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Some marketing efforts by law firms deemed ineffectual by law department managers

In-house lawyers want timely, specific information from law firms, not half-page advertisements, “splashing marketing brochures, newsletters and client alerts,” according to a recent piece in GC Cal. Mag., Sept. 4, 2007. Ads seem more intent on creating a favorable image of the firm – a brand image – than passing on useful knowledge. They certainly cost tens of thousands of dollars, but potential buyers aren’t swayed by metaphorical, impressionistic slogans and pictures (See my post of Feb. 19, 2007.).

Newsletters and alerts that are tailored to a specific industry or company, that arrive promptly after a relevant decision or change in the law, and that suggest somewhat specifically what the in-house lawyer should do to respond have higher rates. The article points out that a personal note accompanying the news is also likely to draw attention to the item (See my post of Dec. 17, 2006 on client alerts.).

As to other marketing techniques, the article did not comment (See my posts of July 4, 2006 and Aug. 26, 2005 on law-firm websites; Feb. 12, 2006 on law-firm extranets; Oct. 17, 2005 on surveys conducted by law firms; April 17, 2006 on schwag and lagniappe; and Aug. 5, 2007 about referrals.).