This morning, I had the pleasure of speaking with my fellow co-leaders in the Legal Marketing Association’s Social Media Special Interest Group (LMA Social Media SIG for short). Our main purpose was to debrief on our group’s activities at the conference, to see what worked well and what didn’t, but by virtue of the conversation, we ended up talking about the conference in general and some of the anecdotal feedback that we’d heard. 

One of the interesting points that was raised was it had been suggested that the Zappos session, bringing in an outside-of-the-industry speaker, was either loved or hated. Loved, because, as I’ve mentioned before, it was excellent, or hated because people didn’t understand how a customer-driven organization like Zappos could have any relevance to legal marketing. 

Sigh. 


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It’s been a week since I returned home from the LMA’s Annual Conference, and I’m still digesting everything that went on there – it was a non-stop whirlwind of networking, meetups with social media friends and ILN marketers, face-time with new attendees, and conference sessions (as well as a LOT of food). LMA served its purpose once again though, and I’ve returned to the office with new vigor, feeling more inspired than when I left! Even better for this Social Media Special Interest Group Co-Leader? Not only did I get to see my friends and make new connections face to face, but #LMA13 was trending on Twitter! (Pictured are fellow co-leaders Gail Lamarche of Henderson Franklin and Nancy Myrland, Myrland Marketing with me. Not pictured are Lance Godard of JD Supra, who was unable to join us, and Laura Toledo, Tenrec, who was ill). 

There will be several recap posts to come, but while I’m still ruminating on those, I thought I’d share with you my three favorite sessions, as well as what’s on my reading list now that I’ve returned home. Keep an eye out for the recaps on these sessions! 


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Social media is the perfect medium for someone like me – someone who’s an introvert, a bit on the shy side, and prefers to have the safety of being behind a computer screen rather than face-to-face. 

But if you’re using social media to be…well, social…and you’d like it to lead to business development opportunities, you’ve got to take it offline. While it’s possible to build relationships online, and to nurture them there, you cannot discount the benefit to meeting someone face-to-face. 

A conference is the perfect opportunity for this, and I’ll tell you a story about how social media has enriched my conference experience at the Legal Marketing Association’s Annual Meeting (which I’m currently en-route to – I love airplane wifi!). 


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There were so many good tidbits that came out of our LMA New Jersey meeting last week! Amy Adams shared her comments on the session she attended about mentoring associates in business development.

Amy’s comments were particularly helpful, because she’s speaking from the perspective of an in-house marketer, so she’s implementing the advice from the Annual Meeting in her daily activities. Using a phrase from the SMORS session, Amy said she’s deploying a pilot program for mentoring – she’s identified a couple of partners who work well with associates, and using the formula of one partner to four associates. 


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I’ve been so excited that the LMA has formed a NJ city group of the NY chapter, and it’s been wonderful to connect in person with other legal marketing colleagues outside of the Annual Conference. Last night, we met up again to re-cap the LMA conference for those in the group that hadn’t been able to attend.  I added my experiences, but was able to learn a lot from Wilentz’s Amy Adams and Corcoran Consulting Group’s Tim Corcoran, who shared about sessions that I had missed. 

One of the sessions that Amy re-capped was taken from the pre-conference SMORS session – Smart Marketing on (Limited) Resources. She focused mostly on the presentation on managing your workload and gave us some valuable tips: 

  • Understand your firm’s culture – this can take time. 
  • Know who the influencers at your firm are – even the discontented ones (especially the discontented ones).
  • Identify where you can delegate your workflow, even outside of the marketing department. 
  • Put in face-time with your clients – email is not always sufficient. 
  • Use the words "pilot program" to launch something new – attorneys are more comfortable if it sounds like the firm won’t be overly invested. 
  • Use checklists and shared calendar reminders to communicate what you’re doing to the partners. 
  • Uncover the true motivation behind why a partner wants to do something to find out where your time is best spent. 


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We’re getting underway this evening with the ILN’s 24th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. Tomorrow, as I do at all of our meetings, I will be presenting to our attorneys and I thought what better topic to discuss than that of client satisfaction? 

My presentation is based on the client panel from LMA’s Annual Conference this year, and you get the first look! 


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My final session of the first day of the conference was “The Evolution of the Law Firm Brand: How to Promote the Individual Attorneys within the Parameters of the Firm’s Brand.” Panelists included Aden Dauchess, the Director of Digital Media with Womble Carlyle, Robert Algeri, Partner of Great Jakes Marketing, Joe Calve, the CMO for Morrison & Foerster, and Peter Winzig, the Director of Marketing and Corporate Development for Weltman, Weinberg & Reis. The panel was moderated by Adrian Dayton, CEO of Adrian Dayton & Associates.

The room was quickly filled with interested attendees, and soon it was not only standing room only, but full enough to turn people away.


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The final session that I attended during the LMA Conference this year was “Creating a Culture of Client Service Excellence” with Leonardo Inghilleri, the EVP and Managing Partner of West Paces Consulting.

I was a few minutes late to the session, and the energy in the room felt a bit low, so I was initially concerned I may have chosen the wrong session. But I was quickly proven wrong as Leonardo provided us with fabulous insight and an interesting perspective that proved most valuable.

As his bio on the LMA Conference website states:

"Leonardo Inghilleri is a recognized business expert and author, and an opinion leader in the area of organizational effectiveness and strategies, client service excellence, and business innovation. As one of the key architects behind the Ritz-Carlton’s two Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards, he has first-hand experience in creating a culture of client service excellence. During this session, you will learn about proven techniques that will help your firm improve the quality of the relationships with your clients. Leonardo will share the concepts and practices that will help to create and maintain the kind of client service environment that can produce strong bottom line results.”


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Yesterday, we covered the first part of the social media session from the Legal Marketing Association’s Annual Conference. Today, let’s jump into part two! 

Next up, on the panel we had Melissa Croteau, the CMO of Nixon Peabody. Her role on the panel was to talk about how a large firm handles social media. Nixon Peabody started using social media in 2009, beginning with Twitter. They currently have 2,500 regular followers, with a majority of those being media.

Because I’m always trying to follow the tweet stream, as well as live tweet, when I’m at a conference, I also was keeping an eye on the tweets coming out of other sessions. From another session at the same time, Russell Lawson posted what turned out to be a timely suggestion for our group as well – he noted that journalists are using their Twitter stream to find interesting or out of the ordinary story ideas, so firms shouldn’t post the same old thing all the time. If Nixon Peabody has so many media followers, they must be adhering to this idea already!


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