New Orleans' McGlinchey Stafford Sends Animated Online Card

Mcglincheycard_1 McGlinchey Stafford has sent out an animated holiday card with sound.  This novel online greeting card conveys season's greetings, with pictures of the moon and earth moving to a sweeping piano soundtrack.  (Click the image to see it full-size) Then shows the wreckage of Hurricane Katrina in the New Orleans area, and announces that the firm has selected the boys and Girls Clubs of America's Katrina Relief Fund for the firm gift. 

McGlinchey has 185 lawyers in offices in New Orleans, Texas, Mississippi, New York and Ohio.  To view the card visit

Director of Marketing Ashley Bond said, "We included a 'comments' field so that our clients could email us directly with their thoughts, which have been a real joy to read. We are using InterAction to uncover the relationships between our lawyers and those who are commenting and then passing the comments along.  We are also going to compile all of the comments and post them to our Intranet so that everyone can share in the eCard's success and be proud of what the firm has done this year.  It has been a tough one but we got through it together."

Discussion of the card was lively as always on the LawMarketing Listserv. "This truly moved me.  I felt it in my heart.  Congratulations," said Cecilia Alers, CEO & Chief Creative Officer of Cecilia Alers Consulting.

"Nice, but too long and just hair too commercial.  In the end, I was thinking the firm knows how to commission and approve video. Somewhere the individual connection, the holiday season, got lost," said Bob Weiss of Alyn-Weiss & Associates.

Ashley Bond responded, "The length was a tough one. We actually have no real connection with the organization.  We spent a good month researching and selecting it.  The photos were courtesy of one of our employees who is an amateur photographer.  Post-Katrina, she took a series of photographs in the 9th Ward capturing the destruction but focusing on remnants left by the children who once lived there.  It is an expression of our culture and creates meaning for us, which we believe is just as important as creating meaning for those outside the firm."


Most Lawyers Will Fail at Buiness Development in 2007

Pbdilogo100 Most of America's  1+ million lawyers, who are viewed by the general public as smooth-talking wealthy individuals, will have mediocre financial results in 2007 compared with other professionals, because they do not know how to get new business.

The prosperous, persuasive lawyer  image is for the most part, a myth.  That's why Michael Cummings and I are sponsoring a marketing conference "Developing Your Personal Marketing Plan for 2007" in Chicago on January 13.

Lawyers, who can be very strategic about a case or business transaction, fail to apply this discipline to their own business.  The median lawyer income is $90,290 according to the U.S. Department of Labor.  The public misperception about huge lawyer revenues is based on articles about a small number of business-getters who gross more than $1 million.

Mikecummings75_1 "In contrast, a minority of lawyers will draft a written business development plan for 2007," said Cummings, also a PBDI faculty member. "These are the rainmakers." Michael and I are faculty membera of the Professional Business Development Institute (, which is presenting the Chicago marketing conference.

Most lawyers are introverts who would prefer to work in their offices rather then generate new business.  Several research studies have found that:

  • 25% of lawyers cannot or will not sell.
  • 55% are willing to sell but don't know how to sell.
  • Only 20% are natural rainmakers.

The solution for the willing 55% is to get training, which is being offered at the "Developing Your Personal Marketing Plan for 2007" conference to be held at the Gleacher Center of the University of Chicago next month, said Bodine and Cummings, who will teach the day-long workshop.  Each attendee will learn the secrets of generating new business and take home a personal business development plan.

"The program will transform a lawyer's business development results," said Cummings, who has 20+ years consulting experience in business development.  Attorneys and law firm marketers who wish to attend can call (312) 217-3895 or register online instantly at


Cadwalader Runs TV ads on MSNBC

Cadwalader The 215-year old firm Cadwalader is running 60-second TV ads on MSNBC, during the "Imus in the Morning" program. Click here to take a look.  It's good to see a 470-lawyer, traditional firm try new things. But alas, it's not impressing marketers on the LawMarketing Listserv.

