MEDIA BUYING GUIDE SERIES - PART 3: LEGAL DIRECTORIES

Nearly all of our clients want to raise their international profile and recognise that one way to do this is in the international legal media. However, there are an overwhelming number of opportunities to consider - legal directories, handbooks, comparative guides, monthly and weekly publications and more.


PART 3: LEGAL DIRECTORIES


Directories with listings and rankings


Directories with listings and rankings generally consist of:


• Independently researched rankings and editorial • Paid for profiles of a) Firms and b) Individual lawyers.


As they are not purchased products, rankings and editorial are slightly beyond the scope of this exercise. However, any firm that wants to build its international practice should ensure it has the best possible rankings in directories. They really are used by in-house counsel and international law firms, both when trying to find firms in unfamiliar jurisdictions and as a means of checking out firms that have been suggested to them. Clients also use the directories to benchmark current advisers, providing them with reassurance that they are independently judged to be among the leading firms.


The principal purpose of buying a profile is to build and reinforce awareness of the firm/its brand. As one of our clients said, “if someone is looking for a law firm in my jurisdiction, I want ours to be one of the first firms they find”.


It is also worth bearing in mind that the main source of income for directories are the profiles they sell. Accordingly, if you think the editorial in the directories provides positive benefits to your firm then by buying profiles you are supporting their continued existence.


Products


The core product is a firm profileAll also offer individual profiles. In some cases all or part of the cost of these are included in the price of the firm profileMost also offer online/banner adverts (see Part 5 of this Guide)Some of the directories offer other products, notably the opportunity to write country chapters and article distribution services.


Suggested approach


Get the best coverage you can in the editorialSeriously consider including the firm profile and other products as part of your media budget especially if:


a) your strategy is to build and reinforce awareness of the firm/its brand (see ‘Have a strategy’ in Part 2 of this Guide) b) you believe the editorial provides a positive benefit to your firm which the profile will support.

With regard to the actual profiles, make sure that they are well written in good business English and deliver a message that is consistent with your website and other marketing materials. Understand the non-core products. Sometimes these are included at no additional cost and can be very good value. Others can be quite expensive but are of peripheral value. Spend a little bit of time understanding how much these products cost and how they work. Get maximum value out of them.


Directories with listings only


Directory listings are made up for firm and individual lawyer profilesThe principal purpose of buying a listing is to build and reinforce awareness of the firm/its


A key factor when considering these products is how well they do on search engines and “hits” received on the online sites. Although both of these can be quite difficult to evaluate, these directories tend to receive more internet hits than those with editorial coverage. That said, it is likely that a higher proportion of these hits are from a less targeted audience.


The distribution database element of these products can add significant value. Whereas the directories that include editorial coverage tend to be founded in the UK/Europe and have their more historic following in UK/Europe, listings only directories tend to originate in USA and have their strongest followings in USA/Americas. Costs vary significantly.


Firm profilesIndividual Profiles


The directories also offer other products most notably distribution services which both main directories of this type have developed.


Suggested approach


Most of the same points apply as for Directories with listings and rankings. These products are a particularly important part of your plan if the USA/Americas are important markets for your firm.


If producing or contributing to a number of publications is a central part of your marketing plan the distribution services offered by these products can also offer significant value.


Get a clear quote on cost and do not spend a disproportionate amount of your budget on these items.


For further information about growing your firm, please contact:

Alex Kaminsky - ak@ilfs.net

Alex Holtum - ajh@ilfs.net