By Geri L. Dreiling Esq.
When young lawyers prepare for trial, they are urged to develop a theme. The theme is introduced during voir dire and returned to again and again throughout the trial and hammered home during the closing.
When it comes to marketing, law firms should take a similar approach: Adopt a theme and use it as the basis for all of the firm’s promotional items. Most marketing professionals dub this “branding” — a process that involves the use of a coherent visual communication strategy.
I once heard a consultant explain branding to a nonprofit agency director in this manner: “If I were to scatter all of your promotional materials on a table, would you be able to tell they all came from the same place without picking them up and reading them?”
If not, your communication efforts may lack coherence. Here are some areas to focus on as you work to present a unified PR and marketing strategy for your law firm.
1. Law Firm Logo
In the article “Law Firm Logos: The Image Sends the Message,” our logo designer, Enrique Serrano, explains why your legal marketing efforts should start with a logo and how to go about incorporating a logo into your branding efforts.
Most lawyers, when they hear the word “logo,” conjure up images of scales of justice or gavels. Though these remain popular icons with which to symbolize a firm, some lawyers are opting for unique designs that incorporate acronyms for the firm’s name or more abstract concepts.
Even a firm that isn’t interested in a logo chooses a particular font in which to present the firm’s name, and the firm may even use a color other than black for the firm name. The point is that even if your firm has decided it isn’t a “logo-type” firm, it has still adopted a designated text format that should be used to present the firm name.
2. Letterhead, Business Cards, Faxes
Do your letterhead, business card and fax cover sheet match? Do they all contain your logo — whether it’s the color version or black-and-white? Or do you find that when you lay your firm’s stationary, business cards and fax cover sheets on the conference room table, it appears that three different firms supplied them?
3. Legal Marketing Materials
Continuing with the conference room example, if you set your law firm’s flier, brochure and newsletters down on the table, do they communicate well-thought-out firm identity, or are they a hodgepodge of items?
Though visually erratic marketing materials may have their place, few clients enjoy seeing them at the law firm. An incoherent image may send a message of a chaotic practice. On the other hand, a uniform image reinforces the message that the firm is polished and professional.
4. Online Legal Marketing
Say your firm’s logo and stationary are green and white. Is the firm’s website theme red and blue? Is your firm’s electronic newsletter turquoise and brown? Does your firm have a Twitter account? Have you customized the page to reflect your communication theme?
Make sure that when you hand a business card to a prospective client, that person will receive a coherent visual message when he or she goes online to research your firm. At Legal Media Matters, our logo and colors carry over onto our Twitter page (@legalmediamtrs), and you can even see a copy of the back side of our business card on our customized Twitter background.
Coming up with a theme may take some time, but it is time well spent. At Legal Media Matters, we provide logo, letterhead, business card, website and Twitter page designs aimed at reinforcing your visual communication strategy. For more information, contact us by filling out our online contact form or email email@example.com.
At Legal Media Matters, we provide legal public relations, law firm marketing and attorney website content writing services.