What does a legal marketer do?
While getting ready for school and work this morning, my 7-year old asked me what I did at work.
She knows my office is up really high in the tallest building west of the Mississippi. She knows that I have a really cool white board that she likes to draw on. She knows I work with lawyers, but that I’m not one.
She’s seven and doesn’t understand terminology like “business development,” “collateral,” and “reputation management.” She knows all about the Internet; it’s where she plays with her Webkinz, watches Fred videos on YouTube (click at your own risk. Really annoying), and e-mails her friend Tamaki in Japan. However, she doesn’t understand “social media” and “social networking.” To her, Facebook is just a place where I share pictures of her sticking out her tongue.
Truth be told, I had an associate ask me the same question recently: “What do you do?”
So what do I do?? I’m a legal marketer, which doesn’t really convey too much. Personally, I think of my title as an an umbrella term that includes numerous job responsibilities:
- I’m the guardian of the firm’s image. Whether graphic, website, blogs, invitations, tribute ads, behavior at external events, etc.
- I’m responsible for “external happy.” That’s fancy speak for client relations, external events, conferences, client communications, etc. “Internal happy” belongs to HR and administration.
- I’m chief psychiatrist. My door is always available for shutting for you to vent your frustrations, as long as you’re willing to take on some of my solutions.
- I’m the messenger. I carry information between partners and offices … and get to act as a conduit.
- I’m the conduit. Since I know what you’re doing, and what the partner down the hall, or across the country is doing, I can start making meaningful connections.
- I’m the impartial party. Since I’m not affected by the compensation structure, I have no problems seeing beyond the dollar signs and billable hour requirements when it comes to new business development.
- I’m the cheerleader. If it’s a good idea, I’ll root for it loud and strong.
- I’m the story assignment desk. I troll the news and court verdicts for blog ideas, and assign partners to write up posts and client alerts (whether they do it or not, well, that’s another job).
- I’m the traffic cop. Gotta make sure those deadlines are kept.
- I’m the referee. Sometimes between staff. Sometimes between partners.
- I’m the virus (or antidote, depending on your perspective). I slowly infect the partnership with new ideas, spreading marketing and business development ideas and concepts, which slowly change the way the attorneys approach their new business generation.
- I’m the master-manipulator. If it’s a good idea, I’ll make sure that at some point it becomes your good idea and gets implemented.
So, what’s my job … I’m in charge of making sure “It “ gets done. “It’s” a little bit of this, and a little bit of that. And “It” changes on any given day.