A book that ‘does exactly what it says on the tin’, this is targeted firmly at solicitors rather than those professionally skilled in the dark art of branding strategy. Aimed at firms without standalone marketing departments, it would nevertheless be useful reading even for those already evangelical practitioners, given its helpful set of checklists and exemplar missives (both to prospects and existing clients).
Communication of nifty marketing techniques is not the purpose of the book: it is, as it says, a collection of tools designed to allow solicitors to think in more concrete terms about their marketing strategy, reflect on blind spots, distinguish between ‘marketing and promotion’ (the former being a more substantive and long-term version of the latter), and to put those thoughts into practice.
Heavy emphasis on completing and considering the various pro forma documents provided – a SWAT analysis, notes to staff encouraging them to think about marketing opportunities, lists of potential sources of information in one’s own network – means that the reader needs to do much of the work. This may be off-putting to the experienced marketer, who might expect a more sophisticated offering.
Yet generating personalised output is the point of the book’s DIY format, which aims to spawn ideas for progressing marketing efforts in the context of an individual(’s) practice. A section on utilising (the omnipresent) social media helps to keep it relevant.
The chapter devoted to the creation of ‘literature kits’ – a ‘loose-leaf insert folder’ which acts as a repository for standard information about the firm and from which selections can be made for each new pitch – neatly sums up the book’s ambition.
Intuitive once described, a literature kit provides a ‘go to’ file for standard promotional material but forces it to be bespoke (the loose-leaf format is said to encourage selection and the production of individual prospectuses rather than creating a ‘one size fits all’ marketing suite).
This book cannot be said to contribute anything startlingly new.
Suggestions such as using a professional website developer and including a website address on business cards are unlikely to lead to a solicitor-led marketing revolution. However, it is a user-friendly compendium of straightforward marketing knowledge tailored for the legal profession with some very helpful base materials to get members thinking about where those unexplored marketing opportunities might lie.
The inclusion of the extensive skeleton materials on an accompanying CD (for adaption) is another plus.
The Law Society
£49.95, Law Society Publishing
Tom Garbett is an associate at Pinsent Masons