There certainly is plenty of bad news to go around. Enough so that it even has the good guys looking down at their shoes. What’s a law firm to do?

1. Passion And Leadership Are Imperative
Successful firms will have a strong, visible leader who oozes belief in the firm’s raison d’être and the client proposition. Passion spreads throughout the organization and becomes infectious.

2. Invest In The Future And Be Courageous
Defy conventional impulses and spend to grow market share. Studies repeatedly show that organizations that increase marketing investments during a recession grow market share, increase margins and have better long-term growth trends than their competitors who are not so courageous. See #1.

3. Creativity Is Not Optional
Best of all, it’s essentially free and populates the offices and break-rooms in your firm. You may have missed seeing it during the boom times. Don’t discount the potential contributions of secretarial, administration staff AND even those introverted lawyers. See #1.

4. Develop Trust, Connectivity and True Partnership
Give your clients voice. Give them what they need to be true “brand” believers and loyal forever. Innovation through client insights and experimentation can produce breakthrough ideas. Go to your core audience, ask them what they want, and give it to them. You may be surprised to learn that they truly want to be your partner. They want you to succeed so that they can succeed. Make sure it’s not just marketing speak on your web site. When they ask for something you think you cannot give, think again, they really don’t want you to fail. It may be just the right thing to do for both of you. See #1.

5. Integrate All Communications
Reach your potential client base through multiple channels, BUT, creatively deliver the same message across all platforms.

6. Be Accountable Together
Create a marketing culture of accountability. Partner with finance, technology, research and analytics to measure everything you can. Be grounded in a disciplined process that relies on a cross-functional marketing and finance team that reviews all activities. See #1.

7. Invest In People
Build skills, build capability, build knowledge, and watch the bottom line grow. Train even the most junior person in your organization to embrace the firm culture and philosophy. See #1. Aggressively pursue efficiencies and productivity. See #1.

8. Be Socially Responsible
Do good. Now is not the time to cut back too far. BUT, rethink your sponsorships and contributions. Do you have skin in the game? Now is the right time to go beyond cause “marketing” and have an inspiration and motivational reason for your firm’s brand to be involved in the community. Your clients will notice and reward you for giving back. See #1.

Thanks to Advertising Age staff writers for prompting these ideas. “Recession Proof Your Business