"My opinion is that this is an ineffective ad," said veteran marketer Andy Havens. "What does this ad actually SAY about the firm, beyond the narration, which will not be remembered? I watched the ad three times, and recall an office, skyline, feet, pens, desks, etc. Since this is not a promotional ad (i.e., "here's exactly what we do and why you should call us now"), it's a brand ad. The brand of the firm, therefore, in my head is: office, skyline, feet, pens, desks. And some people talking."

To me the ad was bland.  With the British voiceover, I expected the commercial to end with, "At Cadwalader, we earn money the old-fashioned way.  We earn it."

Mark Merenda of Smart Marketing added, "I had a negative reaction to the Brit accent of the announcer...or was I just hallucinating? It made the firm sound as if it were trying to be stuffy and pretentious. It's bad enough that the firm name sounds like three characters from a Jane Austen novel, without that announcer."

"The move to TV advertising by large law firms, and eventually smaller ones, is inevitable.  It's foolish to ignore the most pervasive, fastest-growing media.  When I talk to firms about TV it seems they avoid it largely because PI lawyers run (what they think) are bad commercials during daytime TV for accident cases," said Bob Weiss, President of Alyn-Weiss & Associates, Inc. "The next big move in TV advertising for lawyers, however, is likely also going to be direct-response and for family law, not for large firm and institutional campaigns. TV works for domestic practices like it does for PI firms."

Cadwalader was approached by an organization that offered to handle production and placement of a 60-second television ad, according to the Wall Street Journal's law blog. Prior to that, said Cadwalader's marketing director, Claudia Freeman, "we hadn't considered something like this." But, she added, "the cost was very reasonable." This past week, MSNBC devotees might well have seen the clip; it ran for a week on the cable channel, and is not slated to appear again. Freeman says Cadwalader had no control over the placement of the ad.

Law Technology News Law Firm & Law Department Awards

Ltnawards_1 Here's a final, quick reminder that FRIDAY Dec 15 is the deadline to:

  • Submit your application for the Law Technology News Law Firm & Law Department Awards.
  • Vote online for your favorite vendors for LTN's Vendor Awards.

The easy application form for the Law Technology News Law Firm & Law Department Awards:

It's a quick, painless and great way to get a spotlight for your technology in your firm, law department, trials success, and pro bono efforts -- and to shine attention on your deserving IT director and IT champion.

As they say about the lottery -- you can't win if you don't enter!

"Too often, IT staff do not get recognition for their creativity, perseverance and diplomacy. Here's a chance to shine!" said Law Technology News Editor Monica Bay. "The IT Champion of the Year spotlights the usually-unsung heroes and heroines within firms, who push technology agendas even in the face of often-strong resistance. Here's your chance to put the lawyers and executives who 'get it' in the spotlight."   

The vendor ballot is online at


Thomas Jefferson Would Have a Blog Today

Thomas_jefferson This (edited) email just in from blogger Ben Cowgill, about my favorite founding father:

If Thomas Jefferson were alive today, there can be little doubt that he would have a law-related blog. He loved to write. He loved to share information and ideas with other people. He once said that he would rather have a country with newspapers and no government than a country with government and no newspapers. He would be thrilled to live at a time when he could share information with interested people throughout the world, simply by sitting down at his desk and writing at a keyboard.

The legal profession has a great tradition of writing and speaking about the law. Law-related blogs are merely a new example of that great tradition. Until the Internet came along, lawyers had to find other ways to share information about the law: by writing books, articles and op-ed pieces; by making presentations at legal conferences; and by speaking to church groups,civic clubs and the like. All of those activities are valuable, because they all spread information about the American legal system to the American people. Now, with the Internet and blogging software, it's possible for lawyers to continue that tradition in another way, and it is not surprising that many lawyers are choosing to do so.

