A long-established, 60-year old law firm ended up with such a low profile that it wasn’t being asked to submit proposals to businesses and local government in its own community.
A mid-sized suburban Toronto law firm had no public profile. In 1948, the founders of the firm had been prominent civic leaders. Although the firm grew, by 2005 — nearly three generations later — its name meant nothing even in its own community: No reputation, no prestige, no cachet.
In fact, there was very little awareness of the firm and the type of legal work it did. And the competition was catching up.
Finally, when the law firm discovered it was being excluded from bidding for ongoing legal work of important businesses and government clients, it realized it had a significant profile problem.
Re-build the awareness and reputation of the law firm as an important legal resource for businesses in Ontario’s third-largest city.
We prepared an annual public relations plan, with a heavy emphasis on media relations and placing articles written by the lawyers. The plan targeted community newspapers, B2B trade magazines, local TV opportunities as well as law publications.
We prepared a short-list of lawyers who could speak to media or write articles on an ongoing basis, showcasing their expertise in their respective areas of practice. We then worked with the lawyers to develop and refine emerging story ideas that would interest relevant media.
We pitched stories to the media on an on-going basis. We helped lawyers write the articles or prepare for broadcast interviews after editors and producers agreed to do the story.
Selected lawyers were given media training to help them understand how the media works, how reporters think and, most importantly, how to answer questions from reporters, editors and producers.
By 2008, awareness of the law firm was climbing rapidly. The managing partner and senior lawyers began getting favorable comments from clients and prospects such as “We saw your article” and “We saw you on TV.”
By 2010, the firm not only was invited to “beauty contests,” it was specifically invited to bid on the legal work of important corporations based in the community along with municipal government. The firm landed several new high-profile clients and projects that had a positive impact on fees and profitability.