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Ethical and Legal Issues Associated with Law Firm Marketing, Business Development, and Public Relations

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How to Raise Your Law Firm's Profile while Maintaining Ethical and Effective Client Representation

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Ethical and Legal Issues Associated with Law Firm Marketing, Business Development, and Public Relations

  1. 1. Ethical and Legal Issues Associated With Law Firm Marketing, Business Development, and Public Relations Course #901372367 Association of Legal Administrators of Houston February 21, 2017 STACEY BURKE ATTORNEY/OWNER 1800 BERING DR., SUITE 1010 HOUSTON, TEXAS 77057 OFFICE: (713) 714-8446 STACEY@STACEYEBURKE.COM WWW.STACEYEBURKE.COM
  2. 2. Stacey Burke Licensed Texas lawyer since 2001 (Texas state courts, Eastern and Southern Districts of Texas, Fifth Circuit) Select Speaking Engagements and Publications • Legal Technology  Needles Case Management Software  MyCase Case Management Software • Legal Industry Professional Associations and Publications  American Association for Justice  Asian American Bar Association  Houston Bar Association  Houston Trial Lawyers Association  Kentucky Justice Association  Law Firm Marketing Mastery  State Bar of Texas  Texas Bar Today  Texas Women Rainmakers CLE  Trial Magazine  University of Texas Law School CLE • Public Relations and Marketing Professional Associations  American Marketing Association  Houston Social Media Breakfast  Public Relations Society of America www.staceyeburke.com
  3. 3. Raising Your Brand Profile • Marketing: – Support, open doors for business development – Develop messaging and promotional materials – Attract new clients by positioning law firm well to identified potential “client profile” and showcasing how firm can meet their needs • Business Development: – Identify prospects – Make sales using marketing materials • Public Relations: – Promote the client, the law firm, and the law – Draft media relations plans and trains spokespeople www.staceyeburke.com
  4. 4. Marketing www.staceyeburke.com
  5. 5. Raising Your Brand Profile: Marketing What is marketing? PUSH • The process of planning & executing the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of ideas, goods and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational objectives. American Marketing Association • The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably. Chartered Institute of Marketing www.staceyeburke.com
  6. 6. Raising Your Brand Profile: Marketing • SBOT Rules – Approval process varies by media type and audience (lawyers or not) – Bulk of violations occur under Rule 7.02 “Communications Concerning a Lawyer’s Services” • Case results / past successes • Stating that a lawyer is an “expert” or a “specialist” – Board Certification (specifically mandated format) – Must state “ADVERTISEMENT” Rule 7.05 in all caps, separate from other text on the first page and the envelope or subject line • ABA Rules – general guidelines but the Texas rules are more specific, have significant commentary, and are stricter • Tex. Penal Code §38.12 – Texas barratry statute makes it a crime to solicit clients. Exceptions: current clients, former clients, and relatives. • CAN-SPAM Act – Governs “any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service” – Give recipients the ability to OPT-OUT – Each separate email violation is subject to penalties of $16,000 www.staceyeburke.com
  7. 7. Raising Your Brand Profile: Marketing • Integrated Marketing Strategy • Focus: Inbound Digital Marketing – Blogs – Email Marketing – Pay-Per-Click / AdWords – Search Engine Optimization – Social Media and Social Ads – Website Disclaimer Expert Tip: Testimonials + Reviews = Social Proof www.staceyeburke.com
  8. 8. Is My Marketing Working? • Google Analytics • Social Media Key Performance Indicators • Call Tracking and Recording • Tracking Emails • Form Submissions www.staceyeburke.com
  9. 9. Business Development www.staceyeburke.com
  10. 10. Raising Your Brand Profile: Business Development • What is business development? PULL – Selling is the ultimate result of marketing • Variation by law firm and practice area (to who and how) • Types: – Events – Professional Networking – Publication Opportunities – Social Engagements – Speaking Opportunities – Sponsorships • Business lifecycle for prospects, clients, and referral sources www.staceyeburke.com
  11. 11. How Do You Track Business Development? A. On my calendar B. In Outlook C. On a notepad D. I don’t Why it matters: • Do you get paid more for the business you bring in or are you required to bring in a certain amount of business? • Your firm’s financial survival in an increasingly competitive industry. • Keep track of your time to see if the time you invest and how you invest it are working and worthwhile – AND see which parts you can automate! www.staceyeburke.com
  12. 12. CRM Cycle for Prospects www.staceyeburke.com Need Contact Courting Paperwork (Pre-Nup) Marriage?
  13. 13. CRM Cycle for Clients www.staceyeburke.com PNC Client Matter Handled Resolution Post- Matter
  14. 14. Law Firm Customers: Clients Boosting client satisfaction and maintaining compliance with ABA Rule 1.4: • Personalized communication • Consistent contact person who is knowledgeable about their case • Be responsive • Monthly or quarterly updates • Keep track of feedback www.staceyeburke.com
  15. 15. Raising Your Brand Profile: Business Development Automation via CRM • Ethical issues when using a CRM for client communications: – Confidentiality – Security – Accessibility • Helps lawyer comply with ethical obligation (ABA Rule 1.4) to keep client reasonably informed • Training • Personalization and customization while maintaining consistency www.staceyeburke.com
  16. 16. Public Relations www.staceyeburke.com
  17. 17. Raising Your Brand Profile: Public Relations • Understand the journalist’s perspective (human element) • Lessons learned from past media interview experiences: – Typical PR strategies are often inappropriate or can be detrimental to a lawsuit – you must take the litigation strategy into account every step of the way – Client preparation and sensitivity to their feelings – See if you can get the questions in advance or at least a general idea of what they will cover – Know what areas to avoid and how to respectfully decline – Establish groundrules www.staceyeburke.com
  18. 18. Raising Your Brand Profile: Public Relations • Pay attention to media interview formats (print, phone, TV/radio, email, social media) • Client confidentiality • Protect client/reputation management • Make your client’s viewpoint known • Influencing outcome of litigation with media pressure • Helping public understand complex legal issues versus contaminating jury pool www.staceyeburke.com
  19. 19. Raising Your Brand Profile: Public Relations Sharing/Repurposing Media Coverage: • Email Marketing – link to article and embed video • Digital Press Release – wait for earned media to share • Social Media – obtain video and rights to upload to your own YouTube channel and embed in your website • Website - press section, blog post with embedded media coverage, add to bios www.staceyeburke.com
  20. 20. www.staceyeburke.com Facebook.com/MarketingLawyer s @StaceyEBurke www.SlideShare.net/StaceyBurke http://bit.ly/SEBPCnews Text NEWSLETTER to 38470 Text LAW to 38470
  21. 21. STACEY BURKE ATTORNEY/OWNER 1800 BERING DRIVE, SUITE 1010 HOUSTON, TEXAS 77057 OFFICE: (713) 714-8446 STACEY@STACEYEBURKE.COM WWW.STACEYEBURKE.COM Course #901372367

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