Even though it was a significant source of revenue for the firm, no one knew about Howrey's false advertising capabilities before 2010. The core group of attorneys who had experience in this field were spread throughout the firm's various U.S. offices and did not know about one other's work. That is when Ezra Crawford, Senior Business Development Manager of the firm's Global Litigation Practice Group stepped in. Ezra worked with several partners who had false advertising litigation experience to create a robust practice that could be marketed to the firm's existing client base and new clients. There was only one problem; the attorneys within Howrey's 18 offices did not know about this growing practice.
Ezra had to overcome this problem. He began brainstorming new ideas on how best to internally market Howrey's extraordinary experience. Traditional methods such as internal emails or press releases wouldn't be enough. He had to come up with something unique and original that grabbed everyone's attention. Ezra began collaborating with the creative department to come up with an idea that would really generate a response. After working together, they found the answer. Give something away for free without giving anything away.
So Ezra and the creative department began putting together an e-mail campaign blitz that announced a "Free Coffee Gift Card." The e-mail contained a graphic announcing the free gift card but carrying the dreaded asterisk (*) that meant there was a catch. The catch was that there was no gift card. That was the point. The e-mail lured attorneys in to announce the False Advertising Litigation team's formation. It included a link to the new collateral piece that contained representative matters and an overview of the team. It also linked to a short video introduction (made using Apple's Keynote presentation software at total cost of $0) of the team that highlighted the firm's experience in the false advertising arena.
A Huge Success
The e-mail campaign was a huge success. Ezra and the team began receiving dozens of emails from attorneys in various offices praising the clever way that the email got their attention and the creativity that went into this internal marketing campaign. A member of the firm's executive committee was so impressed that he asked to join the team. Bob Abrams, co-chair of the Global Litigation Group, under which the False Advertising practice falls, said, "I loved the irony of using false advertising to promote our false advertising practice. When I first heard the concept, I was sure it was going to stand out for its creativity - and I know for a fact it raised the awareness of this group 10-fold within the firm." The collaborative and creative efforts of the Howrey marketing team shows exactly what good team work can accomplish for the firm.
Mike C. Gray is a Senior Account Executive at Hellerman Baretz Communications LLC