[Note: there are 2,262 lawyer blogs being tracked by]

There are all sorts of blogs, just as there are all sorts of print publications. To call something is a "blog" doesn't tell you any more about its content than calling something a "magazine." One must look to the content of a blog to see what kind of publication it really is. In other words, the term blog merely identifies the technology that is used to create an online publication. It tells you nothing about the content of the publication, the quality of that content, or the reasons why it is presented.

Over the past year or so, law-related blogs have become a recognized source of information in the legal profession. About 200 law professors write "blogs" in which they discuss developments in their fields of law. They do so to share information with other legal scholars and practicing lawyers. In fact, lawyer blogs have been cited as legal authorities in the published decisions of many federal and state courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

There are not any more"ethics issues" regarding blogs than there are regarding other aspects of what lawyers do. "Advertising" is a subset of "marketing." All advertising is marketing, but not all marketing is advertising. A law firm web site is clearly an advertisement for legal services and a marketing activity. On the other hand, a lecture at a CLE seminar is a marketing activity but not an advertisement.  Those issues do not arise in connection with online journals ("blogs"), because blogs do not contain representations about the legal services that will be performed if the reader becomes a client of the lawyer.

It has always been true that good lawyers provide legal information to the public (and each other), free of charge. They do so because they care about the law, because they enjoy writing about the law, and because they enjoy sharing information with other people. They are "information junkies," just like Thomas Jefferson. They also realize that those activities help them stay current in the law, and may even enhance their reputations. In short, it's a "win-win" situation for everyone involved -- the lawyer, the legal profession and the public at large.


Leonard, Street's Incentives for New Business

Jill_weberI always tell clients that to have an effective business development program, the firm must have incentives to bring in new business.  People need a goal to shoot for, and they need a reward for achieving it.  That's how human nature works.  Leonard, Street and Deinard, a Minnesota law firm that ranked 30 in the MLF 50 Best Marketing Programs, has built three tiers of awards into their "Fast Forward" sales program.

Jill Weber, firm CMO, writes about the program in the Q4 2006 issue of the LSSO Review.  Fast Forward was a program to train 21 attorneys to generate an additional $500,000 in revenue each over two years. The firm employs 200 attorneys in more than 40 practice areas.

The top level award for participants who achieved a $500,000 revenue increase was a four-day, three-night trip to any Ritz Carlton in the US, including hotel, airfare, per-day meal allocations and paid childcare.  Sweet.

13 of the 21 lawyers won an incentive, ranging from the Ritz Carlton trip to a gift certificate to a high-end restaurant.

And man, did the incentives work.  Overall the participants generated an additional $8 million in fee receipts.  (Granted, the program also included extensive training, branding and surveys.) The program cost $150,000 to run, yielding a whopping 5300% return on investment.  So you can see: incentives really make a difference.


Sign The Damn Holiday Card!

Tomkane100_1 As reported on Tom Kane's blog, there was an interesting discussion recently on the The Law Marketing Listserv (free trial membership available) that was unanimous regarding the need to sign holiday cards and not just send out cards with the firm's name on it. "The fact that the subject even needs to be raised says volumes about how far some firms have yet to go to "get it" as to what lawyer marketing is all about.  It's personal and requires personal contact and actions," Tom says.

"To put it simply, holiday cards to some lawyers are no more than a nuisance, an obligation, another form of advertising, or an annoyance during this busy time of year. When I was in-house, I actually had lawyers order cards and NEVER send them out - year after year. So, why did I continue to order cards for these people? Job security," Tom writes.

"Don't let your or your firm's holiday card endeavor become a negative marketing effort. Remember, legal marketing is about getting personal.  So, if you are planning to send holiday cards, please just sign the darn card." 


