Recently, I was on a conference call with a law firm to discuss industry groupings on websites. Currently, this law firm does not have this functionality, but was considering it (hence the call).
One of the callers, the CMO, was notably averse to attempting this. After some prodding, he described how groups of lawyers at his firm claim they’ve started a new group and request funds to attend a (expensive) conference on the subject, on the firm’s dime. This tactic has, obviously, left a bad taste in his mouth, and was understandingly hesitant about starting that discussion within his firm.
After explaining that having industry groupings isn’t necessarily the equivalent of creating new practice groups, internally, but rather the grouping of related practice areas in an industry, he felt better and was then open to using industry groups on their website.
This got me thinking about perspective and experience. We’re all individuals – we come from different backgrounds and have had different experiences – so it can be hard to understand reactions to topics most legal marketers think are “no-brainers.”
Believe it or not, legal marketers, there are times when lawyers have valid concerns that stem from experiences; ones that aren’t gut reactions (read: aversions to marketing). So before you become frustrated with the “no” reaction, ask what experiences made them react that way. Clarify your objectives. Ask under what circumstances your idea would make sense. Do everything but chalk it up to ignorance. Being on opposing sides causes nothing but conflict – and in law firms, we want cohesiveness and unity when it comes to marketing programs and tactics.
Who knows—maybe we’ll come to understand each other one day.