sold effectively. — Ross Fishman June 2007 Law Practice 9
    • LAW PRACTICE FrontLINES M A R K E T I N G M A N AG E M E N T T E C H N O LO GY F I N A N C E INTELLIGENCE, INSIGHTS & TACTICS FOR YOUR LAW PRACTICE W H A T R E A L LY W O R K S ? This is no time for stage fright. Too many firms shy away from using head-turning, art and text in their advertising for fear of tarn- ishing their image and drawing the ire of ethics boards. But good drama can draw attention and results—and build a stronger brand. Turn the page for What Really Works, and get the story behind Williams Parker’s dramatic leap into advertising. INSIDE FRONTLINES What Really Works 10 • Trends Report 14 • LPM News and Events 16 • Five Things 18 October/November 2007 Law Practice 9
    • LAW PRACTICE FrontLINES What REALLY M A R K E T I N G M A N AG E M E N T T E C H N O LO GY F I N A N C E Dramatic Flair Grabs the Applause in Advertising hen your competitors get W assertive with their advertising, you can’t just sit back mired in BY ROSS FISHMAN old-school attitudes. It’s time to raise the curtains, act based on new thinking, and go for center stage with your marketing. WHO Williams Parker, a 48-lawyer full- believing it to be demeaning to the firm service firm in Sarasota and the profession. For a smaller city, BACKGROUND Williams Parker Harrison Sarasota prides itself on its remarkably Dietz & Getzen is a highly skilled full- strong cultural and arts communities, service firm in Sarasota, Florida. It has a and the firm’s marketing activities strong estate planning practice and an eld- involved mostly charitable giving and erly client base of wealthy retired people community board activities. and local business owners. The firm his- Although Williams Parker is the torically avoided external marketing, largest firm based in Sarasota, its market research began to show that smaller, younger, more aggressive competitors were increasingly better known and had started image advertising. Fortunately, their advertising was bland—but it was likely just a matter of time before the quality improved and the ads started to gain traction. If Williams Parker didn’t become more aggressive, and fast, it risked losing market share to the upstarts. But there would be significant challenges to over- come. This was a conservative firm cul- ture that disliked marketing and advertis- ing. Any campaign would have to comply with Florida’s marketing ethics rules, which are the nation’s most restrictive and prohibit most types of creative advertising. Plus, the firm owned its own three-story office building and had run out of offices, so it could not physically add more lawyers—it could only achieve revenue growth by generating higher- dollar, premium business. 10 October/November 2007 Law Practice
    • Works M A R K E T I N G M A N AG E M E N T T E C H N O LO GY F I N A N C E LAW FIRM MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS MARKETING GOALS The firm had hired and we ultimately updated the logo to probability and told them that we Pam Ringquist, a talented marketing reinforce the shorter name. would likely win on appeal. Which is director, giving it a strategic edge. She To identify the message appropri- exactly what happened. wanted to use creative image advertis- ate for the target market, we inter- We launched with an attractive but ing and other branding initiatives to viewed all the firm’s attorneys and relatively conservative ad. The headline increase the firm’s name recognition analyzed its proprietary market reads “Leave the drama here” and uses locally, grow new and repeat business, research. We selected the theme of a vibrant blue theater scene as a sim- and drive traffic to the Web site to trust, which addresses the needs and ple, eye-catching background. This increase profitability. Of course, concerns of the firm’s wealthy and leverages Sarasota’s strong theater and because the firm’s attorneys felt that elderly target audience, while blend- cultural activities, as well as the inter- image advertising was unprofessional, ing with the orientation of its domi- ests of the firm’s elderly target audi- and that their elderly clients would per- nant estate planning and business ence. The subhead reads “Trust ceive it as either negative or desperate, practices. We also created a tag line of Williams Parker to protect you, your it meant that we had two distinct audi- “The Art of Law” to convey the firm’s business and your family.” The second ences—internal and external—that high-end legal skills and connection ad in the series shows a delicate balleri- needed to be satisfied before the cam- to the cultural community. It was a na bowing to the audience, headlined paign could be declared successful. We message the firm could rally around. “From the opening act to the last.” would need to start cautiously and We still had to persuade the firm’s These ads were placed weekly in build success in steps. lawyers that it was appropriate for the local business newspaper and also PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION One them to advertise, educating them monthly in two local glossy maga- obvious problem to address early was about the new developments in law zines. One also ran as a moving ban- that the firm still used all five names, firm marketing, as well as Florida’s ner ad on the Sarasota Chamber of all the time, which doesn’t give the revised ethics rules and how they Commerce Web site. reader or listener something to grab were being applied. Then we put this RESULTS Running for just eight onto. Long names invariably get campaign in context, showing how it months and $50,000, the campaign slurred, creating blurry proper nouns would be most likely to achieve their helped grow annual revenue by that sound like “williamsparker marketing goals. We showed a range $2 million (14 percent), while grow- harrisondietzandgetzen.” That’s just of campaign options conveying ing attorney headcount by just one too much to work with, especially “trust,” from aggressive to more con- lawyer. It also increased the unique when the firm has a strong, memo- servative. The presentation calmed visitors coming to the firm’s Web site rable, easy-to-pronounce street name many fears. by 700 percent. The buzz made Pam like Williams Parker. After lengthy discussions, we crafted Ringquist’s public relations efforts It is always problematic to recom- the advertising concepts and were even more successful, and the firm mend redesigning a firm’s logo to ready to launch. First, though, we has been featured more often in news- emphasize a shorter colloquial name would comply with every single ethics paper articles. What’s more, the cam- because some loyal supporters in the rule and so had our ads prescreened by paign’s initial success led to the once- firm can view it as diminishing the the bar. We knew that the ads complied resistant lawyers asking to use more latter named partners. When asked with the technical ethics rules but also striking graphics in the next ads! LP personally, though, they generously that they would likely be denied any- See page 12 for ethics compliance advice. supported the marketing use of way. Because we wanted no surprises Ross Fishman (www.rossfishmanmarketing.com) Williams Parker. This made the re- that could derail the campaign inter- specializes in marketing training and creating branding easier and more effective, nally, we prepared the lawyers for this differentiation programs for law firms worldwide. October/November 2007 Law Practice 11
    • LAW PRACTICE FrontLINES M A R K E T I N G M A N AG E M E N T T E C H N O LO GY F I N A N C E Ideas You Can Use Dealing With Florida license is at risk with every issue of the magazine. In response, conservative firms take a strict-constructionist the Marketing Ethics Rules approach and follow every single rule to the letter. Others know- he marketing ethics rules are silly. Okay, not the ones that ingly flout the rules, taking the calculated risk that they probably T protect uneducated lay consumers in dire straits, like per- sonal injury, divorce or criminal matters. Those are important. But sophisticated consumers of business-oriented legal services won’t get caught (and they’re usually right). They know that if they do get caught, the first action will simply be a letter from the ethics board politely asking them to change their marketing to don’t need protection against law firm brochures and magazine ads. comply. Then it’s the firm’s choice to change it and conform to Which is why I find it ludicrous that the ethics rules apply the rules, or face disciplinary charges. A few states have an equally to protect (1) the 60-year-old Harvard-educated general advance-screening process, where you can file what amounts to counsel of a Fortune 500 company hiring her 100th law firm, and a motion to reconsider an adverse opinion. (2) a barely literate teenager who just got hit by a truck and wants The reality is that it’s not the clients who complain about a law to find a PI lawyer. firm’s marketing. According to the same chief counsel, he rarely But that’s just me. I’m just the guy who has to help law firms gets marketing-related complaints from clients. Instead, they come comply with 50 states’ rules. Which all differ. anonymously in unmarked envelopes from scared lawyers seeking So how does a law firm ethically adver- to stop a competitor’s successful campaign. tise in a national magazine? For absolute Seek guidance in advance. If you think compliance, the firm would have to make you might be pushing, but not ripping, an sure nothing in its external marketing vio- envelope, it can be helpful to preview your lates any clause or provision in any of the material with a member of your state’s dis- 50 states’ individual rules, including taking ciplinary agency. I recommend trying to get into consideration the day-to-day vagaries to know someone in advance. That way you of how each state actually applies its rules. can sit down and explain what you are So how do you comply? Read your doing and why, and how you feel it com- state’s rules pertaining to the plies with the rules. If you take the initiative, Communication of Lawyers Services sec- you can muster your evidence and make tion, or generally Model Rules 7.1-7.5. (See your case up front, instead of trying to over- www.abanet.org/adrules.) You’ll probably be turn or appeal a negative ruling, which is surprised at what you clearly can’t do that risky and can cause lengthy delays. you are currently doing. The most common Some disciplinary counsel seem to just violation is probably use of the word hate marketing, and they won’t talk to you “expert” or “expertise,” which is specifically in advance. In those situations, I’ve occa- prohibited in most states. sionally warned clients that, although our Most states prohibit superlatives as campaign is in compliance, it will probably unsubstantiated comparisons. You can be rejected and that we’ll have to win on only describe your practice in ways that reconsideration. The advance warning can can be quantitatively verified. For example, under Rule 7.1 you keep nervous marketing committee members from panicking when can claim “20 years’ experience,” but you can’t say that you have the cease-and-desist letter arrives and also steel them for the fight. “significant experience.” Technically, you can’t even say that you In the alternative, I often run ideas or campaigns by Will are a “good” or even “competent” lawyer because it implies that Hornsby, the ABA’s expert in lawyer advertising and marketing. He other lawyers aren’t. has an encyclopedic knowledge of most states’ rules and whether Call me when you find a law firm Web site that doesn’t use a campaign is likely to pass muster, as well as what change might an adjective. make it more likely. Of course, as everyone knows, there’s The Rule and then A nuanced understanding of the applicable ethics rules can there’s its application. The chief counsel of the disciplinary help you avoid trouble. For example, Florida specifically permits: board in one moderate state confidentially told me that he’s too “(12)(K) … a photograph of the head and shoulders of the busy worrying about lawyers who commit serious infractions to [lawyers] against a plain background consisting of a single solid worry about B2B marketing. So moderately violating the rules in color or a plain unadorned set of law books.” So the next time that state is probably fine. However, some states, like Florida, you’re tempted to use photos of adorned law books in your ads, take a more aggressive and proactive approach. This can be a check your state’s rules. And if your firm’s walls are two different problem for, say, a large Wisconsin law firm with a lawyer colors in your brochure, well, heaven help you! LP licensed in Florida that advertises in Fortune. That lawyer’s —Ross Fishman 12 October/November 2007 Law Practice
    • FrontLINES LAW PRACTICE What REALLY  MAR KETI NG MANAG E M E NT TECH NOLOGY FI NANCE Marketing a No-Nonsense Attitude L et’s say your firm has a uniquely BY ROSS entrepreneurial, aggressive, hard- FISHMAN working style and culture, and you have a multifaceted audience to reach to diversify your reputation. To hit the target, try a roll-up-your-sleeves branding campaign. WHO Isaacson Rosenbaum, a 50-lawyer area’s most high-profile ones. But the Denver-based business law firm. firm’s more traditional practices—cor- porate, tax and litigation—were neither BACKGROUND Isaacson Rosenbaum had sizable nor well-known. While its stra- a reputation as one of Denver’s lead- tegic plan sought to grow those groups ing real estate practices. In addition, its in particular, the firm wanted a creative public law and policy and conservation brand message that would support all of easement practices were among the its practices.   Law Practice April/May 2008 WWW.LAWPRACTICE.ORG
    •  Works MAR KETI NG MANAG E M E NT TECH NOLOGY FI NANCE LAw FIRM MARketINg COMMuNICAtIONS The firm’s slogan at the time was a law and lobbying, (3) corporate and tax, chine—and carrying the headline “Is thoroughly non-differentiating “Law. and (4) litigation, and we have a practi- your lawyer always getting in the way?” Client. Community.” (Apparently “Good. cal, roll-up-your-sleeves, get-the-job- Then we added another phase to Smart. Nice.” was taken already.) Unfor- done approach and work environment. the campaign, in which we paired each tunate, because this really is a firm with a We wanted ideas that would speak to ad with a second half that represented difference. These are smart, roll-up-your- the firm’s unique style and culture, so