Entering the dog days of summer, the first weekend of August, also means we’ve reached the halfway point of the annual Chambers USA submission season. For many legal marketers, the last deadline can’t come soon enough and uploading that final submission is – no joke – cause for celebration. I won’t ruin the party by reminding them that Legal 500 US is due in mid-November; you can have a day to enjoy.
Although I haven’t seen any surveys (sic) on this, I’m fairly certain that directory submissions (and their cousins, awards) are one of the biggest reasons for anguish, griping, bellyaching and all-around grumping in legal marketing departments. Anecdotally, it’s safe to say that many marketers would rather avoid directory submissions altogether and use that time, as one colleague said, “for more meaningful purposes.”
If you’re thinking that way, you couldn’t be more wrong.
Any firm with aspirations to lead its market, practice specialty, or targeted industry can’t afford to waste a golden opportunity to collect valuable internal information, and get external market feedback. You could spend hundreds of thousands of dollars – millions, even – with a management consultant to find out how your firm is performing, or how your clients feel about you, or where you stand in the market according to your peers.
Or for the price of a few hours you can get most of that information from Chambers, Legal 500, IFLR1000, FT Innovative, AmLaw or any of the substantive rankings. For free. (Seriously – it’s free.)
Yes, you have to spend resources putting submissions together but that’s no different than any other business development or marketing assignment. No one would ever suggest that you haphazardly cobble together an RFP or that you casually find some reporter to profile your partner.
Directories marketing takes the same degree of management, with one bonus: every aspect comprising a directory submission should already live within your marketing strategy. If submissions are taking you too long, it’s not them, it’s you.
Want to know why you need to participate in Chambers and Legal 500, or why filling out the NY Law Journal’s 40 Under 40 or the FT Innovative Lawyers submissions are worth it? Here are 10 reasons: