Only two activities have an average ranking of 6 or higherSeparated into distinct categories by effectiveness – three categories: Personal Knowledge Activities – Peer Re
Creating Thought Leaders
Creating Thought Leaders:
Influence GCs and Get Hired with
Strategic Thought Leadership
Hellerman Baretz Communications
LMA Southern California
March 20, 2013
State of the Union
Competition is intense. In 2008, Fortune 1000 companies used
an average of 55 law firms. In 2011, that number decreased to
46 – a 16% decline.
Average Law Firms Fortune 1000 Companies Are
Source: The BTI Consulting Group, “The Attorney Hiring Zone,” 2009 and 2011
The Branding Process
A professional firm becomes
branded by the reputation and
performance of its professionals
The more lawyers with credible reputations within your firm,
Talent is the Product
A Professional Service Firm is a
Help Your Firm Attract the Best Talent
& Help Your Talent Win New Business
(You’ll Generate More of Both)
Use uncontrolled, and therefore
credible, participatory channels to
create, influence and maintain
“To make my firm money”
STOP: “Doing” Public Relations
START: “Using” Public Relations
This is not about creating clips for clips sake. Ask yourself:
How is what I’m doing going to help my firm create,
influence or maintain a lucrative relationship?
If it won’t help, tell your firm you’re going to save money by
spending its resources elsewhere.
What Do You Think?
Rank these activities on a scale of 1 to 10.
Speaking at a Prominent Event
In-Person Casual Meeting
Practicing at a Well-Regarded Firm
Featured Subject in an Article
Referral from a Peer
Authoring an Article in the Trade Press
Quoted as an Expert by the Media
In-Person Scheduled Introductory Meeting
Speaking at a Small Education Seminar
The Attorney Hiring Zone
(1) Peer Referral: 7.5
(2) In-Person Scheduled Introductory Meeting: 6.1
(3) Quoted as an Expert by the Media: 5.5
(4) Presenting at a Small Education Seminar: 5.4
(5) Practicing at a Well-Regarded Firm: 5.3
(6) Authoring an Article in the Trade Press: 5.1
(7) Speaking at a Prominent Event: 4.8
(8) Feature Article: 4.1
(9) Advertising: 3.4
(10) In-Person Casual Meeting: 3.3
Personal Knowledge Activities
Peer Referrals Are Ranked
Highest at 7.5 Because of Trusted Third Parties;
In-Person Introductory Meetings Are Second at 6.1 Because
of Internal, Self-Screening
• Peer Referral: 57% of corporate counsel report they will consider
hiring an attorney based on a single peer referral.
• In-Person Introductory Meetings: Good, old-fashioned hustling.
• Discussion Point: BTI did not address how attorneys are getting inperson introductory meetings. How are you doing that? What tactics
are you using to get these meetings?
Credentialing Activities Convey An Implicit Endorsement
From Sources in Positions of Trust
• Practicing at Top Firms ≠ Clear Path to Hire.
• Corporate Counsel is Watching
The Wall Street Journal
• Speaking at a Seminar/Conferences Might be Good…
Make it Good.
• Attorney Bylines and the “Pay-to-Play” Factor.
• Influence on Steroids: Spread the Word and the Peer Factor.
• Sharing is Caring: Marketing Value Remains.
• The Cumulative Effect: Third Time is a Charm.
Awareness Activities Can Raise General Awareness of a Law
Firm or Individual Attorney, But They Do Not Serve as
Credentials Because of the Lack of a Screening Function
by a Trusted Third Party
• Advertising Gets You Known, Not Hired.
• There is Nothing Casual About Business:
In-Person Meetings Count.
• “Me, Me, Me…”: Feature Articles.
BTI/HBC Marketing Sales
It typically takes 7 follow-up calls to get the GC to agree to a meeting
because GCs routinely reject requests for meetings to test for follow-up.
Astonishingly, 90 percent of attorneys fail to follow-up at all after the first
PR is a "credentialing activity" more so than an "awareness activity" and it
takes as little as 3 quotes in respected publications to equal the trusted
value of an actual referral by a peer, which is the number one activity for
receiving hiring consideration.
