Presented by: John Hellerman Southeast Legal Marketing Association New Orleans, Louisiana September 19, 2008 Understanding...
My Biases <ul><li>Down on “Publicity” UNLESS it is campaign oriented </li></ul><ul><li>Firms should market their products ...
Marketing (“Branding”)
Reality
On Branding  <ul><li>Firms have brand aspirations </li></ul><ul><li>Clients define brands (for products and firms) </li></...
The “Branding Process” A Firm becomes branded by the reputation and performance of its  partners  over time. (The more law...
P&G as a Law Firm
Marketing What We Sell The Talent is the Product. The Firm is the Product Marketer.
Role of a PR Professional <ul><li>Meticulously review and reality test firm’s objectives and goals </li></ul><ul><li>Analy...
Role of a REALLY GOOD PR Professional <ul><li>Uses uncontrolled, and therefore credible, participatory channels to reach a...
The Magic 3 <ul><li>Finding </li></ul><ul><li>Knowing </li></ul><ul><li>Choosing </li></ul>Market Access Differentiation S...
Strategy <ul><li>“ Using Communications” vs. “Doing Communications” </li></ul><ul><li>Apply sophisticated tools down the s...
Strategy’s Success is Evident <ul><li>Sutherland: Liquified Natural Gas  </li></ul><ul><li>Ford & Harrison: Automotive Dea...
What is News? <ul><li>Proximity:   Does the news effect the outlet’s audience? </li></ul><ul><li>Impact:   How much does t...
PR Specialties, Activities & Elements <ul><li>Specialties: </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic Communications </li></ul><ul><li>Me...
Steps in a Strategic PR Campaign <ul><li>Current Evaluation & Preliminary Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Media Market & Target...
Creating Strategy by Asking Questions <ul><li>Qualifiers </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Why should we focus on this news? </li>...
Get Creative <ul><li>Read everything </li></ul><ul><li>Break Through the Clutter Any Way You Can </li></ul>
“The Office” Example <ul><li>Situation :   </li></ul><ul><li>Ford & Harrison, the US’s third largest labor and employment ...
Principles of a Great Pitch <ul><li>Remember your reporter’s audience </li></ul><ul><li>Tell a story </li></ul><ul><li>Sim...
Principles Elevate “Mundane” to “Story” <ul><li>TYPICAL </li></ul><ul><li>Laner Muchin today announced that it has introdu...
Principles Elevate “Mundane” to “Story” <ul><li>TYPICAL </li></ul><ul><li>On July 16 th , the law firm of Boring & Dull wi...
Take all Communications to Next Level <ul><li>Weil Gotshal (Lefkowitz):  </li></ul><ul><li>2005 AmLaw  Dealmaker of the Ye...
Good Sources <ul><li>TYPICAL </li></ul><ul><li>The dynamics of the scenario can be such that risk exposure outweighs any f...
Other Things <ul><li>Media Etiquette </li></ul><ul><li>Wire Distribution of Releases </li></ul><ul><li>Seek intelligence –...
Questions? <ul><li>Q & A </li></ul>
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Understanding Strategic Communications

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Presented by John Hellerman at the
Southeast Legal Marketing Association Conference
September 19, 2008
New Orleans, LA

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Understanding Strategic Communications

  1. 1. Presented by: John Hellerman Southeast Legal Marketing Association New Orleans, Louisiana September 19, 2008 Understanding Strategic Communications
  2. 2. My Biases <ul><li>Down on “Publicity” UNLESS it is campaign oriented </li></ul><ul><li>Firms should market their products (practices & partners) not themselves </li></ul>
  3. 3. Marketing (“Branding”)
  4. 4. Reality
  5. 5. On Branding <ul><li>Firms have brand aspirations </li></ul><ul><li>Clients define brands (for products and firms) </li></ul><ul><li>Brands are valuable (if they’re leveraged) </li></ul><ul><li>Most law firms have valuable brands (reliable, solid, expert, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Not leveraging and differentiating them properly </li></ul><ul><li>We say “branding” we mean “differentiation” – How will the market know what makes us different? </li></ul><ul><li>Industry is consolidating its “products” NOT differentiating them </li></ul>
  6. 6. The “Branding Process” A Firm becomes branded by the reputation and performance of its partners over time. (The more lawyers with credible reputations the better.)
  7. 7. P&G as a Law Firm
  8. 8. Marketing What We Sell The Talent is the Product. The Firm is the Product Marketer.