the experience of working with an sleeves-and-do-the-deal lawyers. No elitist that the materials would support each Isaacson Rosenbaum lawyer who is snobs who are overbilling clients. They of the firm’s practice areas. But we also in “The Business of Solutions”—for talk plain, and they find out how to get wanted something with an edge, a cou- example, handing the client a clean it done quickly, efficiently and cost-ef- ple of options with a sense of humor, to towel, or holding the flag on the put- fectively. They speak proudly of the times create a sense of interest and excitement ting green—to illustrate a lawyer they’ve found creative shortcuts to solve around Denver. At the same time, this who is “always getting it done.” client problems. They’re easy to get along was still a law firm talking to business- We ran these two-part ads in busi- with, and their clients and opponents people and high-net-worth individuals ness publications and legal trade like them. They have high standards of in a somewhat conservative environ- journals, in which each “before” ad ethics and integrity and do lots of pro ment, so it had to be appropriate in was followed by an “after” ad when a bono work and community activities. tone, saying that this firm is a smart reader turned the page. We also turned To convey how Isaacson Rosenbaum’s choice for businesspeople who want so- the ads into direct-mail pieces. In ad- lawyers stand out from the crowd, the phisticated services provided in an ag- dition, the firm’s redesigned Web site marketing partner, Mark Grueskin, ile, personal, cost-effective manner. And shows the towel and ATM ads fading wanted an especially creative campaign. for recruiting, of course, we wanted to in and out. And it is all supported by showcase the firm’s positive culture. a complementary firm brochure. MARKETING GOALS The objective was to in- Simultaneous with the campaign’s crease the firm’s name recognition and di- IMPLEMENTATION AND RESULTS  We de- launch, the firm sent the media a press versify the reputation of its lawyers among veloped a campaign around the tag release accompanied by white logo’d the Denver business community and line “The Business of Solutions,” a towels that were attached to reproduc- high-net-worth individuals. This made straightforward pitch to the lawyers’ tions of the shower-and-towel ads to for a multifaceted target audience, with no-nonsense attitude about solving drum up attention. The Denver Post some of the businesspeople being highly client problems. Then to flesh out the carried an extremely positive story sophisticated corporate officers, and oth- firm’s unique approach to providing about the campaign on the cover of ers being hard-driving blue-collar types. services, we incorporated humor- its business section, which gener- For purposes of attracting lateral ous visuals showing an exaggerated ated significant traffic on the new hires, the campaign also needed to ap- sense of what it is like to have lawyers Web site on the day it launched. peal to creative, aggressive and entre- who do not act in a helpful, positive, The launch party was fun, too, preneurial lawyers who would relish the solutions-driven way. We developed a with proud speeches by firm leader- chance to join a firm that had a more three-ad campaign illustrated by im- ship thanking everyone for working robust personality and better qual- ages of a stereotypically sour or geeky so hard in bringing this to market. LP ity of life than their current firms. lawyer standing between the client Ross Fishman (www.fishmanmarketing.com) In sum, this is what the campaign and what they were trying to accom- specializes in marketing training and creating needed to say: We are a high-level, high- plish—reaching for a towel after a differentiation programs for law firms worldwide. A Fellow of the College of Law Practice quality, sophisticated law firm with a shower, putting on the golf course, or Management, he is an inaugural member of the varied practice in (1) real estate, (2) public trying to get money at an ATM ma- Legal Marketing Association’s Hall of Fame. WWW.LAWPRACTICE.ORG April/May 2008 Law Practice 
