Of all the areas of the law, practices which market to governments, quasi-government agencies, municipal authorities and organizations face the most daunting challenge in terms of balancing the needs of their current clients with those of their potential clients. The potential for conflict here is great and the marketing of the law practice engaged in this area must reflect this reality.
There are a number of reasons for this, including the transient nature of government leadership, sensitivities about whom else the law firm may be representing, and the political affinities and/or allegiances of the firm. Because of this, it is imperative that such law firms not only seek to attract new business, but also, as best they can, seek to pre-empt the loss of existing business as well. This requires ongoing vigilance to potential client concerns as well as displaying unequivocal support behind the community/town/city/county/state (entities that will stand the test of time) in which they operate. For law firms that have experience representing both sides of a particular area of the law, and where conflicts of interest do exist, opportunities to obtain the best of both worlds may be achieved by branching out into different jurisdictions.
Clearly, other than staying on top of government RFPs and bid requests, the most important element in marketing to government entities will come via traditional networking. That being said, there are activities law firms can undertake that will complement such efforts.
Most of these lie in supporting the overall community in as large a manner as possible. This means taking out ads in governmental, non-profit, and civic program guides; attending black-tie affairs and social lunches; and sponsoring events. Such efforts offer the firm an opportunity to be seen by the “movers and shakers,” creates an aura of good will and good citizenship, and lets others know that the firm is a “player” by virtue of its associations.
Staying in the public eye should also be a key strategy. This can be done through press releases announcing appointments, earned credentials, and new municipal clients as well as writing and placing articles in the relevant industry, community, and legal media outlets..
Learn more about the advantages and drawbacks of marketing activities for law firms.