I recently spoke on a panel discussion about legal directories called “The Challenging and Competitive World of Lists, Directories and Submissions – What You Say Matters”
The event was jointly organized by the Philadelphia-based legal marketers organization, The Delaware Valley Law Firm Marketing Group, and the law firm Dechert, and broadcast simultaneously in London, New York, DC, and Philadelphia, to a large group of marketing professionals.
I have spoken on a number of legal directories panels over the years but this was particularly interesting because of the line-up.
Alongside me on the panel were Reena SenGupta from RSG Consulting, the founder of the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers survey, and Ben Seal, the Magazines and Supplements Editor for The Legal Intelligencer, a leading legal journal in Philadelphia, and part of the ALM Media group.
Dechert’s marketing team included Beth Huffman, director of media relations, Amy Muldoon, senior communications specialist with responsibility for directories, and Olivia Nairn, formerly of the Legal 500.
We talked at length about submissions (what else!) – for the research-based directories, surveys like FT Innovative Lawyers, and the specific requirements for the Legal Intelligencer’s supplements and similar surveys from other US-based publishers like the American Lawyer and National Law Journal.
The essence of the challenge for all law firm marketers is how to make their submissions stand out from the piles of others – what really characterizes your law firm, and what distinguishing features can we write about without drifting into generic “marketing speak”.
The issue of deadlines aroused a lot of interest, with the panel agreed that attitudes to late submissions have hardened lately at legal publishers and rankings organizations.
Finally, we discussed how firms can decide which publications are right for them – a headache for smaller and mid-sized law firms, who are keen to maximize recognition but don’t have the resources to manage a large volume of different surveys, awards and rankings simultaneously.
My thanks to the organizers for what was a stimulating discussion.