Name: Elizabeth Catterall
Company: Catterall Communications
- How did you get into legal marketing?
I am an attorney. After five years practicing in commercial and construction litigation, I wanted to try something different. Before law school, I worked as a communications professional for a large hospital information systems company. It made sense to combine my expertise in marketing and law in a public relations practice.
- Describe one of your best experiences in legal marketing?
One thing that I notice across all my clients is that public relations is a big mystery for many people. It is not about sending out new hire announcements or event email blasts. There is a whole lot more. A great public relations strategy is similar to a great pre-trial strategy, it is nuanced and multi-layered, with benchmarks and a concrete plan of action.
I enjoy my job the most when clients have their “ah-ha” moment—they understand the process and see great results. Maybe it is the Business Journal byline that moved colleagues from around the city to call and email my client. Maybe it is a phone call from a reporter who knows my client can give his reporting the accuracy and credentials it needs to be fact-checked, hard news. It could be winning a keynote spot at a conference. Moments like these make my day.
- What is one of your greatest challenges when it comes to legal marketing?
With pressure to win new business increasing, law firms are giving marketing and public relations initiatives a second look. Some professionals are either suspicious of public relations, or fail to see the value. An important challenge is getting firm leaders to see that public relations and marketing are key components of any business development or client retention strategy.
Successful strategies are all about pull, not push, marketing. Public relations campaigns can pull new business into the firm by establishing thought leadership and expertise in an organic fashion. It is our job as marketers to reach out to firm leaders to educate and show value. That’s part of LMA’s mission and it is one of the many reasons the LMA is so important.
- Do you have any words of wisdom to those who are new to the field?
Getting involved is the best way to learn your craft and develop a strong network of colleagues and mentors. Joining and volunteering at LMA Metro Philadelphia is a great start. There are numerous opportunities to network and learn from other legal marketing professionals. LMA offers relevant educational programming that can boost your knowledge bank immediately. Moreover, your local LMA chapter provides access to many important resources from the national organization—we will be featuring some of these benefits in the LMA Metro Philadelphia newsletter over the course of the next year.
- What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?
I love to cook and garden. Naturally, I cook with many fresh herbs and I have an herb garden. Even in the winter, I bring my herbs inside so I can cook with them year-round!