Successfully marketing a law firm in the midst of a pandemic and street protests requires a nuanced approach: the line between helping audiences navigate unforeseen challenges and appearing to seek to profit from the struggles of others is a thin one. Avoiding the issues altogether, however, can carry a heavy price when clients and targets hungry for leadership and insight turn to competitors for guidance.
So how can your firm lead during these challenging times?
Presentations that position your lawyers as resources for practical information and insightful viewpoints are a good place to start, particularly as competitors begin to scale back webinar production in favor of other, less effective communications (I am seeing this happen as firms react to an increased webinar production in the legal space by reducing the number of programs they produce).
...when people are apprehensive ... expert voices from a wide range of communities can provide clarity and calm anxieties.
Here are three ways to demonstrate leadership with webinars while you help clients and prospects overcome previously unimaginable difficulties.
1. Host conversations that enlighten
Law firm webinars don't have to exclusively focus on legal or regulatory matters: when people are apprehensive, as many of us are in the current environment, programs that feature expert voices from a wide range of communities can provide clarity and calm anxieties.
Bring together influential leaders to provide nuanced perspective on the issues, like heads of local or national health care organizations who discuss ways to ensure workplace health and safety. Open dialogues that help attendees better understand and respond to current issues, such as conversations led by leaders from diverse communities addressing race and discrimination.
Webinars that help enlighten and inform your audience on the broader questions we're all grappling with in today's environment will help you stand out.
2. Guide clients through specific problems they're facing
On the other end of the spectrum, clients and prospects will appreciate presentations that provide practical and pragmatic solutions to the challenges they're facing today.
For example, a program that lays out best practices for initiating commercial lawsuits as courts across the country begin to reopen following pandemic-related shutdowns can help clients develop and refine their short-term strategies and expectations for responding to business disputes.
Similarly, webinars that focus on tactics for responding to employment lawsuits – over furloughs, layoffs, pay cuts, hiring freezes, and the like – can help employers identify the practical steps they should take before any litigation starts.
And remember: while you probably already have a good idea of what those challenges are, it's always a good idea to ask your clients. Their list might differ from yours, and even if it doesn't, they'll appreciate the question.
3. Bring together multiple issues
Your clients usually don't have the luxury of responding to a single issue at a time – they've got to juggle multiple priorities and crises every day.
That gives you a great opportunity to step in with webinars that combine guidance around multiple issues, like protecting employers against lawsuits when they terminate furloughed workers, or ensuring data privacy when people are forced to work from home, or how businesses can obtain relief for COVID-19 shutdowns and damage relating to protests.
Helping clients solve problems on their terms – not as single, unconnected issues but as the intertwined real-world situations they almost always are – will set you apart as it demonstrates your deep understanding and empathy for the challenges your audience faces every day.
[Katie O'Rourke is Regional Vice President, Sales at ON24. Connect with her on LinkedIn; follow for her latest writing on JD Supra.]