Leveraging Your Reputation: Big ideas, big reward

Tom Ciesielka is President of TC Public Relations (www.tcpr.net). Tom has over 25 years of marketing and public relations experience, working with individual lawyers and mid-sized law firms. He is also a former board member of the Legal Marketing Association in Chicago and has spoken at Chicago Bar Associations CLE programs.  Reach him at tc@tcpr.net.

When we work with our clients, we always try to think of new ways to help get the key message across and make a bigger splash. Some of our suggestions might require more time and resources, and may make you a little nervous at first, but it’s these big ideas that we encourage you to implement. Remember – big ideas can bring big rewards.

Set Up a Microsite

Creating a website is no small task. And even though “microsite” technically means “small site,” the payoff of creating one can have a big impact. A microsite is a unique web page (or pages) that highlights a particular event, issue, campaign, case – basically anything you want to draw specific attention to. It’s a customized page with a unique URL that is separate from your firm’s main home page and can stand alone for parties interested in just one specific issue. It gives you the opportunity to have a control center for all news and information related to a specific issue, which can make it easier for your clients and the media to find the info they are looking for. Consider the recent Domino’s Pizza campaign – “Show Us Your Pizza.” It has a unique web page that is clearly intertwined with the Domino’s brand, but focuses on only one of the company’s many campaigns and offerings.

Get In Front of the Video Camera

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth double that. Capturing video during events, presentations, demonstrations and even day-to-day activities can bring your reputation to the next level and provide a memorable and visual link to your firm and brand. Quality matters when it comes to video, so depending on the purpose of the video, investing in either reliable equipment or an experienced videographer can ensure that your videos are viewed – and viewed frequently. For example, if you want to capture footage from an event, having a durable hand-held video camera with a good zoom feature should suffice. But if you’d like to create a video for your website that includes client testimonials and requires advanced editing, it would be wise to hire a professional. Either way, utilizing video and the Internet (sites such as YouTube or Vimeo) will benefit your brand-building efforts.

Utilize the Mobiles

Next time you’re on the train, count how many people are using their mobile phones. I’d bet a lot of money that at least one person is. With all the smart phones out there nowadays, there is a high demand for mobile applications and mobile web browsing. Mobile marketing is the next step in the grand marketing scheme of things. We’ve gone from delivering messages in print, radio, television, Internet, billboards and now, you can disperse your brand message directly to cellular phones. You can effectively utilize mobiles by making sure your website is mobile-friendly so anyone can easily and conveniently access it on the road. You can also use or create mobile applications and send text messages to personalize your connection and send quick updates with vital information, “from the trenches” event updates or legal industry news. Really, how much closer can you get to potential clients than being inside their pockets and purses?

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