  9. 9. Role of a PR Professional <ul><li>Meticulously review and reality test firm’s objectives and goals </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze firm’s target markets and determine the mediums most influential to them </li></ul><ul><li>Provide strategic guidance and planning to take advantage of the firm’s strengths and mitigate its flaws </li></ul><ul><li>Develop creative messages and compelling stories to highlight the firm’s achievements and expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Training the firm’s spokespersons to be effective </li></ul><ul><li>Leveraging each success into even greater success for measurable results </li></ul>
  10. 10. Role of a REALLY GOOD PR Professional <ul><li>Uses uncontrolled, and therefore credible, participatory channels to reach and influence lucrative relationships </li></ul><ul><li>(“Helps make my firm money”) </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Magic 3 <ul><li>Finding </li></ul><ul><li>Knowing </li></ul><ul><li>Choosing </li></ul>Market Access Differentiation Selection Results Reputations Relationships
  12. 12. Strategy <ul><li>“ Using Communications” vs. “Doing Communications” </li></ul><ul><li>Apply sophisticated tools down the sales funnel (from general awareness to direct marketing and relationship building). </li></ul><ul><li>Create campaigns that impact the 3 R’s: Relationships, Results, and Reputations </li></ul><ul><li>Seek compelling content that can be leveraged through multiple channels (internal & external) </li></ul><ul><li>Niche Practice/Partner Positioning </li></ul>
  13. 13. Strategy’s Success is Evident <ul><li>Sutherland: Liquified Natural Gas </li></ul><ul><li>Ford & Harrison: Automotive Dealerships </li></ul><ul><li>Phillips Nizer: Fashion Industry </li></ul><ul><li>Davis & Gilbert: Online Gaming </li></ul><ul><li>Pierce Atwood: Student Loan Lending </li></ul><ul><li>Troutman Sanders: Solar Panel Leasing </li></ul><ul><li>Perkins Coie: Chinese Pharmaceuticals </li></ul><ul><li>Ruskin Moscou: Healthcare Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Kelley Drye: Indian Outsourcing </li></ul>
  14. 14. What is News? <ul><li>Proximity: Does the news effect the outlet’s audience? </li></ul><ul><li>Impact: How much does the news effect the outlet’s audience? More impact = Higher news value </li></ul><ul><li>Unusualness: Is the news different from the ordinary? More unusual = Great news potential </li></ul><ul><li>Timeliness: How current is the news? </li></ul><ul><li>Prominence: Who is involved? </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict: Tension = News </li></ul>
  15. 15. PR Specialties, Activities & Elements <ul><li>Specialties: </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic Communications </li></ul><ul><li>Message Development & Training </li></ul><ul><li>Media Relations/Publicity </li></ul><ul><li>Interview Coaching & Negotiation </li></ul><ul><li>Events: Seminars/Roundtables/Briefings </li></ul><ul><li>Crisis Communications </li></ul><ul><li>Partnering: Allies/Sponsorships/Philanthropy </li></ul><ul><li>Internal Communications </li></ul><ul><li>Tactics: </li></ul><ul><li>Reporter Meetings & Interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Case Studies </li></ul><ul><li>Speaking Opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Publishing Opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Super Bios/Q&A Releases </li></ul><ul><li>Awards & Rankings </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Surveys </li></ul><ul><li>Linking </li></ul>
  16. 16. Steps in a Strategic PR Campaign <ul><li>Current Evaluation & Preliminary Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Media Market & Target Analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Spokesperson Identification & Preliminary Messaging </li></ul><ul><li>Media Training & Final Messaging </li></ul><ul><li>Material Development & Promotion </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation & Adjustment </li></ul>FIRM (PARTNER) Speaking Features Byline Articles PROSPECT/CLIENT 3 rd Party NETWORK
  17. 17. Creating Strategy by Asking Questions <ul><li>Qualifiers </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Why should we focus on this news? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What are current marketplace perceptions? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What is the problem or opportunity? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Positioning </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What is the desired result in 1, 3, 5 years? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Who in the market is worth emulating? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What does your typical client look like and what troubles them? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Who is the competition and where are they in relation to you? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How do you add value to a client relationship? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What are some specific results you’ve achieved? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What are 3 or 4 key messages its important for clients and prospects to know? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Do you have research to back-up these assumptions? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Value </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Impact, proximity, prominence, conflict, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>VIQ </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How can I tell if someone I’m speaking to is a good prospect for you? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Are you in a business where you can win?” -- Stephen Bennett, CEO of Intuit and former EVP of GE Capital </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Get Creative <ul><li>Read everything </li></ul><ul><li>Break Through the Clutter Any Way You Can </li></ul>
