More than 1,100 professionals recently attended the Legal Marketing Association’s annual conference (Twitter hashtag #LMA14) to collaborate, contemplate and commiserate about the opportunities and challenges inherent in legal marketing.
I find great value in the relationships I have developed and the programs I attended at the conference. I also find value in the candor and diversity of our members. Many times, we feel like we’re preaching to the choir: “Here we are again, talking about competitive intelligence, business development, niche marketing, return on investments, effective content marketing, the importance of CRM systems and automation, effective pricing strategies, a strategic planning mindset for long-term growth and sustainability, the personality traits of lawyers, and so on.”
Here is a compilation of just a few of the post-event blog posts that I encourage lawyers and legal marketers to read.
In The Legal Watercooler blog, Heather Morse (@heather_morse) shares “Personally Yours, From the Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference” (http://goo.gl/fgugFS). She does a wonderful job of explaining the camaraderie and thought leadership shared by the global talent in the legal marketing industry. Morse also highlights the education and networking opportunities, the need for more personalized attorney biographies, thought leadership and takeaways from Kat Cole’s keynote. Jim Jarrell (@JimJarrell) shares a great recap of Cole’s program, too: “Inspiration Into Action: ‘If Not Me Then Who? If Not Now Then When?’” (http://goo.gl/suzaKH).
If you haven’t heard of Cole, she is the president of Cinnabon Inc. and is now on my short list of favorite speakers. Cole (aka @katcoleatl on Twitter) told her story of success and leadership in a way that was both entertaining and moving. Morse aptly recaps it in her blog.
Tim Corcoran (@tcorcoran), LMA’s president, was an energetic host. His insights as a big business CEO and law practice management expert add value to every legal marketing conversation. His latest blog, “Ceding the Stage–Lessons in Leadership” (http://goo.gl/tV8zdz), addresses compensation structures for law firms. While most lawyers don’t accept the correlation between compensation and marketing, suffice it to say that it is often impossible to get busy lawyers to invest time in business development if there is either no inherent financial benefit to do so or if compensation for origination is at the sole discretion of the managing partner. Corcoran’s post is worth a read for lawyers who want to move away from the old-school, traditional way of thinking.
I recapped my LMA presentation with Kim Huggins, president of K HR Solution, on “Emotional Intelligence and Inter-Generational Communications” (http://goo.gl/vyz2sH) on The PR Lawyer blog. The most important thing to remember is that every person is shaped by his or her life experiences. Knowing what those life experiences are will help you determine the most effective way to communicate with colleagues, clients, prospective clients, the media and service providers of different age groups.
Mark Beese (@mbeese) wrote “What’s the Buzz With Legal Marketing?” (http://goo.gl/2aWB4V), discussing the new normal, pricing as a component of legal marketing, clever client apps worth considering for law firms, generations in the workplace, and niche marketing. Beese was also inducted into the LMA Hall of Fame during the conference.
For those law firms reluctant to invest in LMA for their in-house marketers or reluctant to invest in the professional development of their in-house marketers, I urge you to revisit LMA as a firm investment. I cannot tell you enough how important it is for your marketing staff to learn from and interact with the professionals at LMA.
Gina F. Rubel is the owner of Furia Rubel Communications Inc., an integrated marketing and public relations agency with a niche in legal marketing. Rubel and her agency have won national awards for law firm marketing, PR, website and graphic design, social media, strategic planning, corporate philanthropy and leadership. She maintains a blog at www.ThePRLawyer.com, is a contributor to The Legal Intelligencer Blog, AVVO Lawyernomics and The Huffington Post. You can find her on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/ginafuriarubel or follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ginarubel. For more information, go to www.FuriaRubel.com.