    • FrontLINES LAW PRACTICE MAR KETI NG MANAG E M E NT TECH NOLOGY FI NANCE What REALLY Conveying the Personal Touch ots of firms have lawyers who L are technically skilled in tackling clients’ legal matters, but how many of them actually focus on BY ROSS FISHMAN the human side of their clients’ issues, too? If you’re really invested in your clients as people, that’s a message you can take to market. WHO Aronberg, Goldgehn, Davis & But a firmwide message hadn’t Garmisa, a 30-lawyer full-service busi- been much of an issue to date, since ness firm in Chicago. Aronberg, Goldgehn had never re- ally done any marketing. In witness to BACKGROUND Aronberg, Goldgehn, that, it had an out-of-date logo and a Davis & Garmisa is known as a version 1.0 Web site with a photo of friendly, laid-back law firm. It has a the building and a pre-Google “Useful work-life-balance culture, where get- Links” page. The look was seriously out ting home for dinner with the family of touch. The partners decided that is a value and there’s no coming in the firm needed a drastic makeover. on weekends for “face time.” Clients say they appreciate that Aronberg, MARKETING GOALS The objective was Goldgehn lawyers aren’t pushed to to increase the firm’s name recogni- bill, bill, bill. There’s a perception tion as a small high-quality law firm that, while technically the lawyers are that is very skilled in serving a range highly skilled, they offer more personal of needs for Chicago-area executives service, a better overall experience, if of small and midsize businesses. But you will. And for all that, they’re not what theme would convey this firm’s more expensive than the competi- distinctive approach and qualities? tion; actually, they’re less expensive. In one-on-one interviews, the law- The firm has a typical full-service yers were asked a series of questions transactional and litigation practice designed to elicit a theme. In describing mix, in banking, construction, real themselves, their work and their firm, estate, taxation and the like. But it also Aronberg, Goldgehn lawyers over- has a high-end divorce and family law whelmingly used words like “friendly, practice, as well as health-care and es- collegial, congenial, family-oriented.” tate planning practice groups. As nice Although that makes it a nice culture, as it is for clients, that kind of blend “we like working with each other” isn’t makes it tougher to home in on a mar- an especially compelling message for keting message that works firmwide. drawing in new business. Not many 16 Law Practice July/August 2009 WWW.LAWPRACTICE.ORG
    • MAR KETI NG MANAG E M E NT TECH NOLOGY FI NANCE Works LAW FIRM MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS clients say, “Boy, if I could just find some lawyers who enjoy working with each other, that’s the firm I’d hire!” Everybody’s different. However, another word that came Does your lawyer understand that? up with surprising frequency was “personal.” As in, these lawyers value close, personal relationships with cli- ents. They take their clients’ problems a RU a personally. Personal is a very good word in a service business, especially in the legal profession, where clients [tuh-MEY-toh] [tuh-MAH-toh] often complain that their firm treats them “like a file.” And it is a word that applied equally well to the firm’s busi- Everybody’s different. ness practices and family law group. Does your lawyer understand that? We Take It Personally. SM agdglaw.com Seeing how the word encapsulated the firm’s message, we decided to build the firm’s marketing around it. IMPLEMENTATION For the tag line, we collection of a RU a settled on “We take it personally.” The images strategi- litigators, in particular, felt that this cally juxtaposed reflected their approach to represen- to represent tations. They’re so invested in their how there are clients’ problems, they feel like it’s different kinds their money they’re suing to recover. of people in the We Take It Personally. SM Now they needed marketing materi- world—and agdglaw.com als to convey that message. Something that Aronberg, to express the firm’s personal touch. Goldgehn Some strong visuals with a slight sense knows and of humor to reflect the friendly, laid- understands that fact. Some of the whatever it takes, the big things and back culture while also showcasing this materials juxtapose dog people and cat the small things, to get the job done.” as a high-quality firm. An audience people. Others reflect acoustic versus All the images also now rotate weighs the balance heavily in favor of electric guitar and sports car versus through the firm’s Web site, which is what they can see, so principally, we minivan people. Some ask if it’s “to- newly redesigned and has a look that’s needed a stunning “look” to use as the MEY-to” or “to-MAH-to.” The simple quite (you guessed it) different from its platform on which to build the full headline for the images: “Everybody’s version 1.0 predecessor. And, of course, range of materials, from brochures different. Does your lawyer understand at the launch party, squishy logo’d to- and ads to the Web site. We wanted that?” The caption text then in part mato squeeze balls were plentiful. LP the imagery to show that this is a nice reads: “We take the time to get to know Ross Fishman (www.rossfishman.com) firm, without seeming frivolous. you personally and to understand specializes in marketing training and creating What ultimately resulted was a all the issues affecting you … We do differentiation programs for law firms worldwide. WWW.LAWPRACTICE.ORG July/August 2009 Law Practice 17