Like most of my Facebook friends, I sent the kids to bed at a decent hour last night and engrossed myself in the season premier of Mad Men. For those who missed it and have it DVR’d — this isn’t so much a SPOILER ALERT, but a discussion of a truism that popped up mid-way through the episode. For those who don’t watch the show, not to worry. This isn’t so much a post about Mad Men, but about legal marketing and the responsibility of the lawyer. Don Draper, ad man extraordinaire, blew an interview with Ad Age. He didn’t toot his own horn. He didn’t toot the horn of the firm. He didn’t mention the clients. His aloofness came across as arrogance … challenging the reporter to “do his job,” yet giving up no details. When confronted by his partners, Don defiantly holds onto he’s “Don Draper” and his work speaks for itself. He shouldn’t have to do the job of the reporter, finding out about clients, or how the firm created the latest ad. His partners disagreed. This interview was an advertisement for the firm, and now it was a liability. Senior partner Bertram Cooper admonished Don:
Turning creative success into business is your work.
Wow. How simple, succinct, and so very true. Yes, lawyers, that’s what it comes down to. It is YOUR job to turn YOUR success into new BUSINESS. The marketing department and the business development team can open doors, help create opportunities, make the reservations, help fill the table, get the reporter on the line, get you in the room. But, once the doors close, the hands are shaken, and the business cards exchanged, it is YOUR job to turn YOUR success into new BUSINESS. You need to SPEAK about your wins and successes. You need to SHOW your expertise. You need to STAND IN FRONT OF your work. You might not be able to mention your clients in specific marketing materials, or on the website, but you can showcase your capabilities: You can upload your public record filings to JD Supra. You can blog about similar cases to the ones you handle. You can speak about your expertise at conferences. Marketing: We can make it all look pretty, coordinated, sleek and professional. Business development: We can help identify the opportunities, get you in front of the right people, provide you with the background and competitive intelligence. Communications & PR: We can help put it all into words, and get it out the door and in front of the right people. As for you, the lawyer. What is your your job and your role in all of this?? It’s very simple: Your job is to turn your successes into new business.