Legal marketers everywhere are breathing a collective sigh because Chambers USA’s submission season has come to an end. Whether you have overseen the completion of 70-plus submissions — bless your heart — or only a handful, you now possess a wealth of information about your firm, and that’s marketing gold. Think about it: You have collected headcount information, top-line information about the firm, information about specific attorneys, competitive analyses, recaps of important cases, and client contact and background details, among other activities.
Now that you have all this great information, what can you do with it? How can you leverage this data for its maximum benefit? The opportunities are virtually limitless — and using this information for other marketing efforts helps diffuse the cost of completing the submissions.
Your Chambers USA submissions can be used as a springboard for any number of other submissions. Legal 500 deadlines are looming, and much of that Chambers USA information can easily be dropped into the Legal 500 submission template. These data can also be used for a host of other editorial nominations for national and regional publications. Whether it is an AmLaw, Benchmark, Law360, IFLR or NLJ firm ranking, or “40 Under 40” for the local business journal, your Chambers USA submission is a great place to start the process, because you’ve already done most of the information-gathering. Not only do you have an attorney’s biographical section already completed, but you also have the casework in the matters section to support their nomination.
Awards in and of themselves do not always garner media attention, so what else can you do to leverage this information? You can use the Chambers USA submission to aid in developing marketing materials. Not unlike writing a compelling nomination, your marketing materials are aimed at getting clients’ and prospects’ attention and making them interested in working with the firm/attorneys. This document can serve as an excellent source for homing in on your law firm’s brand, creating sales material, and a host of other marketing and PR efforts.
You can also use the submission to help develop a plan for improving thought leadership. Whether through articles or speaking engagements, thought leadership provides attorneys the opportunity to showcase their talent. Could a particular matter highlighted in your submission be used for a case study or seminar topic? The matters in the submission highlight where the attorneys are excelling and are a great place to look for speaking opportunities.
Firms often overlook the valuable connections made while completing the submission, which requires firm personnel to work with practice group leaders, key attorneys and clients. These check-ins are a great way to strengthen existing relationships and identify possible cross-selling and cross-marketing opportunities. Your hard work in creating a quality submission has also undoubtedly earned you some credibility with your internal clients, so use that to gain buy-in on other marketing efforts to help further grow their practices.
The referees the firm has submitted create a process that affords you or an attorney at least three opportunities to connect with the referee. This contact reminds clients of the great work you've done for them, which keeps the firm’s brand top of mind. And just because Chambers USA submission season is over doesn’t mean you can’t continue your outreach efforts. Keep in touch now that the door has opened.
The Finish Line
I know the marathon of completing Chambers USA submissions gives us all headaches and sleepless nights — but look at what you have done. This lengthy document can be used for many other things than to convince the Chambers researchers to rank your firm. As I said above, this is marketing gold, and the possibilities to reuse and repurpose this information are vast.