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What’s new on the frontlines of law practice development and marketing

FROM: April / May 2005, PAGE 6 BY: Robert W. Denney

One Rockin’ Office Tour

To announce the relocation of its Orange County office, Preston Gates put together a virtual open house and office tour that has more in common with rock videos than with traditional law firm advertising. Clocking in at less than two minutes, it glides viewers through the firm’s practice areas and gives an inside look at the new office space. The firm sent an e-mail link to clients, prospects and colleagues inviting them to take the virtual tour, and it has been very effective in capturing viewers’ imaginations. “Feedback from clients has been overwhelmingly positive,” says David J. Perry, managing partner of the new Orange County office. The initial project took just over a month from conception to completion and cost approximately $5,000. View the flash video file at www.prestongates.com/OC_2004/yesFlash.htm.

Online Club for Clients

Baker Botts in Houston has an online club for clients—in the form of its Texas Industry Project extranet for 60 companies represented by the firm’s environmental practice. Members include companies in the oil, gas, paper, electric, petrochemical and semiconductor industries. Prospective members can get one month of free access to the extranet, so they can view the list of members, get daily information updates and review all the legal projects underway. In the past the firm sent clients 2-inch-thick monthly information packets. Now Baker Botts can issue bite-size e-mail updates focusing only on the particular issues clients are following. What an excellent magnet for drawing in business.

“Go-To” Branding

Alan S. Becker of Becker & Poliakoff in Ft. Lauderdale won the 2005 Marketing Initiative of the Year award at the Marketing Partner Forum. In response to the four devastating hurricanes that hit Florida during a six-week period last year, the firm implemented a marketing campaign that resulted in new brand positioning as the “go-to” Florida firm when disaster strikes. “We sent most of our 100 attorneys out in the field to visit clients in person,“

Becker says. The plan also involved registering the URL www.hurricane-recovery.com and adding all the information clients and prospects would need to help them rebuild. In addition, the firm offered six free seminars in hurricane-affected areas, focusing on legal topics related to disaster recovery for homeowners and property managers. More than 800 people attended the seminars, which received extensive media coverage.

Larry Bodine ( lbodine@pmforumNA.org) is Regional Director of PM Forum of North America, an organization of 4,500 marketers in the law, accounting, and consulting professions.