You’ve heard this before: “Our attorneys work in silos. No matter how much we encourage collaboration, it doesn’t happen.” It’s true, getting attorneys to work together, collaborate and overcome the significant barriers along the way can be an overwhelming challenge.  Whether it comes down to distrust, used to working on their own, or feeling like their clients may be poached, many attorneys don’t consider the benefits of collaboration and cross-marketing.

One surprising way to ease these challenges is through your marketing and public relations campaign. If you’re trying to move the needle and get attorneys from different practice groups to work together, you can kill two birds with one stone by getting your lawyers involved with marketing and getting them to collaborate.

How does that work? The first step is identifying the key attorneys and areas that you want to cross-market. Creating a simple chart can better illuminate where these opportunities exist. For example, develop a table of practice areas, attorneys, target audience and their goals, and see where cross-marketing can take place. Armed with a little information, you can begin to draw the lines between partners and practice areas. Now it’s time to market.

We will be using the example of Jane and Joe. Jane is a real estate transactional lawyer and Joe is a commercial litigator. Both attorneys could benefit from collaboration and shared resources as much of their work crosses over (Jane’s clients could use Joe’s services when disputes ensue; and Joe’s clients could use Jane’s transactional support through major business decisions). Below are three suggestions for cross-marketing between Jane and Joe using your public relations campaign.

  1. Develop a Joint Media Pitch

The low hanging fruit is developing a joint media pitch on a topic they both can speak to, but bring different perspectives on the subject.  Jane can focus on the transactional aspect and Joe can focus on litigation trends. Working together on media efforts can also alleviate the pressure of said media efforts. Let’s say Joe is not available for an interview, then Jane can step in. Having two attorneys may also encourage someone who is notoriously unresponsive to have more skin in the game.

  1. Create Joint Presentations

Identifying cross-over in practice areas can be leveraged for potential speaking opportunities where attorneys can co-present. Joint presentations not only bring attorneys together, but  are also more dynamic, and usually open doors for more presentations and further collaboration down the road. Don’t forget that their presentation can be turned into a webinar or pitched as a bylined article opportunity, and therefore, reach more people and create  more opportunities for collaboration.

  1. Distribute Joint Client Alerts

When there are new regulations or changes in law that your firm is monitoring, select attorneys from different practice areas to lead the charge and co-author a legal alert. More often than not, these changes in law will have an impact on multiple industries, providing an opportunity for attorneys from different practice areas to collaborate. Having various perspectives on the potential impact means the alert will be applicable to a wider net of clients and prospects.

The beauty of the above is that these efforts will usually lead to even more collaboration as material is leveraged for the firm’s website, social media, e-newsletters, etc. Breaking down these silos is not for the faint of heart but using your marketing and PR campaign is one way to knock down walls – brick-by-brick.