Directories – Love them or loath them?

As a marketer, it is easy to loath the directories. They are a thankless task, requiring a huge amount of work at a very busy time of the marketing year. In the spectrum of how client-facing an activity is, directories rank pretty low. In fact, they can sometimes create an unwelcome burden on clients who are expected to give their valuable time to the researchers on your behalf.

Collating meaningful evidence of performance can be an uphill struggle. There are a few wonderful partners who keep a running record of all their department’s matters or transactions during the year and it is a simple task to review this and pick out the leading examples for the submission. However, often there is a last minute scrabble to collate such detailed information and even a client list, often requiring several iterations to fill in all the details.

Obtaining the details of suitable referees can be a challenge too. You need clients that you are confident will speak highly of you (preferably in a quotable soundbite!), that are suitably credible and high profile compared to the referees provided by your competitors. It is courteous to ask their permission, so ideally these are clients that you are in close regular contact with – not someone you did a project with 10 months ago and have not spoken to since.

Saying all that, a firm that is serious about improving their directory rankings and consequently implements efficient systems to collect the information required above can be a dream to work with. The information collected on matters and transactions is even more useful in tenders and a partner who maintains close relationships with all clients is usually a fabulous rainmaker. Positive quotations can also provide new material with which to update the website and other marketing material.

What can you do if you don’t get the ranking that you hope for next week?

First of all check through your submission to ensure that you did provide all the information required. Did you really sell yourselves well? I have often come across submissions where firms do not provide a client list or client names for the sample matters on the basis of client confidentiality. However, consider that the researcher will undoubtedly be comparing your unattributed cases with competitors who have provided names and details.

You can contact the researcher for feedback, but remember that they will probably be besieged immediately after publication. I prefer to email the researcher to make an appointment for a telecom some days hence. This will give them time to research the situation and provide more meaningful feedback which will be invaluable for planning your strategy for the 2011 submission, which is only just around the corner.

Back to Blog

Get in touch ...

We are always happy to have an informal chat. As a member of the Law Consultancy Network, if we cannot help you we may be able to introduce you to a specialist who can.

Tell us your communication preferences