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Professional reputation: how it can be strengthened through effective e-marketing and online communication

WEBSITES - STRENGTHENING YOUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH CLIENTS

The universal use of the internet makes it imperative that your website creates exactly the right impression and offers information and services that will appeal to your clients and contacts. Actions might include:

* Publish up to date news.

* Review your current site. Is it meeting your expectations? What impression does it convey? Are the right people visiting it? What do they think of it?

* Update your content. Does your site reflect your most recent achievements? Are professional profiles and news items up-to-date?

* Create a new website to replace your current offering. Would you like it to look fresher and more appealing? Could it be easier to navigate? What about ideas for new features?

* Ensure your website meets new accessibility standards.

Your website will work most effectively if it is supported by other complementary marketing activity: media relations, for example, or regular email briefings to key people. We can help in these areas too.


MARKETING AND MEDIA RELATIONS: ENHANCING YOUR REPUTATION

Marketing is about professional reputation. Increasing your profile (individual, chambers, or firm) leads to higher quality instructions, more interesting and satisfying work, and increased fees. Activities can include:

* Writing material for publication: media releases, articles, professional profiles, directory submissions, website content, newsletters.

* Using media relations to build your profile cost-effectively. Lawyers have great stories to tell about their casework (always taking care of confidentiality) often to the benefit of the client.

* Creating a new client database. We find that Microsoft Outlook Contacts offers a low-cost, easy-to-use and surprisingly effective solution: more flexible and user-friendly than some of the practice management software; much cheaper than specialist CRM or contacts database systems.

* Preparing and distributing e-mail updates to your key contacts. Used prudently, this is an excellent way to keep your name fresh in clients' minds, for example by telling them about key judgements, inviting them to a seminar.

*Nominations for awards: to enhance your reputation, and boost internal morale.

* Researching your clients' or prospective clients' needs and opinions.

* Planning ahead with detailed actions, responsibilities, and timetables.


TRAINING

Many legal professionals have misgivings about marketing. An in-house seminar could increase understanding of the role of marketing and of what you are trying to achieve.

Every contact with a client by anybody in the organisation is an opportunity to create an impression and build a relationship. Workshops can help make sure that the most is made of every opportunity and that everyone shares your commitment to client service.

In-house training is the most effective. As well as minimising the time spent away from the office, it will be customised to focus on the training needs you have identified and to emphasise your organisation's individual approach. Subjects we cover include:
* Client Care
* Marketing skills
* Complaints-handling
* Equality/Diversity
* Work/Life Balance
* Money-Laundering
* Data Protection
* Staff Appraisal

   

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