For years, CEOs protected themselves from the public and left most of the talking to their PR agencies. Regularly communicating in a public forum was simply not part of a CEO’s job description. Today, the massive onslaught of businesses adopting social media has provided a unique opportunity for finally personalizing the voice – and influence – of these company leaders. However, with a few high-profile exceptions (Richard Branson), CEOs have largely remained out of the mix, often too busy to take the time to participate in the incessant roar of the social channels. Executives, particularly the CEO, can provide a perspective that no one else in your business can, and social media offers a great platform to disseminate that message.
Ingram’s logic applies equally to managing partners or executive committee chairs at law firms. Despite social providing law firm leaders a unique and powerful opportunity, by and large, they’ve been silent.
Look at Ingram’s reasoning as applied to your law firm’s managing partner or chair.
- Their perspective is unlike any other. Marketing can present the brand, a website, email newsletters, events, and more, but they cannot provide high level insights necessary to drive your firm’s role as a thought leader. Your managing partner or chair has their finger on the pulse of what motivates the firm, the values on which stands, the challenges it faces, and the opportunities which lie ahead. Your firm’s leader can distill their insight on such items “into bite-sized chunks that can intrigue reporters and consumers alike, driving leads and traffic back to the company while also humanizing it.”
- They can inject personality into your law firm’s brand. Websites and other marketing materials are not enough. They don’t generate trust like real authentic engagement. Your law firm’s managing partner or chair likely didn’t get there without some personality–even personality bursting to get out. Social provides them an opportunity to showcase not only insightful industry commentary but also the lighter side of your brand.
- It sets an example for further employee social engagement. Every law firm needs to grow its socially and this means growing the social media engagement of each lawyer and professional at the firm. However, law firms are paralyzed, they don’t know where or how to start and often get mired in guidelines limiting how employees should go about getting involved. With leadership from your law firm’s managing partner or chair, employees can learn from his or her example, increasing your firm’s total reach and engagement on social channels.
The marketing and branding of your firm is not going to go away and your managing partner is not going to be able ‘get social’ without some help. But sticking your head in the sand hoping social will pass the law firm’s leadership by or waiting until all the other law firms have their leaders using social before acting are not winning strategies.
Hat tip: Lisa van der Pool (@lvanderpool)