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. 


Continue Reading Legal Marketers – Let’s Raise the Bar

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! 


Continue Reading LMA Annual Conference – A Quick Debrief

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.


Continue Reading The Evolution of the Law Firm Brand – an LMA 2012 Re-Cap

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.”


Continue Reading Creating a Culture of Client Service Excellence – an LMA 2012 Re-cap

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!


Continue Reading Social Media is Here to Stay – An LMA 2012 Re-cap Part II

You may have guessed that I have a certain fondness for social media. I’ve touted its benefits here before, so it should come as no surprise that I headed straight for the social media session while I was at the LMA Annual Conference in Dallas a couple of weeks ago.

Before I get into the nitty gritty of the presentation from the panelists and my thoughts, I’ll share what the CMO of Nixon Peabody said during the session – “The most significant thing a marketing department can do in 2012 is to develop a social media strategy.”

These are bold words from an industry that was still wondering whether social media had staying power only last year. And I couldn’t agree more. Although, I would go a step further than that and say that rather than creating a separate strategy, social media should instead be used to enhance and drive existing strategies and projects. If the tweets coming from the other breakout sessions were any indication, all of them were mentioning social media in conjunction with their topics – the possibilities for using it for law firms are exciting and valuable.


Continue Reading Social Media is Here to Stay – An LMA 2012 Re-cap Part I

Yesterday, we talked about the first half of Jim Kane’s keynote presentation at the 2012 Legal Marketing Association’s Annual Conference. Now, let’s jump into the second part!

The Stages of Love

After discussing the various levels of relationships, Jim moved on to talk about the stages of love – the first stage is attraction, which is contextual and about recognizing something familiar in the other person. We desire what is familiar and what we aspire to. In the legal industry, this is known as “marketing.” Our job as marketers is to understand what attraction is for our various audiences – in particular, to understand that one size doesn’t fit all.

The second stage of love is passion – every new relationship needs something different than the existing relationships – they need to feel passion. Though Jim cautioned “Don’t bring technology into a relationship too soon – it makes you appear creepy."


Continue Reading LMA2012 – Finding our Inspiration, Part II

Every year, one of the primary reasons that marketers give for attending the LMA’s Annual Conference is the sense of inspiration that they come back to the office with after the conference is over. Meeting with like-minded people, dealing with the same pressures that we all have, and finding creative solutions to meet the challenges of our clients is a surefire recipe for returning to the office with more than one good idea to implement.

As with any conference, some of the sessions will be inspiring, others will be necessary, and still others will be lacking a little something. This year, we were lucky to start out with a bang, first hearing from the LMA’s Executive Director, Betsi Roach, followed by LMA President Alycia Sutor. And the real kickoff to the conference started with James Kane’s keynote speech.

Before I get into their comments, I will say that I’m coming a bit late to the game here on the re-caps. A few people have already shared their comments about the sessions, and I’m working a bit out of order. But since I’m never one to keep my own experiences to myself, I’m hoping you’ll find value in my re-cap as well.


Continue Reading LMA2012 – Finding our Inspiration, Part I

In my last post, we talked about the first part of the client panel session from the Legal Marketing Association’s Annual Meeting, with panelists Jeff Carr of FMC Technologies, Janet Dhillon of J.C. Penney and Ron Barger of the Archon Group. The second part of the session was equally as valuable as the first.

One of the interesting points that the panelists made during their comments was that they need their attorneys to elicit the real end game from them – they went as far as to suggest that attorneys should ask them directly “What does ‘winning’ mean to you?” Jeff said lawyers need to get their clients to be specific, because they often won’t volunteer that information.

He joked that business development is like a relationship – people don’t get better with time. They’re on their best behavior in the “marketing phase,” so attorneys need to get past that, and force their clients to be specific about the results that they want.


Continue Reading Change or Die? A General Counsel Panel – Part II

A few days ago, I offered my initial recap of the general counsel panel that we were treated to at this year’s Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference, focusing on some key quotes from the session. Now, let’s get into the meat of the panel, where even more value is to be found.

The one overriding thought I had (and I was not alone if you listened to the tweet stream) was that year after year, we’re hearing the same comments and advice from general counsel. What does that mean? It means that law firms STILL aren’t listening to what their clients really want. 

In the past, this has been manageable, because the economy was thriving and there was plenty of work to be going around. But now, as Jeff Carr of FMC Technologies warns:

There will be new business models that come into place. We’ll build them if you won’t. We don’t need YOU to survive. We need the [legal] industry to survive."


Continue Reading Change or Die? A General Counsel Panel – Part I