MEDIA BUYING GUIDE SERIES - PART 2: STRATEGY
International Law Firm Solutions (ILFS) specialises in helping independent law firms develop the international part of their business. It has a client base of independent law firms in more than 100 jurisdictions. Nearly all of our clients want to raise their international profile and recognise that one way to do this is in the international legal media. However, there are an overwhelming number of opportunities to consider - legal directories, handbooks, comparative guides, monthly and weekly publications and more.
PART 2: OUTLINE OF A MEDIA BUYING STRATEGY
Have a strategy
Having a strategy is essential. If you don’t know where you are trying to get to, you are unlikely to get there. Also ensure that your strategy is aligned with the firm’s marketing goals and strategy as a whole.
There are three main types of strategy that firms follow when trying to build a profile in the international legal media. Firms can follow either one, or a combination of all three:
• Brand recognition
A client looking for a law firm in your jurisdiction probably has a wide range of options. They are far more likely to choose a firm they have heard of particularly if their perceptions of that firm are positive. Essentially this is about making yourself as visible as possible.
• Targeted strategy
This is a determined focus to become recognised as experts in particular practice areas.
• Star billing
This is building a firm’s profile through the reputation and recognition of individual lawyers.
Have a budget
What is an appropriate budget will depend on your firm’s resources, the jurisdiction you are in and what you are trying to achieve. In very small jurisdictions obtaining a ranking in key directories and taking a firm profile may make you the most visible firm in your jurisdiction. In larger jurisdictions it will not make you visible at all.
As a rough benchmark, our experience is that most firms in the 50 - 100 lawyer category spend somewhere between 500 - 1,000 Euros/US$ per individual fee earner. Economies of scale mean that smaller firms are likely to need to spend a little more per lawyer, and firms over 100 lawyers a little less.
It is usually prudent to leave about 20 - 30% of the budget available for opportunities that arise during the year that you may not be aware of when preparing the budget.
Control and coordinate the budget
In many firm’s individual partners can make decisions to buy legal media products – in particular individual profiles – and are targeted directly by the sales teams. In larger firms this could result in tens of thousands of Euros/US$s being spent on products that are of little value to the firm. In other instances, if the purchases were coordinated it might be possible to get a much better value package from some publishers.
If you want to control your budget we would recommend that it is managed centrally and that somebody has the final decision in the firm.
Never forget that whatever products you buy, you will not get much return on the investment unless the content is right. Key points include:
• Good business English
• A clear and consistent statement about the firm
• Clear firm name and logo.
Contact us to see how we can help you get the most from your media strategy: