Header graphic for print
In Search of Perfect Client Service Why lawyers don't seem to get it

Brought To You By A Large Firm With Offices Everywhere

Posted in Commentary

For the past several nights as I have been driving home, I’ve heard the local NPR announcer say that this programming was brought to you by "Blah, Blah & Blah, a national law firm with offices in 12 cities."  Every time I hear this, I wonder whether anyone ever hears the announcement and says "wow, that is a really unique firm and I am going to hire them."  There is utterly nothing about the tag line that communicates anything of interest about the firm and it obviously does not communicate a value proposition. 

With that personal observation as prologue, I recommend you read Seth Godin’s post, "The edifice complex."  Here’s the punchline:

I’d replace the expensive sponsorships and buildings with something more valuable, quicker to market and far more efficient: people. Real people, trustworthy people, honest people… people who take their time, look you in the eye, answer the phone and keep their promises. Not as easy to implement as writing a big check for the Super Bowl, but a lot more effective.

I’m not sure Seth’s answer is the best answer to the problems inherent in boasting to the world that you have offices in 12 cities.  Butut if you’re going to spend money on marketing, perhaps having real people speak to real people at real potential clients about real value you offer might provide a better return on your investment.

  • Susan Mark

    As an ex-advertising professional, I would say that you can’t discount the simple value of name recognition. I’ve personally never been in need of a plaintiff’s attorney, but if the need arises, there’s one long-time NPR advertiser that would immediately come to mind as a starting off place for my research. And I’m probably more skeptical than most listeners.

  • http://www.astintarlton.com Merrilyn Astin Tarlton

    Patrick, you’re RIGHT ON! There are SO many things wrong with law firm sponsorship of NPR programming as a marketing strategy (the only thing right is that it supports the last best media source, but that’s another conversation) starting with the cost/benefit ratio and moving right on through to the “me too” nature of it all.
    I almost always laugh at the “XXX lawyers in XXX offices in XXX states” line. Who but the very largest of corporations looks for lots of lawyers in lots of locations? Mostly, people are interested in that one lawyer closest to them that has the answer to their one problem.
    In my experience, buying public radio (and TV) sponsorships is motivated by the naive belief that it will take the place of good old fashioned (scary and time-consuming) in-person networking and marketing. Also in my experience. . . . not so much.