Law Firm Mergers – A Strategic Checklist
Most underachieving law firm mergers proportion one basic deficiency: the failure to work a practicable marketing strategy into the very soul of the merger – before it happens, while it happens and after it happens. Keep in mind that marketing is not just self-promotional activity but the time of action by which the organization truly defines itself. It is also used by others, such as in recruitment and business development, to define the firm externally. Likewise, marketing has an immediate impact on internal perceptions.
Who cares about your merger? Everybody affected by it. So how do you market your merger for success?
- Get your story straight, quickly: The biggest mistake merging firms make is waiting too long to establish a marketing plan for the merger. Waiting until after the merger to think about similarities and differences between the two firms is too late. Determine during the negotiating phase what each firm brings to the table and the benefits of the merger.
- Don’t forget about your internal stakeholders: Simply identifying the value that the merger brings to clients and executives will not provide a successful merger. You must market to internal stakeholders in addition.
- clarify the meaningful message: What do our clients and internal stakeholders need to know most? Craft the high level messages that must be communicated.
- Show the value: Demonstrate to the market place that your intellectual and specialized platform is indeed broader and deeper.
- Speak their language: improve messaging for effective communication across multiple fronts. Always keep the end user in mind to ensure communication is appropriate and effective. Clients and internal stakeholders have very different needs and concerns, and your messaging should speak directly to each audience.
- Tell the truth: Clients and stakeholders want, and need, to hear the facts about the merger. Get the story straight early and plan ahead to avoid inaccurate information.
- Be direct: Before rumors start, issue a press release or keep up a conference. Address the facts quickly, and continue marketing.
- Spread the information: The worst news often emerges from a without of information. Before the rumors fly, disseminate your messaging. Be direct, and communicate often.
- Show your credibility: Articles on legal or client industry issues should be co-bylined by lawyers from both of the merging firms. Talk about mergers in general, using your own as an example.
- proportion the experience: Implicitly remind your clients and stakeholders that this experience is an example of how it is done right.already years later, partners from the two original firms can nevertheless proportion their experiences at conferences, meetings, and industry events. This communicates the merger’s success and continues to reassure clients and internal stakeholders.