Most of us look forward to the summer season. It’s the ideal time to enjoy long weekends, beach getaways, sunshine, baseball games, boat rides and frozen drinks. While we know the legal industry rarely allows for complete downtime, things can often feel a bit slower and more relaxed during the summer months. The change of pace may be nice, but it’s important not to become lackadaisical when it comes to your PR and marketing efforts.

What is the best way to keep your attorneys on top of their goals this summer? Here are some of my favorite internal communication tips for driving excitement for legal marketing internally.

  1. Education – Perhaps some of your attorneys are not fully privy to the protocols surrounding your firm’s legal marketing and PR efforts. They may have an interest in participating, but feel somewhat intimidated because they don’t know where or how to begin. Why not host an internal lunch seminar that covers the processes, best practices, successes and benefits of your firm’s program? This is a great way to kick-start a routine for attorneys who have not yet been proactive in their efforts.
  2. Promotion – As legal marketers, one component of our job is to promote and broadcast the excellent work that our attorneys are doing. I advise making a list of every channel that your firm employs to communicate internally, and hitting each one whenever your attorneys have a PR or marketing success. While it’s crucial to communicate these successes externally so your clients and prospective clients are aware of them, it is also vital to communicate the news internally. (You may be surprised at how rarely your attorneys read the content on their own firm’s website.) Include their byline articles and published commentary on your firm’s intranet and internal social pages, within your internal newsletters, during marketing meetings, and on bulletin boards. Knowledge truly is power, so the more attorneys know what their colleagues are doing, the better.
  3. Recognition – Humble or not, most of us like to be recognized in some way, shape or form. To have your hard work noticed and appreciated is often just the fuel needed to continue driving you forward. This motivational strategy works best if you can involve firm leadership in the effort. Encourage the managing partners, practice group leaders, rainmakers and mentors at your firm to publicly recognize the success of their colleagues and associates. It could be as easy as a congratulatory team email, dessert in the break room, certificate or public kudos at the next team meeting.
  4. Competition – Legal practice is competitive by nature, so why not let that carry over into marketing and PR activities? Consider establishing a physical or virtual marketing leaderboard. The marketing team can keep track of how often attorneys are quoted or published, and those with the most number of successes at the end of every month can be treated to something simple, but meaningful, be it a lunch, happy hour, gift card or certificate.

These tips aren’t only effective during the summer months. I suggest implementing these communication tactics and strategies year-round. Bear in mind, however, that you know your attorneys and firm culture best. You are likely to know what will and will not fly, so try these tips, but feel free to develop some of your own tactics. It is your job to be creative!

If you would like to share comments on motivational tips that have or have not worked for you, or to discuss specific ideas or steps for improvement, please do not hesitate to contact me, Bethany Early, at bearly@jaffepr.com.