Sunday, June 01, 2008

Marketing Your Firm vs. Promoting Your People

There are a lot of ways to spend your marketing dollar -- some tactics work really well to extend the brand of your firm while other activities work to promote an individual. It is important to understand which tactic is best used for either. Here is my short list:

Promoting Your Firm - Activities that raise awareness of your firm at-large more than building the brand of an individual.
  • Sponsorship of associations, events, award dinners, etc.
  • Advertising in business journals, daily's, newsletters, program guides, etc. (even when the add features an individual).
  • Practice or firm specific newsletters unless the newsletter "sent from" line is from an individual to an individual where a relationship already exists.
  • Charitable contributions and sponsorships of community activities by your firm (even when championed by a specific partner)
  • Press releases highlighting high-notes, transactions, firm landmarks, etc.
  • Tombstone announcements
  • Firm web site
Promoting an Individual - Activities that implant the memory of a person more than an impression of your firm.
  • Boondoggles (private dinners, poker parties, golf, etc.)
  • Podium time beyond making introductions
  • Subject area expertise time as a panelist or keynote
  • Participation on key committees for industry, profession or community organizations
  • Personal notes and announcements sent to existing contacts and referral resources
  • Breaking bread (lunch and breakfast meetings, etc.)
  • Blogging
  • Practice or firm specific newsletters when the "sent from" line is from a professional to a professional where a relationship already exists.
Obviously there is crossover in some of the bullets above but, if you have a promotional goal in mind (firm or individual recognition) try to stick to a tactic with the best chance of accomplishing its mission.