Apr 2 '13
ZERO to 140 is the law’s fastest cross-examination where the interviewee has to respond in fewer than 140 characters.
The latest interviewee is Elliot Moss, Director of Business Development at Mishcon de Reya. Elliot Moss was recently named by the FT as one of the most innovative individuals in the legal sector. Mishcon de Reya was also recently named as the Elephant Creative Tweeter of the Week for their exemplary tweeting.
So Elliot is obviously doing something very right for himself and the firm. What’s the secret to his legal marketing success? Well today we’re going to find out what that is.
Brian John Spencer: Where are you right now?
Elliot Moss: In my office.
BJS: What’s sitting at the top of the to-do list?
EM: Writing a summary for Board meeting, reviewing the look of our new blog, a film for the FT Partnership and a sensitive client PR issue.
BJS: You’re a “non-Lawyer” as the FT put it. But what does the law practice mean to you and how and why did you end up being involved in legal advertising?
EM: I believe in the rule of law; I joined Amnesty in 1986. I like that lawyers at their best can help individuals, companies and countries.
BJS: When did you join Mishcon de Reya where you’re at now?
EM: Mishcon became a client of the advertising agency where I was MD. They asked me to join the firm. I did.
BJS: You joined Mishcon in 2009 – how were things marketing/business development-wise?
EM: The firm had fame but no brand. BD meant brilliant rainmakers with non-lawyers in peripheral roles. Now it’s central to strategy and growth.
BJS: You bring 15 years of non-law advertising experience to the Mishcon table. How important is that?
EM: Great advertising needs an understanding of business, brand & comms strategy allied with client knowledge and a healthy dash of creativity.
BJS: Do law schools need to teach legal marketing and business development? Do lawyers and law firms need to broaden their skill-set into marketing and business development?
EM: There should be more focus on developing the abilities of lawyers to offer great service and on how they explain what makes them different.
BJS: Thoughts on how marketing and business development is regarded by the legal community?
EM: In enlightened environments it’s seen as critical. In less enlightened environments, it’s seen as a PowerPoint service for partners.
BJS: How important is business development, then, in the current market and the years to come?
EM: Offering a great service & communicating well will always be important – even more so in a recession with more, new, aggressive firms.
BJS: For those who are unsure: care to explain legal business development in 140 characters or fewer?
EM: The development of strategies & activities designed to aid growth; based on an understanding of brand, competition and differentials.
BD: The same for legal marketing/branding?
EM: The language around BD, marketing & branding is unhelpful. It’s all jargon. It should be about growth rooted in differentiation.
BJS: The FT recently named you as one of the 10 most innovative minds in the legal sector: how did that feel?
EM: I respect the FT enormously – it’s one of the leading business media brands globally, so recognition from it felt good.
BJS: What’s your secret?
EM: I try to fully understand an issue. Once you understand then good answers often appear and then I don’t stop pushing for it to happen.
BJS: Elephant Creative recently named your firm as one of the best legal tweeters out there with a score of 35 out of a possible 40? How did that feel?
EM: Recognition and a favourable review like that felt good. We believe we are enhancing the reputation of the firm with our followers.
BJS: How important is social media and a strong digital presence to modern law practice?
EM: Critical. Digital amplifies your messages and enables you to create content in an affordable way.
BJS: Quick thought on blogging?
EM: If you have something interesting to say then say it. Blogging is one way of doing this – if the content is dull then the blog is dull.
BJS: Can smaller law firms do something special without hiring in outside marketing/BD counsel?
EM: Yes. Agree what makes you different. And then dare to do it, regularly, consistently, coherently. And don’t stop.
BJS: Advice for lawyers and non-lawyers seeking to replicate your success?
EM: Focus on what makes you different, bring it to life creatively & stick to your guns. Pursue your strategy with courage; be creatively bold.
BJS: Looking to the years ahead, what are your core goals?
EM: To help the firm achieve its growth objectives. To keep challenging ourselves to be creative. Never to assume we have ‘cracked’ it.