Categorized | Criminal Justice

Ask a Solicitor Campaign – Reaction

Ask a Solicitor Campaign – Reaction

It isn’t really surprising that the Law Society’s marketing campaign, with the theme of ‘Ask a Solicitor’, has provoked a lively discussion in the Law Gazette LinkedIn group.

Graham Gregory of Miramar Legal says that there has always been a role for the Law Society in generic marketing as those firms who do not have large marketing resources may appreciate what the Society does for small-medium sized firms. Geoff Caesar, Solicitor at The Legal Director agrees, saying that: “With so much legal advice available freely online, surely it does no harm to remind the public of the value of using a solicitor rather than attempting a DIY job.”

Michael Powell at Scott-Moncrieff & Associates LLP thinks it’s good to see the Law Society using some eye catching adverts in its latest campaign, but would also like to see a campaign that deals with the perception that solicitors are expensive. He points out that many solicitors give advice pro bono, even if it’s just the initial phone call. Milton Firman, Managing Director at The Legal Company says that the Law Society needs to consider image, as solicitors are regarded as “hugely wealthy, pompous, remote and uncommunicative.”

Gillian Davies at Stephensons Solicitors LLP believes that the Law Society could seek to differentiate the profession from the attack from Alternative Business Structures, some of whom have much greater marketing budgets than the average solicitor. “The Law Society needs to promote the attributes of a long standing profession who need to rise to the challenge and ensure they are beyond reproach.” Business Development Specialist Lisa Chilvers has a sharper point to make: “Solicitors need to get their own house in order first. There’s no point whatsoever trying to attract new clients when, as an industry, the legal profession has such a poor reputation for properly looking after the clients it already has.”

Steven Partridge, Partner at Sykes Lee & Brydson has no objection to the Law Society doing such campaigning, but doubts its effectiveness. Paul Brill, Employment Lawyer at Rothera Dowson is even more sceptical, saying: “Given the scale of change in the ‘profession’, which is already manifesting itself in the gradual disappearance of smaller firms and sole practitioners, there is a feel of rearranging the deck chairs to this.”

Graham Cardona, Owner of Local Viral Buzz Marketing, feels that the Law Society’s campaign is so generic that it will appeal to everyone and no one. The Law Society’s marketing is termed as branding because that is all it is able to do. “People don’t decide to instruct a solicitor based on a ‘general’ national campaign. They make a decisions at the local level based on the qualities of local law firms at a time when they need those services.”

Marketing and Sales Consultant Boyd Butler asks: “How can you promote ‘Brand Solicitor’ effectively? Direct response marketing is what they should be doing to a targeted audience with the right message.” He has written to Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, president of the Law Society, offering to track the calls to the Find a Solicitor service to see if the campaigns help increase calls to solicitors. Joe Reevy, Managing Director at www.legalrss.co.uk is in agreement with Boyd Butler, thinks that the Law Society should accept his offer but is willing to bet that in 6 months he’ll have got nowhere. Differentiating between marketing and sales he says: “No one marketing strategy fits all as all businesses are different and require different solutions.”

Graham Gregory concedes that “marketing can be a Cinderella area and yes our profession probably does need some external ugly sisters to get us to the commercial ball.”

For the full flavour of this discussion, and to contribute to it, go to Law Gazette LinkedIn group at:
http://www.linkedin.com/groupAnswers?viewQuestionAndAnswers=&discussionID=167791500&gid=2078586&commentID=98419191&trk=view_disc&ut=05L9Qnb5Lvl5s1

This post was written by:

- who has written 462 posts on Upper Case – The Anya Legal Journal.

Mike Gribbin is a retired Civil Servant with wide experience, including the drafting and implementation of Parliamentary legislation and regulations. He is the editor of “Criminal Offences Handbook”, a uniquely comprehensive guide to more than one thousand ways to fall foul of UK criminal law. He is Editor of the Upper Case Legal Journal and has been writing blog posts for the past eight years.

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