Marketing to General Counsel: One Size Does Not Fit All!

Author: Erica Feher | July 11, 2013

When it comes to marketing to General Counsel, there is no magic approach. This was the message at a Legal Marketing Association’s Los Angeles Chapter lunch featuring a six-person, all-woman panel from corporations of varying sizes across a range of industries. The panel discussed strategies that work to grab and keep the attention of GC. Here are a few takeaways.

Relationships are key. It is critical to start building a relationship with the GCs you want to get in front of. This could include talking with them at conferences (such as at an Association of Corporate Counsel conference), offering advice on an issue they are facing and then keeping in touch. The panel also said that RFPs are a great opportunity to get in front of potential clients. Whether you get the work, you should continue to stay in touch as there might be new work down the road. In addition, if someone from your firm goes in-house, keep in touch with them as you already have a connection.

Be specific. The decision on whether to hire outside counsel typically involves a matter with “special” or very specific issues that the in-house lawyers don’t have the expertise to handle. The same theme applies when it comes to pitching GCs – you need to be very specific in what you are selling them. It is crucial to have a complete understanding of their company and the industry and target the issues they are facing.

Webinars work. The GCs admitted to not having time to look at firm newsletters or other marketing materials they receive because they are constantly pressed for time. However, they said if there is a webinar that is significantly relevant to the issues they face, they are more likely to sign up and then listen in with one ear. That being said, sometimes they are still unable to listen in.

Don’t Neglect LinkedIn. While the panelists discussed that they typically obtain referrals from people they know, they said they will often turn to LinkedIn to vet that attorney and see who their connections are.

Just as with all your marketing, when targeting General Counsel, attorneys should consider incorporating a mix of marketing tactics. You never know what will stick.

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