The other day, after forgetting to buy toothpaste, I was faced with a choice of which of two second-choice toothpastes to use up since my first choice wasn’t an option! (Bear with me.) In addition to mulling the prospect of sucking it up and forcing my way through some spearmint-flavoured toothbrushing, the conundrum took me back to my first-job-after-university days researching the pharmaceuticals and personal care market (exciting times!). How Arm & Hammer came out with a new toothpaste that repaired teeth. And how its advantage was wiped out the moment the patent expired.
Since directories season never really ends, sadly this train of thought led me to the epiphany of the link between new toothpastes and legal directory rankings: if you have a new product to sell, you have a temporary advantage. And just so if your legal practice has a new story to tell but it won’t take long for that advantage to vanish.
With that in mind, and with submissions from Asia to Europe and the USA upcoming, here are some top tips on how to change up the information in order keep your next submission fresh (definitely peppermint, not spearmint fresh!):
1. If you reported on some new team hires last year, then this time round make sure to showcase how those hires have bedded in by exemplifying their new work and the transitioning of their clients into the practice.
2. By all means, do include some ongoing examples of work that were submitted last year – it’s a common and reasonable thing to do – but be sure to update the matter in order to describe the significant progress of the deal or case since last year.
3. Not all years are created equal – take a fresh look at the lawyers you want to nominate as candidates for ranking. Some members are so central to the practice that they will merit nomination every year, but there will be lawyers who had a strong year last year, unfortunately didn’t get ranked and have since had a quiet year for one reason or another; unless it’s a strategic priority to have that person nominated, this quiet year for them may well indicate that it’s time to promote the case for a different lawyer this year, i.e. a lawyer who has made an impact of their own with a strong body of industry-affecting or cutting-edge mandates. This type of consideration of year-to-year strength of case is especially important for large teams where you may have numerous lawyers who are viable candidates for recognition.
4. Last year, you may have reported on some trends affecting an industry or practice area. Maybe some of those trends never turned into work for the practice – after all, it’s the law not fortune-telling – but make sure to flag up any trends that did come to fruition by following up that line of argument and exemplifying relevant work which has resulted.
5. When submitting your referees, it’s always a good idea to review whether to change the list compared with the previous year. Some of your best clients will be happy to promote the cause year after year but this won’t be the case for every client, particularly if the lawyers haven’t done much for them in the past 12 months. Keeping an eye on this not only avoids overburdening clients with repeated requests but it helps to avoid a client’s comments becoming stale and/or a client saying they haven’t used the firm much this year, which might be an incidental slowdown in a long-term client relationship but may come across to the researcher as an implicit negative.
If you have any questions about how SavageNash could help your law firm with its directories needs, please go ahead and contact us via our website – or email me directly. We look forward to hearing from you.