Do you have a message?

Blog by Julian Summerhayes. 332 words.

There is no point in lamenting the lack of leadership in legal practice. The fact is that whilst the partnership model pervades the landscape, leaders (if they exist) will be forced to retreat in the face of dissent. It is almost a case of he who shouts loudest. This is cast as a legacy issue, but that is no excuse for not showing your metal.

Absent then a clear vision, or an agreed set of principles by which you govern the practice, you have, at the very least, to have a message. And I don’t mean the “We deliver great client service” type.

I mean: what the hell do you stand for?

If service is your thing, it takes more than a few labels to demonstrate absolute commitment to the cause.

If it is price, then you better be prepared to be open and willing to drive everything to the bottom.

If it is value, then what does that feel like?

It if its expertise, then how do you show that in a sea of same-ness?

If it is ….

Messaging is normally bound up in your brand. The trouble is most partners see that as you logo and what they think that stands for. Indeed, you have been so focused on colour schemes, clever strap lines and consistency with your printed material that you have ignored the fundamentals. Your brand, simply, is your reputation.

Every touch point should resonate loud and clear with your message. No one thing should contradict the other.

The trouble is your messaging is so abstract, and your branding so vague that whatever rallying cry you might call out to the troops is completely undermined by the lack of attention to the overall messaging.

Next time you go into a team meeting, instead of focusing the plethora of material focused on short-term billing and winning work, enquire about the firm’s messaging. Exactly what is it that you are trying to say and  to whom?

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