In this episode, Guy Alvarez and guest Barbara Malin discuss how law firms can handle the COVID-19 pandemic to help ensure business continuity. Things are changing so rapidly that we can’t lose sight of the need to adapt our marketing strategies. Our guest, Barbara Malin, is the Chief Business Development and Marketing Officer at Jackson Walker, one of Texas’ largest firms. She works with the firm’s more than 400 lawyers and an internal business development and marketing team of 15 professionals to identify client needs and develop effective and innovative solutions to those needs. Prior to this, she was a practicing attorney in appellate law for over 30 years, and also ran her own small firm. You can connect with Barbara on LinkedIn here.
Podcast Show Notes
What advice do you have for lawyers and legal marketers to not let this pandemic affect their business continuity plans?
I would advise them to focus on five key priorities. The first being, taking a look at the issues that have the greatest urgency and have not been addressed. This would include taking care of the health and safety of employees and clients, assisting in supporting clients in their personal and professional needs and maintaining regular communication. The second priority would be, start looking ahead, figure out the magnitude of the effect that this crisis will have on your law firm, and develop a crisis recovery plan. The third priority is to be flexible with reallocating responsibilities within your firm to respond better to the crisis. The fourth priority is experimenting with creating new services, new pricing and packaging of existing services. The fifth priority is to assess the amount of risk in your firm, the risk of business disruption, and the impact of the changes that clients are facing on your firm.
What are crisis communication tool kits and how can you use them during COVID-19?
A crisis communication tool kit is a plan you have developed in advance for increasing communication during various types of crises. The purpose behind this is to reassure clients that the firm is still able to meet their needs, with consistent pre-made messaging.
How can law firms further develop their content strategy during this time?
Now is a great time to ask your firm’s clients what their concerns are to better understand them and their industry. This is a great opportunity to supply your clients with resources they may need to help them cope with the issues they are having.
Now is the time to have renewed focus on your law firm’s business development and marketing efforts. Touch base with your clients, listen to their pain points and needs, and speak to those needs with your firm’s content efforts. This is a critical time to maintain contact with your clients and assure them that you’re here for them during these turbulent times. Most importantly, stay calm, and make note of the lessons you are learning through this situation so that you can better handle calamities in the future.
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