2015 Legal Marketing Conference: Pre-Con Highlights


Here are highlights from Day One of the 2015 Legal Marketing Association (LMA) International Conference:

@LynupSocial is a Social Media agency in San Diego, host city for the 2015 conference.  They shared a Forbes article on recent successful branding campaigns: http://www.forbes.com/sites/womensmedia/2015/04/06/you-should-copy-these-best-marketing-campaigns-of-2014/

@KevinOKeefe of @LexBlog:  The Rise in Social Networks Make(s) Law Blogs Even More Important, http://kevin.lexblog.com/2015/04/12/rise-in-social-networks-make-law-blogs-even-more-important/  LexBlog is an integral part of law marketing and the LMA Conference, and a great resource to follow on Twitter.

@James_Kane was the speaker for this year’s pre-conference CMO Summit.  He discussed relationships, explaining that others will ask: Do I have a sense of trust, belonging, and purpose, emphasizing that Chief Marketing Officers must master creating and cultivating a sense of purpose in others.

CMO Summit:

5 elements that create a sense of trust

  • Others’ expectations
  • Others’ experiences & interactions
  • Others’ biases & heuristics
  • Your reputation
  • Your associations

Familiarity increases likability.  (I’ll add here:  then plan how and when you will approach decision-makers regarding your requests and initiatives and how you will find additional ways to enhance familiarity/comfort levels around those proposals.)

“The more I share with you the more opportunities we have for creative collaboration.” ~ @James_Kane

Do you truly understand what the firm’s partners want, their motivations?  (I’ll add:  if not, or to deepen that understanding, explore how to build strategic relationships within the firm, ask deeper and better follow-up questions.  Plus, rather than asking a main, general question, supplement that question with related criteria that help explain what you seek from the listener or the help demonstrate steps toward the goal.

Kane asked us: “How much push-back at your firm stems from fear?”  THAT is a key question to ask and a common stumbling block between lawyers and creatives.  (I will explore this in a future blog post related to my Entrepreneurial Lawyer philosophy.)

(Perhaps one of the best points of the day…) If you want your current relationships to be better, you need a process for change.

If you don’t share information and contacts for enhanced collaborative business development, you are not Partners, but rather a group of solos.  (As it is spring, I likened this to a team of baseball players who play only their positions…an obvious lack of teamwork.)

Today’s hiring:  seek attorneys with business development aptitude and experience.  That doesn’t just mean a portfolio of business, but the skills to repeat business building and to mentor others in the firm to do the same (to grow a bigger pie for everyone).

@sharperlawyer “Your brand lives in the stories you tell other people…”

@GinaRubel shared from @Heather_Morse:  an apparent power struggle exists at the top of firms where Baby Boomers aren’t retiring and GenXers want to take over.

@roysexton shared a foundational principle of Social Media:  If lawyers should not do something in a face-to-face situation, then they ALSO should not do that on Social Media.  (This point came from @NancyMyrland, a thought-leader on the nexus of law marketing and social media.)

@LMAMidwest echoed the presentation from Weil’s Amy Deschodt on the importance of building social equity so that (your reputation is solid) when things go wrong.  I’ll add:  the time is now to build social currency, i.e. your online reputation.

 @ELampertPR added:  Address the crisis, not the drama.  (Terrific point.  I’ll add something I used in a situation when a leading partner got crosswise with the marketing department:  after the initial blowup, and after I delivered what he had asked of the department, I asked him:  “Are you upset with us or with the situation?”  That question often serves to help me identify a starting point for correction and diffuses the situation.  It also let the partner know that I cared about his needs and the situation, and I wanted to hear his feedback.)

Content Creation:  @StefanieMarrone shared @JohnMByrne’s reminder:  Every piece of content you create should answer:  What do I want my audience to do?  Create content that answers that question.

@Esemmes attended the GC Panel:

1.        “A general law firm alert is spam.  An email from a lawyer with an article is a valuable email.”  I’ll add:  a best practice is to send a short blurb/synopsis in the email with a link back to your web page that hosts the article or to the blog, and those should contain links to the related lawyers’ bios.  Links provide tracking and drive people to other valuable content on your site.  Links help you tell a broader story of capabilities.

2.        “Where are these client feedback programs?  I’ve never had a law firm ask us what we think.”  Really?  This still goes on?  It’s amazing that many firms still shy away from implementing periodic client feedback programs.  Please overcome the fear - riches lie in seeking client feedback.  Ages ago, while at Gardere Wynne in Dallas, our marketing department collaborated with the partnership to outline a client feedback survey.  Together we identified clients, the internal process, and the manner of contacting and surveying the clients.  In some instances an attorney and marketing representative conducted the surveys, in others it was done solely by the marketer.  The results were fruitful and full of positive and negative feedback - all actionable items.  Plus, (with client permission) we leveraged the positive comments into a successful advertising campaign.  The key here:  the clients felt like they were heard. 

A healthy reminder from Jamie Mulholland via @apotter42:  Get Out Of the Office.  From Brian Dyson, former Vice Chair & COO of Coca-Cola.  https://changingwinds.wordpress.com/2010/09/03/how-many-balls-can-you-juggle-30-seconds-of-impeccable-sense-from-brian-dyson/.  Work is a ball that will bounce.  The others - family, friends, health, spirit – are made of glass.

The LMA conference officially kicks off today with more targeted sessions.  I will summarize and post those subsequently.

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