Over the past decade the idea of a law firm marketing director, or even a Chief Marketing Officer, has become more and more popular with mid-size, and sometimes even small, firms. While the title may vary (communications director, marketing manager, etc…) the goal remains the same-to help attorneys further their marketing goals, both individually and firm wide. Though it may seem like one more person to work into an already busy day, developing a relationship with your marketing director may be one of the smartest things you can do on your business development journey. Not only are most marketing directors experienced in creating marketing strategy and copy, they often bring with them connections to organizations, writers, reporters and editors. Here we present five ways to further your relationship…
Let Them Get To Know You
Rather than treating a marketing director as just another firm member you pass in the hallway, find the time to sit down and develop a relationship. Don’t just forward your resume via e-mail, schedule a meeting (or a lunch) where you can tell them about yourself and your background in your own words. Speaking with you and hearing about your goals and accomplishments can help spark ideas that a resume cannot.
Get To Know Them
It’s a simple truth of all social interactions-you’re more likely to go out of your way for someone you have a personal connection to. Nurture your relationship. Send them interesting articles you come across, stop by their office and say hello, and return their calls and emails in a prompt manner. In other words, treat them like a client-or better!
Ask For Help
Don’t forget that a marketing director’s job is to help you so don’t be afraid to ask. Need help re-writing your biography? Ask. Need to polish up an article for publication? Ask. Wondering how your speech for next week’s conference sounds? Ask. It’s their job to help you present yourself and the firm in the best light possible, and having a non-lawyer critique your work can only benefit the final product.
Be clear about what you want.
Marketing directors aren’t mind readers…they can’t help you unless they know exactly what you want out of your marketing time. If you’re not comfortable in front of a crowd they can brainstorm ideas on where to get you published. If you’re looking for the spotlight, they can often submit your name for recognition in regional or national lists of top lawyers. And if there is a topic in the news that you can expertly comment on they can get in front of a camera…or reporter. The more specific you are about your goals, knowledge and strengths, the easier it will be for your marketing director to work on your behalf.
Let them do their job.
You would never send your marketing director into the courtroom, so don’t tread in their territory either. Seeking their advice should be at the top of your mind when marketing opportunities arise. Most people in that position have a strong background of their own and can guide you in the right direction, or even take some of the work off your hands. If you don’t want or need their help with a project, at least inform them of what you’re working on, whether it be a meeting with a reporter or a local “SuperLawyers” list. A simple email mentioning the initiative can do wonders to nurture your relationship and build respect between you both.
Your relationship with your firm marketing director can be one of the most fruitful partnerships in business development. By working together you can maximize your time and energy while furthering both the firm’s marketing agenda and your own.