Now THIS is how to launch a website!

by Ross Fishman

When launching a new brand or website, I think it’s time for a party.

Some firms launch via memo from the marketing committee or managing partner.  What a wasted opportunity!  When we launched Hedrick Gardner’s new marketing campaign and website, their internal team really took it up a notch. Here’s the story:

Recently I wrote about the launch of the Hedrick Gardner “We Don’t Blink” campaign ( See “Smoothing a litigation firm’s sharp edges”), an aggressive new marketing campaign, ad campaign, and website for one of North Carolina’s top litigation firms.  Using a few inexpensive-but-impactful materials and giveaways, the in-house marketers created a series of festive events in three different offices that really helped get their people on board with the brand.

The marketing message is aggressive and shows that the lawyers are strong, tough, and confident trial lawyers, rather than paper-pushing “litigators.”

The tag line is “We Don’t Blink.”  Believe me, they don’t.

Here’s an example of the visuals (on the left), the firm’s dynamic managing partner, Mel Garofalo — one of the region’s top trial lawyers.

They look tough and strong; we spent a little more to get a great photographer.  But the roll-out party showed their collegial culture as well.  When shooting 15 different branding photos for the home page, the terrific photographer had the brains and expertise to shoot some candids as well.

Good photographers shoot what they’re told.

Great photographers see a great photo and take it. 

When rolling out a new logo, website, or marketing campaign, we typically recommend printing the marketing materials on the cakes (described here), which we recommended to the firm’s creative in-house marketers, Alyson Willisand Sara Snavely.  They took this a step farther, using the candids on the cakes — dynamic and charming Managing Partner Mel Garofalo grabbing his tie next to top partner Martha Surles.

On the Wilmington office’s launch-party cake, managing partner Erica Lewis is shown doubled over laughing.

(She burst out laughing right after shooting her “tough” photo, and the savvy photographer captured it.)

And, in the Raleigh office, a little Photoshop and frosting showed the Raleigh office’s new and former managing partners, Jeff Doyle and Tom Buckley, parodying 21 Jump Street.

Then they blew up the Mel-and-Erica shot and cut out the faces to shoot Comic Foreground photos. How many managing partners would agree to that?  But it added to the festivity and boosted morale – and that’s the point.  Smart


They also handed out cool “We Don’t Blink” sunglasses:

We launched the site in three offices, starting with a PPT presentation in which I explained the rationale and process behind our work, to get the entire firm educated and bought in. The more people understand the brand, the more they get on board.

The net effect was terrific parties in all offices that helped all personnel buy into the brand, with enthusiastic and well-received speeches by the managing and marketing partners to help boost morale and camaraderie.

Images (c) Copyright 2013 Hedrick Gardner

Written by:

Ross Fishman

Fishman Marketing, Inc. on:

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