There are times when we just want to say “we told you so”. When we got a phone call, out of the blue, from the head of the property division at Top 50 law firm, Charles Russell Speechlys… telling us he followed Helen Hammond on Twitter and would she come and do some social media training for his team… it was one of those moments. You see, social media in the professional services (because that’s what we are too) does work.
WHAT WE DID
The firm has annual service area away days where the whole team gets together for a combination of training and reporting. Helen was given an hour’s slot (just before lunch – ouch) and asked to give a basic introduction to social media. Never an easy task. All of our social media training is 100% bespoke to the client, drawing together case studies and examples that are utterly relevant, not just to their area of professional services but to their target audiences. Helen started by spending some time on the phone with David Savage, the original Twitter follower, finding out about the things he was interested in, areas for focus (and concern) as well as objectives and outcomes. Then Helen spoke to Daryl Atkinson, Director of Marketing to learn more about barriers to success, strategic priorities and business development focus. From here she built a personalised introduction to social media, for the firm, sending it through for final comments prior to the event. It included an introduction answering the ‘why bother’ question before moving on to overviews on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and even blogging. The real meat, however, came in the second half of the hour, when Helen took the 70+ attendees through examples of firms and organisations using the key platforms well – all the while explaining how this could and should work for them (at a firm-wide, service area and individual fee-earner level). This was finished with a number of case studies of law firms ‘putting this into practice’ for events, press liaison, brand building and tendering/pitching.
Let’s be honest, it’s always going to be a slow growth, after a session like that, rather than an explosion of social media activity. However, there has been a noticeable increase in Twitter activity for the service area as well as individual, knowledge-sharing profiles for individuals within the practice. There’s also been a great surge in the quality and completeness of individual LinkedIn Profiles. The firm’s new website launched the following day… and news of a merger only a few weeks after that… so we’ll watch this space to see where social media goes.
However, Helen received the highest compliment at the end of the process when she was invited back to do the same for the firm’s Employment Law team, a few months later. And later in 2014, also as a result of a recommendation from the property team at Charles Russell, she’ll be speaking to the Commercial Real Estate Legal Association.
Helen was impressive. She enthused everyone with the potential of social media in a professional service firm environment, and gave a comprehensive and well illustrated tour of all the major platforms in this area.