Originally published in the National Law Review on April 14, 2020.
In response to the current pandemic crisis, law firms need to pivot on, not abandon, their marketing strategies. Some have exploited the pandemic as a marketing opportunity, while others have significantly cut down marketing efforts to save money and avoid controversy. Savvy firms have paved their own way, maintaining marketing efforts that showcase their leadership skills and community presence during difficult times.
This is a difficult situation. But this is also a situation that presents a good opportunity for your firm to “show what it’s made of.” If you want to use this time to hone your marketing strategies and build your brand in a positive way that contributes to your community, there are ways you should be pursuing marketing in a time of crisis, both ethically and sustainably.
Should Marketing Still Be a Top Priority for Your Law Firm?
The short answer is “Yes.”
Some law firm partners believe that crisis is not a time for marketing. There are attorneys who believe that engaging in any marketing activities during this time is essentially using a global tragedy to profit. However, marketing doesn’t always have to “sell.” It can be beneficial for many reasons including brand recognition and community leadership both of which have no direct connection to selling. Thoughtful marketing strategies can actually help consumers feel more connected to their lawyers during times of crisis. This is crucial at a time when 82% of young adults believe that society is facing a crisis of leadership.
If you are interested in marketing your law firm in the times of the COVID-19 crisis, here are some thoughtful suggestions to guide your activities:
Show Solidarity with Your Community. Maintaining and expanding your community presence creates a sense of unity. Being active on social media and web platforms during this time shows clients that you will not bolt at the first sign of trouble—an essential trait for building trust, and an essential part of being a contributing member of your online and local communities.
Large-Scale Crisis Does Not Preempt Personal Need. People do not stop needing legal services in the times of a global crisis. Divorce, bankruptcy, contract disputes, and domestic violence are still taking place, and, in fact, may be amplified by a large-scale problem. Globally, social media usage has increased 50% since the start of the coronavirus crisis; taking a step back from messaging about how your law firm helps the community during this time would be a mistake.
Make a Plan for “After.” COVID-19 will not last forever. Allowing your marketing plan to fall by the wayside during this time can weaken your business in the recovery months to come. By the time you ramp back up to pre-crisis marketing levels, you will likely be behind those who did not yield during times of emergency. If you want to reach clients who could truly benefit from your services, you need to maintain your digital presence in their lives.
For more ideas on how to market your law firm in the times of the COVID-19 crisis, read the full article on the National Law Review.