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Could 8 Out of 10 Cats help market your firm?
Thursday 14 June 2012 by Nick Kehoe
I quite like watching the TV comedy show 8 Out of 10 Cats. Not just because of its entertainment value but because of what it highlights about marketing – yes, even the marketing of law firms.
In case anyone doesn’t know, 8 Out of 10 Cats is based on surveys about how the public respond to various questions.
It can be very amusing, but more importantly for our purposes it shows the power of the humble survey to grab the attention of both the public and the media. And this is where law firms come in: learn how to harness the power of surveys and you will have a constant supply of free marketing material.
If that seems an extravagant claim, then consider how the media looks upon surveys. Newspapers and business magazines love them, and with good reason. The media is always looking for new ways to explore well-established themes ranging from personal issues such as marriage and cohabiting, to business matters such as employment or commercial property.
To keep revisiting these subjects the media needs a new angle; surveys are a good way of creating that angle. For example, you may conduct a survey among your clients that reveals simple but interesting information such as:
Seven out of 10 family businesses have no succession plan in place ...
Only one in 10 cohabiting couples have a living together agreement...
Three out of 10 landlords admit they have often failed to protect a tenant’s deposit ...
These examples are made up, of course, but surprising though it may seem, such relatively small snippets of information are often enough to create a news article. This is because the survey results offer a new perspective on an old subject and so justifies renewed attention. If you carry out simple surveys like these and turn the findings into press releases, you have a very good chance of getting coverage and raising your firm’s profile.
Once you start to recognise these stories you will start to see them regularly across most media outlets.
The surveys don’t have to be extensive and they don’t have to be about established subjects. For example, there might be an interesting survey to be done on how many companies believe they are compliant with the new cookie regulations – or even how many companies know about the new regulations.
If you think about it in this way, it won’t be long before you see the potential in the services your firm covers. And once you get the ball rolling, you never have to stop.
You can do the same sort of surveys every year if you wish. There are lots of firms who do precisely that and continue to get coverage even though the results vary little from one year to the next. Accountancy firms are particularly good at this.
Of course, it is better from a news point of view if your survey results do change year on year. This will give you a trend to report on which is a step up from a static survey report. You will have seen this kind of story countless times:
There has been a 20% increase in the number of people drawing up pre-nup agreements ...
There has been a 10% fall in the number of people making a will ...
Such reports are created by simply comparing the results of surveys from two different years. This kind of story is even more likely to get press coverage because it highlights change and news is all about change.
I’ve focused on how surveys can help get valuable coverage in the media because that is perhaps their most glamorous use. However, that’s only the icing on the cake. Their real value may be in what they tell you about your clients, and the way in which they enable you to engage with those clients and make them feel valued.
But more of that in another post.
Nick Kehoe is a former television and newspaper journalist. He is now managing director at law marketing firm Media Coverage