Marketing Ideas Worth Stealing

Speaking to a packed room at today's Chicago LMA meeting, marketing consultant Patricia Luchs spun out a list of 35 marketing ideas worth stealing.  I've known her since she was Marketing Director at Seyfarth Shaw, and her tips are solid.  Here are a few:

  • No more boring firm cocktail parties.  Your events should be fun.  Patty threw a party for attendees at a trade show conference in Miami with a "Miami Vice" theme.  The invitations were attached to a water pistol.  Partygoers got sunglasses, handcuffs, rubber alligators and badges as favors.  The room was decorated with yellow police tape, a chalk outline on the floor, a human-outline shooting target and police car lights.  They even had a Don Johnson lookalike, accompanied by a scantily-clad hottie.
  • Divide your marketing database into categories.  Send "A" clients a book on leadership and invite them to a firm educational event.
  • On your Web site, sort content by subject not by practice group.  Newsletters, articles, press releases and brochures should be sorted so that when you have to respond to an RFP, you can find the elements easily on your site.
  • Advertising: Don't run an ad less than three times and expect it to be remembered. Don't spend any money on small-size ads or on "advertorials" -- few people read them.
  • Firm marketing events are "group sales calls."  If you treat them as client retention activities, you won't be able to show any return-on-investment.  The key is to follow up with attendees as well as no-shows and get a face-to-face meeting with them.
  • Rather than send long, dull newsletters, distribute "one-minute memos," that take only one minute to read.  They are a good way to stay in front of clients.
  • When the lawyers go out on sales calls, they must return with an "advance" -- an exact date when the lawyer and prospect will take the next step forward in the sales process.  Lawyers must understand that the sales process can take a long time.  "It's not 'hello, let's get married,'" Patty quipped.
  • Hire a makeup artist when you have a "picture day" at the firm for lawyer bios.  It makes a difference.  Patty posted before and after pictures internally, and "everybody wanted the makeup artist, including the men with shiny bald spots."

There were a ton more ideas, but you had to be there.


Using Stories to Sell

Ford_harding Anecdotes are an effective tool in overcoming common selling challenges, according to However, to use anecdotes to your advantage while selling legal services, you need to know which elements to include to be sure that your story is effective in closing new business.

According to writer Ford Harding is the author of Creating Rainmakers (Wiley, 2006), there are 10 guidelines to follow that make a good anecdote in a call on a prospective client:

  1. The story must be relevant to the prospective client. The idea is to let listeners know that the story you are about to tell will be linked to the specific concern they have raised.
  2. Select an anecdote the listener can relate to.  Bankers like stories about banks, and are unlikely to be impressed by a story about a your successf helping a government agency solve a collections problem.
  3. Emphasize the similarities. So, when telling a story to a banker in Chicago about a much smaller bank you work for in Cleveland, it becomes "another Midwestern bank."
  4. Every good story has a plot, character, action and outcome. Plot is built around the fundamental threat or opportunity that the character in the story faces.
  5. Use only one plot per anecdote. More than one plot will result in a long, rambling, and confusing story that will not help you. You can always tell a second anecdote later as the basis to make a different point.
  6. Use a character whom your prospect identifies with. Perhaps the single most common weakness of anecdotes is the absence of the character. A a story that is about someone with whom the client identifies will be much more interesting and memorable to him or her than will a story about you.
  7. Tailor your character to your listener. If your'e speaking to the CEO, you should have a CEO or other line manager as the hero. If you're speaking to the head of human resources, you should have the human resources professional as the hero.
  8. Describe actions. Action increases interest by creating images that the listener can visualize. And the client is more likely to remember the story that he visualizes.
  9. A good story must have a clear outcome. So, for example, a story should end with a crucial outcome, "I have never forgotten that lesson," without which you may simply sound as if you were complaining.
  10. Practice your stories. Stories that you plan and rehearse are often better than those told extemporaneously. Listen to a professional tell a particularly compelling story, and it is probably one that she has told many times before.

That reminds me of a story...


NY Times: Spam 2.0 is 90% of All E-mail

In a depressing story for marketers, today's New York Times reports that spammers in Russia, Eastern Europe and Asia are surreptitiously hijacking networks of computers to send out "image spam." The new "Spam 2.0" eludes most spam blockers, like Postini.

