Thursday, April 03, 2014

Discussing Inter-Generational Communication at the Legal Marketing Association

By Gina F. Rubel

During my presentation at the Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference in Orlando this week, I had the opportunity to speak alongside Kim Huggins, CEO of K HR Solutions, Inc. on Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and the Four Generations in the Workplace. We spoke about how legal marketers can harness their EQ and an understanding of generational similarities and differences to be more affective managing their marketing teams and getting the lawyers they serve to embrace marketing and new technologies.

One of my favorite parts of the program was when we broke out into groups to talk about how we, as marketers, could handle various scenarios.

Scenario 1: Lawyer Doesn't Know What a Podcast Is

You have landed an interview for one of your senior attorneys with a well-known online publication that also records and podcasts the interviews. This outlet reaches your firm’s target audience. How can you use emotional intelligence and generational understanding to successfully solicit buy-in from the attorney who doesn’t know what a podcast is?

Audience suggestions included:

  • Have a reference point; provide examples to demonstrate the reach the podcast will have and the relevant demographics it will reach
  • Explain how the attorney can repurpose the video and how it enhances the law firm brand 
  • Demonstrate value and explain limited costs 
  • Share the benefits - i.e. “what’s in it for me”
  • Provide the attorney with case studies of other lawyers who have successfully leveraged podcasts in order to demonstrate peer validation 
  • Play off of the attorney's competitive spirit by giving examples of competitors using podcasts 
  • Make the attorney comfortable by providing coaching and media training so he or she is confident when using the medium
Scenario 2: Managing Partner Believes all Law Firm Business Comes From Referrals and Word-of-Mouth

You have been asked why the firm’s website “doesn’t show up” in search engine rankings. You have decided that one way to increase SEO is to have all of the attorneys create robust LinkedIn profiles, take ownership and complete their Avvo profiles and join JD Supra. How can you use emotional intelligence and generational understanding in your law firm to successfully solicit buy-in from the managing partner who believes that all of the business comes from word-of-mouth and referrals?

The attendees who worked on this scenario almost all decided that the managing partner was a Baby Boomer. Here's how they decided to tackle this opportunity:
  • Have an agenda to meet with the managing partner to discuss SEO 
  • Define what SEO is - many don't understand the term 
  • Demonstrate the value of SEO and why it matters
  • Educate the managing partner on how to accomplish SEO 
  • Demonstrate the ROI of various platforms including LinkedIn, Avvo and JD Supra
  • Feed into the competitive nature of lawyers by highlighting what other lawyer influencers are doing
  • Share successes internally 
  • Utilize engagement tools 
  • Demonstrate competitive intelligence 
  • Provide time management resources and tools 
  • Give the managing partner an action plan 
  • Follow up with the managing partner to secure buy-in
One of the things I enjoyed most about this program was hearing from the smart attendees, all of whom are in the trenches of legal marketing every day. We shared great ideas, we sometimes commiserated, and we always came up with ways to approach legal marketing more effectively.

If you want to follow our conversation, jump on Twitter and check out the hashtag #LMA14.

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