Apparently, small law firm mergers are up. While the legal marketplace is analyzing the cause of this (COVID’s fault?), we want to talk about the opportunities law firms are missing. After all, law firm mergers and marketing go hand-in-hand.
The Clients are #1
These mergers and related integrations are likely helping everyone in a variety of ways – from compensation to a reduction of administrative responsibilities to a deeper bench – everyone can win.
But, how do clients win? They are the first to know and don’t get lost in the shuffle. They know that this change will only affect them for the better! How do they know this? Because YOU tell them.
Accordingly, clients should find out from their attorneys, before the integration – via email or mailing – from an email they recognize or their prior firm’s letterhead. Of course, the most important clients should get a phone call.
The Strategy: External
Law firms that acquire a new firm in another jurisdiction can face many challenges.
As stated above, be clear about the benefit to your clients and prospects. If you acquire a new law firm, how are you controlling the messaging to its existing clients – and yours?
- Will the firm’s outward appearance be changing? Think: law firm name, managing members, or locations?
- How will the websites, social media channels, and CRM be integrated?
- What professional announcements will be sent?
- What is the budget for advertising?
- Have your created external messaging? Are all team members on board with it?
- Who is the point of contact for public relations?
- Will there be grand opening/launch events?
The Strategy: Internal
Marketing isn’t only about clients and prospects. Employees can make or break the internal success of a merger or acquisition.
- What is the internal message – is it the same across the board, or different for each firm?
- Will there be changes to policy and procedural issues?
- How are you addressing cultural issues?
- What is the plan to integrate two unique cultures?
Engaged employees will generate great energy if they feel they are a part of it. On the other hand, leaving them out can cause unnecessary drama and low employee morale.
Creating a team to handle all integration is essential – from client service and accounting to human resources and marketing. A project timeline with assigned tasks and regular check-ins.
Having a key team in place will eliminate confusion about overlapping roles, processes, and responsibilities. This team will focus on identifying the marketing assets of both law firms, build a PR and media relations plan as well as a social media plan. As you can see law firm mergers can, and should, create marketing opportunities for both firms.
Any questions? Need help? Call us!