Even worse: 90% of all emails sent on the Internet are spam.

Junk e-mail is "now out of control," said Mehran Sabbaghian, a network engineer at the Sacramento Web hosting company Lanset America.  The new wave of spam is so huge it clogged the company's servers and delayed delivery of email for hours in November.

Spam 2.0:

  • Typically promotes penny stocks. Spammers buy the stock, blast out the spam and then sell the stock.  The scam actually works.
  • The spam arrives from legitimate IP addresses.  Spammers hijack people's computers by putting spam delivery software on Web sites, and visitors unknowingly download the software when they visit.  The infected computers begin sending out spam without their knowledge.
  • The hijacked computers, or "botnets," send emails with no text, which filters would catch.   Instead they contain images filtered with speckles or dots that slip past spam blockers.
  • Each time a spam email is sent, the delivery software changes a few pixels, which gives each email a unique fingerprint, fooling volume filters on anti-spam programs.
  • The spammers are overseas, beyond the reach of the federal Can-Spam Act of 2003, which has been a failure since it was enacted.

This is bad news for legitimate e-mail marketers, such as law firms, publishers and conference sponsors.  In the meantime, I refer e-mail marketers to "E-Marketing in the world of SPAM" which outlines the basics of designing your emails so that they are not mistaken for spam.


Test if Your Leadership Style Attracts Clients

Robert_galford_1 Your leadership style will determine how attractive you are to clients, according to Robert M. Galford, Managing Partner of the Center for Executive Development in Boston. He identifies six kinds of leaders and offers a quick online test so you can see what kind of leader you are:

1. An Ambassador (breaking ground without breaking glass)
2. An Advocate (taking up a cause or a mission)
3. Creative builder (an innovator)
4. Truth-Seeker (assuring that things are equitable)
5. A People-Mover (focusing on helping people, perhaps mentoring others)
6. Experienced Guide (to whom people turn for good, solid advice on a range of topics)

I took the test and scored best at being a "People Mover," with scores for "Ambassador," "Builder/Creator" and "Experienced Guide" close behind.

Galford views this as legacy thinking: "Clients these days are hardly unsophisticated.  They usually can sense when a lawyer truly believes in (or finds meaning in) his or her work, even if it is mundane or routine.  Those lawyers who do  have that level of belief or understanding about what they are trying to develop as a legacy are enthusiastic about what they do, and it comes through.  Clients like that. What kind of lawyer would you rather go to, someone who loves what they do, or someone for whom it is just a job?" he said. 

He is the co-author of a new book, Your Leadership Legacy - Why Looking Toward the Future Will Make You a Better Leader Today (Harvard Business School Press, Sept. 2006). You can get it for $17.79 on

Being a leader matters.  Galford's includes an online leadership styles assessment test. You can find it at


Most Firms Spend 15% on Online Marketing

Is your firm spending enough?

Professional services firms spent 15% of their marketing budgets on websites and other online marketing activities in 2005, according to a Forrester Research study. Exhibit1_2

Online marketing was the second-biggest budget item, trailing only in-person marketing events, which consumed 26% of their marketing budgets. (Click on the image to see it full-size.

It makes sense to me that most of the budget is invested in face-to-face events.  A rainmaker told me "new business comes in belly-to-belly," and he had the belly to go with the big book of business.

However, I recommend law firms spend more on online marketing.  Your Web site should be generating leads for your while you're working, sleeping, at lunch, on vacation or traveling.  We already know that law firm Web sites are the single most effective marketing tool employed by corporate, transactional and defense firms, according to new research. Web sites surpassed seminars and presentations on the list of most effective marketing tactics.

How much does your firm spend on its ornate reception area, which may have 10 to 20 prospective clients go through it monthly?  You should spend ten times that on your Web site, where thousands of people can visit per month.

According to Edwin Hastings and Robert Buday of The Bloom Group, "the best professional services websites that we studied were great informers of their firm's expertise with interactive tools that accelerated their marketing and sales process."