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SMORS – They’re Not Just for Campfires Anymore

I’ve been so excited that the LMA has formed a NJ city group of the NY chapter, and it’s been wonderful to connect in person with other legal marketing colleagues outside of the Annual Conference. Last night, we met up again to re-cap the LMA conference for those in the group that hadn’t been able to attend.  I added my experiences, but was able to learn a lot from Wilentz’s Amy Adams and Corcoran Consulting Group’s Tim Corcoran, who shared about sessions that I had missed. 

One of the sessions that Amy re-capped was taken from the pre-conference SMORS session – Smart Marketing on (Limited) Resources. She focused mostly on the presentation on managing your workload and gave us some valuable tips:

  • Understand your firm’s culture – this can take time.
  • Know who the influencers at your firm are – even the discontented ones (especially the discontented ones).
  • Identify where you can delegate your workflow, even outside of the marketing department.
  • Put in face-time with your clients – email is not always sufficient.
  • Use the words “pilot program” to launch something new – attorneys are more comfortable if it sounds like the firm won’t be overly invested.
  • Use checklists and shared calendar reminders to communicate what you’re doing to the partners.
  • Uncover the true motivation behind why a partner wants to do something to find out where your time is best spent.

In addition to these tips, Amy shared a handout with us that included the top ten ingredients for success, which really summed up her key points. The handout comes from Emily Krause, the Director of Marketing at Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen and Tom Helm, the Business Development Director at Swift, Currie, McGhee & Hiers.

  1. Manage your time well. Look at what you should be doing in house vs. outsourcing. Don’t mistake activity for results.
  2. Find your allies in the firm. You should know everyone’s name and they should know yours – from the mail room to accounting to the partners to IT. Have a good working relationship and share information.
  3. Know the business and the clients. Be the go to person for answers.
  4. Be over prepared when you present ideas and concepts to attorneys and partners. Have research to back up your ideas and concepts. Where has it worked before. Is there a competitive edge. What was your thought process. What are the expected results.
  5. Don’t be an expense. Show deliverables. Use metrics. Track everything you can. Show the ROI.
  6. Make it easy – in every interaction with the attorneys. Do any prep work that you can do for them ahead of time. Print directions, bios, make cheat sheets of questions, send reminders. Anticipate their needs and you will gain their trust and respect.
  7. Be accountable – own your mistakes, learn for [sic] them, and always present a solution with them. Never make excuses.
  8. Deliver top notch customer service all the time – Treat the attorneys or practice groups like your clients.
  9. Think strategically – Focus on the big picture. How are things related? What will happen next week, month, year, and present the full plan.
  10. Follow the trends. Know what is new and cutting edge, not just in law firms, but also in IT, marketing and resources.

Do you have any recommendations to add for managing your workflow successfully on limited resources?