Communicating your firm’s legal directories success is essential.
After all, legal marketers spend a huge amount of time preparing submissions, setting up interviews, dealing with queries, and managing the process.
Once the directories are released, you should shout from the rooftops about your achievements.
That’s the whole point – to emphasize your credentials, so that clients, prospects, referral sources, your own firm’s lawyers, staff, and potential hires, can appreciate the strength and quality of your firm.
The problem is that every law firm says exactly the same thing.
Not much has changed in 15 years:
- New directory is published
- Prepare internal rankings summary
- Share internal summary
- Place version of summary on firm website
- Bash out to media contacts
So as well as firm-wide communications, there’s an additional wave of updates and tweets from practice groups and individual lawyers touting their credentials.
Below are some typical examples of law firm post-directory communications:
- Law Firm Ranked Highly in 2013 Chambers USA Guide
- 42 Practice Area Rankings for Law Firm in Legal 500 U.S
- Chambers USA Recognizes Law Firm as Top Firm in U.S
- Legal 500 Ranks 39 Law Firm Practices as U.S. Leaders
- Law Firm Earns Record-Breaking Recognition From Chambers
That’s just the headlines – there’s barely a cigarette paper between the main text from firm to firm.
Maybe I’m being unfair and there are some firms mixing it up out there, but from what I can see, 99% of the announcements look the same.
I should make it clear: there’s nothing wrong with doing these announcements.
I’ve prepared hundreds of such summaries, press releases and internal announcements over the years, complete with a myriad of data analysis.
For legal market analysts like me, and managing partners and marketing directors who love to benchmark their firm, this stuff is interesting and relevant.
But we’re not buyers – or prospective buyers – of legal services.
The aim of external communications like this should be to differentiate your firm in some way – especially in professional services where superficially most lawyers do much the same thing.
However, there’s no way that anyone other than insiders and legal business geeks could distinguish between Firm A with 124 recommendations and Firm B with 79 rankings.
For external audiences, firms need to adopt a more imaginative approach to highlighting their legal directory successes if they are to stand out.
Admittedly, there is limited scope here – the standard-format announcement isn’t going to go away, but why not adapt with some creative use of media?
Here’s a few ideas:
- Rather than a bland quote from the managing partner, what about a one-minute YouTube/Vimeo video interview referencing the directory rankings, but setting them in the context of the firm’s overall performance in the last year
- If video is too much of a stretch, how about a short audio clip on SoundCloud summarizing some of the key developments in the firm over the last year, but hooked off the directory achievements
- Why not interview one of the attorneys who was newly listed, and ask them to describe some of their practice highlights from the last 12 months
There’s plenty of legal marketers who could pull this off.
Personal stories are much more powerful and persuasive than just a gushing press release with a barrage of numbers.