Last week I was invited to join a panel discussion via webinar for ABC Chambers Solutions LLP discussing “The ever-changing landscape of marketing within Barristers Chambers” under the current circumstances. My partner who also works in the legal industry, was invited to speak as a panellist too on “Future-proofing business development by adapting Chambers and mindset.” The fact that we were able to prepare and help each other made the experience really enjoyable, and certainly something we would do together again as a joint venture.
I’ve decided to write about my experiences further, as I am sure much of it applies to marketing staff in other industries and not just barristers Chambers, especially during the worldwide situation we are all currently facing together.
This is my account of how I feel my role has changed over the past few months:
Leading up to lockdown we had to move quickly on adapting to the circumstances we were under which included cancelling events, seminars and social gatherings. We had to focus on a new rapid response strategy to get the message out that we were still open for business and to communicate that, to our clients and the outside world, from home, which for many staff in Chambers, was a very new challenge.
I’ve found myself wondering how this situation is going to adapt my marketing role going forward and how different elements will change.
After the initial announcements, website & social media posts, from a marketing perspective my priority then became to ensure we kept in contact with our clients and not let the fact that we could no longer hold the events that we had planned effect any of our new or existing relationships.
Over the past 10 weeks I have organised c30 webinars in addition to other online marketing initiatives. We took the view to strike whilst the iron was hot and if this is what our clients wanted; we were able to provide it to them. This opportunity has seen an audience of over 2200 people and worked incredibly well for us. It allowed us to engage with a huge audience over such a short space of time, and to do this in person, just would not have been possible.
It has been a very productive project; however, it has also been very time consuming. A lot of my time has been spent organising the webinars, and although it’s been successful it is not sustainable for it to be a long-term plan at this level.
I decided to block a week out to be webinar free and take stock of what we have done so far, what has worked and what hasn’t and looking at continuing to engage with clients considering what we need to do long term, towards the end of this year as well and just the immediate future.
Are people now video-conferenced out? Our new lives seem to be constantly in front of the camera both professionally and personally including social quizzes and brunches etc at the weekends too, so what is the next step to keep our clients interested? I would like to be proactive rather than reactive to whatever happens over the coming months and feel that taking the time to plan various options will be beneficial.
Updating of the website and individual profiles is another element of the job that I feel has hugely changed over lockdown and become a much more prominent part of my role. Working in a Barristers Chambers, the website is hugely important and one of the marketing tools we rely on to attract our clients. Due to the demanding and time-consuming nature of our work, it has always been difficult to get regular profile updates, articles, news stories etc, however I now seem to be inundated with requests and the fact time is now being dedicated to this is a real positive.
There also seems to be a bigger interest for our barristers and staff to be involved with both the social media accounts too. I am being asked for assistance with LinkedIn and Twitter training and looking more strategically at how we use our social media to support our branding and gain new business.
I have factored into the next few months a full social media review because our interaction level has rocketed on the back of having a larger online presence throughout lockdown and I feel now is the time that this can be utilised.
Internal communication has had to adapt and improve, whether that be via video meetings, daily/ weekly bulletins, monthly newsletters, this is for the better, for us to be able to work stronger and more collegiately. Internal communication couldn’t be more important during a time like this.
Marketing budgets are being discussed regularly, as we are spending a lot less money on events, travel and everything that comes hand in hand with face to face marketing and BD. Yes, it is a time that we need to be saving money, but it is also a time where we could be investing it in new projects to assist us online and digitally going forward.
Although this has been a challenging time for the bar, and from a marketing perspective I think that it has been one of my busiest periods ever and I am sure all marketing staff in Chambers and other industries will feel the same. I do feel this could be the push that we needed for Chambers to realise that our online presence etc is vital to Chambers marketing and that it is going to be a key way of communicating going forward.
I am really keen to hear how marketing has adapted across other industries during lock down, please feel free to comment below your experiences and let’s get the conversation going.
Stay well & safe!