May/June 2003  Volume 29, Issue 4
May/June 2003 Issue
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Technology / Innovating
Practice Development: Clips
The New World of Law Practice Marketing
by Larry Bodine
Mouth-watering marketing, a real dog of a campaign, and an in-house aganecy that really knows how to "imaginate."

Through their stomachs to their hearts. To create a deliciously memorable impression, Baton Rouge's Kean, Miller, Hawthorne, D'Armond, McCowan & Jarman printed a 133-page recipe book and distributed it as a gift to clients and friends of the 100-plus-lawyer firm. Each recipe features the picture, name and practice area of the lawyer who submitted it. Emphasizing Bayou State cuisine, the book includes personal touches such as this: "Kean Miller lawyers are very fond of beverages," says a caption under a photo of four lawyers enjoying Charles McCowan's Bloody Mary recipe. Few readers are able to resist the lawyers' mouth-watering concoctions. (The firm may have to follow up with a client's guide to getting back into shape.)


Barking Out. To break out of the law firm advertising pack, Press Millen convinced his partners at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice in Raleigh, North Carolina, to broadcast ads on commercial news-talk AM radio. Moreover, he got them to agree that the voice of the firm would be "Winston," an imaginary bulldog the firm uses as its logo. "You can imagine it took some selling internally to have a 'Spokesdog'—but our point was to stand out from the crowd," Millen says. The result: Several humorous and standout 30- and 60-second radio spots running in major markets. (Hear samples at www.lawmarketing.com/publications/legalmarketingtech/pub356.cfm.)


"Imaginate" run wild. When Mark Beese arrived as marketing director of Denver's Holland & Hart in 2001, the department was a gutted shell. It consisted of one person, a 13-year-old database and a yearlong backlog of projects. Knowing he had to do something bold, Beese quickly built up a staff and took them on a retreat. The team came up with the idea of creating an in-house marketing agency called "Imaginate"—which has its own logo, brand and Web site, www.imagine-8.com. Within the first 18 months, the agency had installed a client relationship management system, designed a new logo and brand campaign, launched a dozen Web sites, created a proposal center, begun a new client service program, produced an ad campaign—and received national media coverage. "We wanted to lead by example, be creative, responsive and practice what we preach," Beese says. Mission accomplished.


Nonprofit treasure. Solo practitioner Sandra Pfau Englund of Alexandria, Virginia, who specializes in nonprofit organizations, has made the most of the truism "there are riches in niches." Shortly after opening her practice in 1994, she developed a Web site to market her firm. Being an early user of the Web, she was able to secure the descriptive domain name www.nonprofitlaw.com, which is now a very valuable asset. The URL comes to the top of most searches for legal and other information related to her niche market. Englund says she has increased her monthly income by 10 times while simultaneously raising three young children. "Perhaps you really can have it all, all at once … given the right marketing activities," she says.


Larry Bodine ( lbodine@lawmarketing.com) is a Web and Marketing Consultant who advises law firms on how to get more business. Based in Glen Ellyn, IL, he can be reached at (630) 942-0977.