To GCs, feature articles about an attorney or the firm are only slightly
more valuable then ads. This is due to the fact that they are not clear
about how subjects for features are chosen and a sense it has little to do
with actual merit (unlike being quoted as expert).
Entering The Attorney
Referrals & Scoring InPerson Meetings
Mastering the Touch:
Laying the Foundation:
How do you encourage
peers to refer business to
attention is key.
“Pay-for-play” media and
Key is creative, client- or
LinkedIn and social media
Awards and rankings
Current Marketing Best Practices
Involve “Appropriate Touching”
Facebook created the “poke” button
to spur friendly connections on the
Fostering professional relationships,
which lead to hiring, requires the
professional equivalent of the “poke”
– appropriate touching.
The Market: What Advanced
Firms Are Doing
• Paradigm Shift at Most Sophisticated Law Firms.
• Business Development “Analysts” Being Employed.
• Proactive, Industry-Specific Campaigns.
• Comprehensive Business Intelligence.
Market & Business Intelligence
Example of comprehensive
market intelligence available for
law firms to target business
development campaigns to
Market intelligence memos from
ShiftCentral include daily news
articles, statistics of interest,
companies in the news, etc.
HBC also regularly prepares
litigation/corporate review and
analysis memos, and LinkedIn
analysis of key in-house counsel
and C-Suite executives, to
prepare clients for meetings with
Energy spent generating interviews leading to third-party quotes
should be shifted to generate speaking and publishing
Doing so will generate more of everything over time.
Think in Campaigns
• Focus on narrow, niche issues.
• Position your talent as “experts.”
• Create blogs, white papers, webinars
podcasts, etc. around an issue.
• Easy to Measure & Manage
• Relevant to Management
• Attracts Clients
• Material for Reprinting and Distributing (PRFueled Biz Dev)
These aren’t just nice placements. They are excuses to
connect with people. Use them as valuable selling tools
that create, influence, and maintain lucrative relationships.
(Create only what is worth reprinting and sharing.)
Bringing expertise to the
market is made safer
when firms do it through
branded and strategic
Talent can walk;
branded content can’t.
For Immediate Release
• Make getting the info easy.
• Give reporters options.
• Don’t hold back information
they are going to get in time
• Recognize the credentialing
power of your prospects’ social
networks; a reprint from an
unknown media outlet referred
by a “friend” can be more
powerful than one from the
Wall Street Journal he finds on
The whole idea of social media is not so much to promote
yourself, per se, but to:
• PROMOTE THE IDEAS THAT ARE VALUABLE TO WHAT
o Question, therefore, is: HOW to become part of OTHER social networker's
stories (i.e., the online dialog that swirls around news and events);
• Do that by identifying the people that are relevant to the people
you want to influence, and enabling them with content that is:
EASY TO SHARE.
o And relax, because that's fundamentally still all the things you're good at:
developing relationships by pitching really worthwhile and interesting stories
that are EASY TO TELL.
Consider the Opportunity: The web has radically transformed the way we get our
news, and every day, more and more people are relying on alternate online sources
(websites, blogs, social networking sites, etc.) to obtain information.
Target Properly: If you're going to do social media, do it correctly and be strategic or you'll sell yourself short, so target the right bloggers, Twitters, and other outlets
that are relevant to your purpose.
Package it Up: Give bloggers and others a rich array of information by offering
other experts' to speak to; give links to other compelling websites, articles, and
related graphics, etc.
Pitch it: Contact your targets and share the credible, compelling, creative content
you've put together.
Push it: This is the key. Once the story appears, what do you do with it Share it
with other bloggers and other outlets. Get them to pull it apart and re-report it.
Circle Back: Make contact with the original outlet and let them know everything
you did to promote their work. By showing the value you added they'll want to work
with you again.
Madison Ave Insights
Launched a creative, strategic
blog on target industry issues.
Format brings in the industry
with weekly Q&A blog posts on
high-level industry issues.
Social media strategy.
Sending direct messages and
emails with blog posts of
interest, blog launch
Conducted industry survey to
coincide with the blog launch.
Coordinated blog launch around
leading industry event.
Evangelize SMART Leadership as
a Biz Dev Tool
Transform Your Firm’s Reluctance into Expectation. Make It See
Sharable, Measurable, and Relevant Thought Leadership as an
Opportunity Rather than an Obligation.