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Monday, January 17, 2011

Power of Positive Press

Guest blogger Lauren Black Currin is the President of Lawyers Marketing Agency. While this post talks about law firm marketing, it is relevant to almost all businesses.

Did you know that March 6-12, 2011 is National Consumer Protection Week? So, you run a law firm; why am I telling you about a nationally sponsored campaign run by the U.S. government and various non-profit agencies?

National Consumer Protection Week

There are hundreds of annual community-focused events just like this one that present a great opportunity to promote your law firm through your participation. These events run the gamut from National Safety Awareness Month to Perennial Gardening Month. Choosing and supporting an event that works for your law firm and staff gives you the opportunity to promote a cause and garner positive publicity for your law firm.

Many of the sponsors of these national “event days” will have press kits that you can utilize to showcase your efforts. For example, National Consumer Protection Week offers press release templates, re-usable social networking content, free flyers and even web buttons and banners you can use on your website to spread the word. In another great example, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides planners, brochures, research data and video clips to help you promote their Share the Road ( motorcycle safety program (a great idea for you PI attorneys out there).

The first thing to do is decide on a cause to support. Get buy-in from everyone to build the “buzz”, and then start planning. Allow 60-90 days to plan and implement, just to be safe. Things to consider:
  • Website content and updates
  • Publications you might use, i.e., links you can place on your website, a downloadable “tips” PDF or a printed brochure you’ll distribute
  • Include information about your event in your newsletter and blog
  • Involve your clients and those on your prospect list
  • Plan related seminars or other events
  • Write one (or more) press releases to be distributed and add them to your website
  • Include a link to the event page on your website everywhere possible
  • Make it meaningful and have fun

Finally, use your employees and their networks to promote your sponsorship of the event by having them comment on their Facebook and Twitter pages so their friends, family and other contacts all hear about it. If all goes well, this can be an annual event that your staff and clients will look forward to! This type of human interest story and positive press allows people to get to know you and builds that all so important connection. Need more ideas? Just give us a call!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Perception vs. Reality

Do your clients see your business the same way you do? In many cases, we proceed under the assumption that our perceptions of ourselves and our firms or businesses match those of our clients and prospects. But that is not always the case.

What happens when there is a “disconnect” between our perceptions and those of the client/prospect? From a business perspective, the client/prospect view of our company IS “reality”. When business drops off, there is a shift in client demographics, or marketing/advertising efforts no longer work, it may be time to see if there is a gap between who we perceive ourselves to be and “reality”.

Identifying gaps begins with research. Here are just a few of the things you can review to see if there might be an issue:

  • Ask. It sounds simple, but it is not always easy to do this. Many people are reluctant to ask others for what may be an uncomfortable truth. And the clients or former clients may not want to be honest for fear of hurting feelings or burning bridges. A third party source doing the asking helps.
  • Get input from your employees – including lower level folks. This must be done by a third-party to ensure confidentiality and promote honest answers. You might also ask your vendors what they hear from others about your firm.
  • Analyze. Pull out all the statistical information you have on your business over the past two to five years and look at what the data is telling you. Make sure you factor in trends and external changes.
  • Look at your primary competition. Note that this may not be the same group of businesses who were your competitors two years ago.

We can help you find out where you have gaps between your customer’s experience and what you believe you are delivering. vitalink offers competitive and market research, conducts confidential surveys, analyzes your current business focus and presents a strategic marketing plan to move your business forward – making sure that you are on-target and your message is on-point. Contact us to learn more.

The Expert Speakers has added this topic to the roster as well. Perception vs. Reality: Close the Gaps to do More Business addresses the challenges businesses have when their own perceptions do not match those of the client or prospect.


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