The coronavirus pandemic has changed life as we knew it. Among our many stresses today is the fear of the unknown, both personally and professionally. Even if our current work situation is stable, could that change in the coming months?
Legal professionals and their marketing teams may feel especially vulnerable during this time. Too often, marketing resources and activities are scaled back first when organizations need to make budget adjustments. While we can argue about whether that approach is the right one, it’s the reality for many.There are some things you can do to elevate your visibility, promote your value and keep your contributions relevant and necessary.
1. Revisit your 2020 marketing plan to confirm whether the goals and objectives identified at the start of the year are still achievable. Beyond changing some activities based on what opportunities are now available, you may need to revisit and redefine what you’re even trying to accomplish. Don’t pursue goals that are no longer realistic, but do stay focused where it makes sense. Determine what activities can stay on track to continue working toward the goals that are still achievable.
2. Be opportunistic. Marketers are well-connected within their organizations, so talk to people with direct client contact to stay in tune with what they’re hearing. Help identify services already being provided to clients that address a pain point associated with remote working, for example, but haven’t been formally introduced or promoted.
Identify relevant, timely topics that leverage your firm’s strengths or expertise and use them for educational or thought leadership purposes. Produce new content such as articles, webinars, podcasts or blog posts and promote them both through your existing channels or via third parties.
Or perhaps there is a new solution within the realm of what your firm offers that could easily be developed and brought to market to solve a new problem related to the COVID-19 situation. Just be smart in how you promote it — be helpful without appearing opportunistic.
3. Assume a leadership role in your firm’s overall communication strategy. Start by revisiting your key messages to ensure they are relevant — now more than ever, you don’t want anything to come across as tone-deaf. Then, be a resource to your organization and advise or collaborate with colleagues to address various audiences:
- Assist human resources and other firm leaders with internal and partner communications. Your knowledge and expertise can provide thoughtfulness and consistency in the timing and content of messages shared with employees and partners. Both audiences need assurance, and you can help provide it with clear, compassionate and impactful communications.
- Help employees who may have extra time now by promoting opportunities for their professional development. Certifications are valuable as you work to elevate the organization’s credibility in the marketplace.
- Firms often employ diverse professionals with varying degrees of sales acumen — some may need no support, but others may need a lot.
- Clients want assurances about things that may impact the services they’re paying for, so help ensure clarity and consistency in messaging. From email copy to talking points for phone conversations, partners and others must be well-equipped to convey key information as needed.
- Provide tips for successful virtual connections in the absence of in-person meetings. Does their home office provide a nice backdrop for video calls? Does their email signature contain all relevant contact info? Is their LinkedIn profile up to date? Do they need a more professional photo? Their success during this time will be the firm’s success, so help them make a positive impression.
4. Keep your organization visible to the industry at large. Identify relevant, timely topics that leverage your firm’s strengths or expertise and use them for educational or thought leadership purposes. Produce new content such as articles, webinars, podcasts or blog posts, and promote them both through your existing channels and via third parties. Now is not the time to go quiet, and your PR team can help.
This is a scary situation for everyone. But legal professionals and marketers can elevate themselves by taking advantage of knowledge, skills and relationships. Know your value, and use it to be strategic, opportunistic and helpful and to keep your firm visible through this uncertain time.
Senior Account Manager
Edge Legal Marketing
Jennifer Marsnik is a Senior Account Manager with Edge Legal Marketing. She specializes in helping clients develop and implement strategic marketing plans that support their overall business goals.