Case Study :
Branding

Adding Creativity to Internal Communications

The Issue

Few law firms are as fiercely dedicated to their culture as Chicago’s Freeborn & Peters LLP. The firm’s philosophy and core values are at the heart of every interaction with clients and colleagues. Part of this unique culture involves nurturing the relationships among its attorneys, staff, alumni and close friends of the firm. To help grow these relationships, the firm constructed a proprietary online “community portal” that functions similarly to a closed social network.

The portal would eventually become a vehicle for brand advocates to conduct outreach efforts, including lead generation, referrals, recruitment and pro bono activities. But first, Freeborn needed to inspire mass buy-in among its internal staff and attorneys, and it needed do that quickly. The firm tapped the creative consultants at Jaffe for an internal marketing campaign that would ensure the portal’s success.

Develop a marketing strategy to encourage firmwide participation in the community portal

Part of the firm's unique culture involves nurturing the relationships among its attorneys, staff, alumni and close friends.

The Strategy

Freeborn’s attorneys and staff are busy people, and Jaffe knew it would be a challenge to communicate a sense of urgency and get the entire firm on board without delay. From our consultations, we knew the firm couldn’t resist a little good-natured competition, leading our creative team to devise a “gamification” strategy. Jaffe proposed an internal communications plan with a horse-racing theme: the Freeborn Triple Crown. It was a competitive game with five horses, each named after one of the firm’s five core values. Members of the portal were assigned to five teams. For each member who logged in and participated, the team’s horse would advance a step.

To build excitement about the initiative, Jaffe’s graphic designers created fun deliverables, including color-coded, embossed bracelets displaying the team names; trading cards for the horses; an information packet about the game and community portal; and race update charts in both digital and printed formats. The bracelets and information packets were distributed during a series of firmwide meetings, and the firm’s marketing team announced the various prize packages.

Freeborn tracked employee log-ins and profile updates in real time, regularly reporting this information to Jaffe. Our marketing consultants then updated the digital and printed race-update charts, which the firm distributed to further encourage competition and inspire urgency.

Use game strategy to inspire participation via friendly competition

To build excitement about the initiative, Jaffe’s graphic designers created fun deliverables.

The Impact

Within the first two weeks of the Freeborn Triple Crown, more than 60 percent of staff and attorneys had logged into the portal and nearly 40 percent had updated their profiles. At the conclusion of the competition, in just one month, only 35 had not created a profile, which exceeded the firm’s goal of 80 percent buy-in within the short timeframe. In addition, law firm management expressed their satisfaction with the creativity and effectiveness of the strategy.

Achieved high percentage of buy-in from both attorneys and staff