  19. 19. “The Office” Example <ul><li>Situation : </li></ul><ul><li>Ford & Harrison, the US’s third largest labor and employment firm, wanted a creative way to communicate with current and prospective clients about the legal issues in today’s workplace. </li></ul><ul><li>Solution : </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a blog unique to the HR sector. </li></ul><ul><li>Market the attachment of the blog to a pop culture reference. </li></ul><ul><li>Partner with an established publisher to give it instant credibility. </li></ul><ul><li>Results: </li></ul><ul><li>Launched “That’s What She Said,” a blog that puts a litigation value on each episode of NBC’s The Office , estimating how much Michael Scott’s antics would cost real-life companies to defend in employment lawsuits. </li></ul><ul><li>Landed scores of media coverage, including The Wall Street Journal , New York Magazine , and The New York Times . </li></ul><ul><li>Blogger Troy Foster and other Ford & Harrison attorneys now receive frequent calls from top-tier media seeking comment on general HR issues unrelated to The Office or the blog. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Principles of a Great Pitch <ul><li>Remember your reporter’s audience </li></ul><ul><li>Tell a story </li></ul><ul><li>Simplicity (not too long – get to the core ASAP) </li></ul><ul><li>Unexpectedness </li></ul><ul><li>Concreteness (explain ideas in terms of sensory information, paint a picture) </li></ul><ul><li>Credibility (statistics, “proof”, quotes from experts) </li></ul><ul><li>Emotions (make your reader feel) </li></ul>
  21. 21. Principles Elevate “Mundane” to “Story” <ul><li>TYPICAL </li></ul><ul><li>Laner Muchin today announced that it has introduced a “Two-hour Call back guarantee.” Clients and prospects of the firm will receive a return phone call within two hours of leaving a message. </li></ul><ul><li>CREATIVE </li></ul><ul><li>Ask business managers and in-house corporate lawyers what drives them crazy about law firms, and the most common response is: “waiting for a call back.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ It’s absolutely one of my top three issues,” said James R. Jenkins, Vice President of Legal and External Affairs for United States Cellular Corp. in Chicago. “When I pick up the phone to talk to a lawyer, it’s not about the weather; it’s because I have an issue.” </li></ul><ul><li>Mr. Jenkins cites responsiveness as a key reason that his company has long used the labor and employment law firm of Laner Muchin, which guarantees clients a call back within two hours. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Principles Elevate “Mundane” to “Story” <ul><li>TYPICAL </li></ul><ul><li>On July 16 th , the law firm of Boring & Dull will sponsor a seminar regarding the newest Sarbanes-Oxley regulations and their effect on corporations of all sizes. </li></ul><ul><li>CREATIVE </li></ul><ul><li>Sarbanes-Oxley regulations will cost American corporations more than $55 billion, and that’s only if they follow the rules. </li></ul><ul><li>“ The tab for even the slightest non-compliance will cost a company millions of dollars in fines and ‘fit-it’ fees,” explained Steve Exciting, a partner in the law firm of Savvy, Power & Wealth. “Companies can save themselves lots of headaches and lots of dollars if they know what to do.” </li></ul><ul><li>On July 16 th , Savvy, Power & Wealth will sponsor a seminar for GCs of mid-size companies ($50 MM - $500 MM) regarding the newest Sarbanes-Oxley regulations and what they can do to avoid costly fines. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Take all Communications to Next Level <ul><li>Weil Gotshal (Lefkowitz): </li></ul><ul><li>2005 AmLaw Dealmaker of the Year </li></ul><ul><li>WINNER </li></ul><ul><li>As recently posited by the New York Times : You’re on “Jeopardy” five years from now. The category is “Public Companies” and the answer is “Biggest IPO of 2004.” If you buzz in and ask “What is Google?” you’ll lose your shirt. The correct question is: “What is Genworth Financial?” </li></ul><ul><li>Genworth was the largest IPO by a US company since 2002, and despite its relative obscurity compared to the Google IPO, Genworth was one of the most complicated, important, interesting and well executed IPOs in years. Especially for Weil Gotshal’s David Lefkowitz, the lead outside lawyer on this deal, and his clients, General Electric and Genworth. </li></ul>AmLaw 100 Firm (Anonymous): 2006 Crain’s 40 Under 40 LOSER ______ LLP would like to nominate________, age 39, a financial restructuring partner in the New York office, for the 2007 Crain’s 40 Under 40.  ______ has developed an expertise in the restructuring area that is widely recognized by the restructuring community, ranging across hedge funds, institutional investors, private equity funds, banks, and trading companies. Reflecting this is the number of significant engagements ____ has led in the recent past in connection with some of the largest restructurings in the United States and around the world. For example, ___led the Chapter 11 representation of bondholders in connection with Mirant's $1.5 billion leveraged lease transactions and represents approximately $1.5 billion of bondholders in connection with Delta Air Lines' Chapter 11 case. He also represents major creditors in the Enron Chapter 11 proceedings in connection with BLAH, BLAH.
  24. 24. Good Sources <ul><li>TYPICAL </li></ul><ul><li>The dynamics of the scenario can be such that risk exposure outweighs any fiscal incentives for entrance into this paradigm. </li></ul>GOOD “ It’s a rigged game.”
  25. 25. Other Things <ul><li>Media Etiquette </li></ul><ul><li>Wire Distribution of Releases </li></ul><ul><li>Seek intelligence – manage expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Call industry press on slow days </li></ul><ul><li>Read everything </li></ul><ul><li>Read critically - be a student of the media </li></ul><ul><li>Market Your Products </li></ul><ul><li>Advertise your Results </li></ul>
  26. 26. Questions? <ul><li>Q & A </li></ul>

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