Thursday, February 15, 2007

Law Firm Marketers -- Learn to Be Switzerland

Every firm has a culture -- part politics, part personalities, part skills, clients, staff, life, world... whatever. Within reason I believe it is the mission of law firm marketers to remain neutral within a firm to the ebbs and flow of internal politics! Marketers need to be Switzerland -- the country famous for remaining outside the fray.

Recently I embarked on a marketing project that involved both clients and partners at my firm. I created a list of clients that best represented the message I am targeted at communicating. I based all of my selections on what I believe (through knowledge and studies) the market needed to hear from us (the firm). Once I had this larger list put together my mission became gaining consensus from the partners of the firm on which client/partner teams to finally include.

From my list partners were able to identify trouble candidates. This included clients on the ropes, clients with problems that would conflict with our "image", and attorneys that were currently in conflict with the "norm" of what is accepted within the firm. Certainly this is a touchy area.

My firm in particular is wonderful at keeping attorneys on-board in challenging times. Our success and retention speaks for itself. But not every attorney is perfect at every moment. That's why marketers should remain neutral to internal politics. We need to present the best programs for our markets -- politics and/or culture are best left with those truly in its grasp.

Through their knowledge of the current politics a marketer can arrive at the perfect list for right now. Give it a few months and it might be entirely different. What matters is that by remaining neutral marketing can gain the right result in the right moment for both the firm and the markets we pursue.