2016 Winners: Promotional and Collateral Materials  Firm-wide, Office or Practice Group Brochure, Announcement or Annual Report

First Place

Archer Norris, PLC

California Business Litigation Playbook

SummaryYHA | Archer Norris

Archer Norris PLC’s footprint in the major business centers of California suggests to any buyer that the firm is uniquely qualified to help with business in the state. The Business Litigation Playbook was strategically crafted to reinforce the firm’s position as a leading California law firm and to develop a unique reputation for research in the space.

The goal was to conduct original research to generate substantive content that supports this premise. This content was leveraged to create a robust, integrated thought leadership campaign.

With business litigation identified as the strategic focus for the campaign, the firm worked with a team of brand strategists, PR consultants and media partners to chart the course. Together, they examined the most effective method of research and defined the target audience as well as data sets that would be of highest value to them. A white paper was the campaign anchor, but much evaluation was also given to distribution channels and awareness vehicles most valuable to the campaign.

In partnership with ALM Marketing Services, the survey was administered in March 2015. Corporate counsel with business interests in California were asked for their views about the California legal climate. Once the survey results were in, the team outlined key takeaways to inform a white paper, the core of the campaign.

The white paper, “The Reverse California Gold Rush,” explored how law firms can partner with corporate counsel to ensure an investment in doing business in the Golden State pans out. The white paper was then handed to the firm’s branding firm. With their help, the white paper was transformed into a memorable and highly leveraged brand asset. Traffic was driven to a dedicated Archer Norris microsite via a variety of integrated channels, including print and digital advertising e-blasts that were co-branded with ALM, direct mail, e-alerts, event sponsorship and speaking engagements.

The California Business Litigation Playbook was creatively engineered to hit revenue growth targets for business litigation, which accounts for 85% of the firm’s practice. As a result, Archer Norris’s name was extended throughout the state, magnifying visibility in the key metropolitan areas of San Francisco and Los Angeles with a focus on in-house counsel for California business. The objective aligned with the firm’s strategic goals to be known as an expanding, innovative law firm and a top competitor for work throughout California.

The return on investment has been determined by ongoing success attracting work that increases profitability so Archer Norris can invest in innovative approaches to the practice of law and achieve its strategic goals. The campaign yielded the following results:

  • Leads: White paper downloads generated 67 qualified leads for the firm’s business development pipeline. Archer Norris anticipated its GC West conference on November 17, 2015 and related media/communication would generate additional leads.
  • Advertising: Two four-page inserts in The Recorder increased visibility among its 18,000 readership. The Q3 re-launch included advertising in Corporate Counsel and Rocket Fuel—resulting in 3,521,000 impressions—and key client mailing to generate interest for GC West panel.
  • Email: Two deployments of co-branded email in The Recorder generated 15,456 total impressions.
  • Online: The Recorder Daily Newsletter, The Recorder Daily banner ads and leaderboard banner ads in Law.com newsletter resulted in 1,017,595 total impressions.
  • Media release: The Living the CA Dream Media press release was viewed 771 times, resulting in nearly 50 inquiries from media outlets and garnering articles in local and industry publications including Corporate Counsel, California Lawyer and American City Business Journal publications throughout the state.
  • Website: The campaign attracted considerable traffic to the firm’s site. Visits increased by 65% in the month after launch. The fall re-launch showed a more gradual increase, but visits per page to the microsite doubled to 2.31 minutes/visit.

Overall, the return on marketing investment was determined to be 21%.

Second Place

Warner Norcross & Judd LLP

Diversity and Inclusion Annual Report

Summary YHA | Warner Norcross & Judd LLP

Warner Norcross & Judd LLP issues a Diversity and Inclusion Annual Report each year that candidly assesses their progress and is widely distributed to clients, community leaders and government officials.

Warner Norcross & Judd fosters a culture based on three principles of diversity:

  1. Respect
  2. Inclusion
  3. Teamwork

The firm’s perspective is that a team that values the broad range of experiences, perspectives and ideas of a diverse group is better at problem solving, more innovative and more effective, resulting in better results and better service for its clients. Their commitment to diversity and to a culture of inclusiveness is implemented through various initiatives throughout the firm. The transparency of its efforts within the Diversity and Inclusion Annual Report has fostered increased trust among its clients and community.

Third Place

Andrews Kurth LLP

A Year in Review | Tweets of 2014

SummaryYHA | Andrew Kurth LLP

Andrews Kurth LLP’s marketing department was tasked with creating an electronic annual report communication about the firm that was fresh and deviated from a typical printed annual review or letter from the firm’s managing partner.

The firm felt the best way to achieve this, while hitting the most notable highlights, was to utilize posts from the firm’s Twitter account to create a “Year in Review.” This communication also served as an initiative to grow their Twitter followers.

The marketing team created a round up of the firm’s top news, activities and awards from the past year in the form of an interactive Twitter timeline. The colorful, dynamic landing page allowed the user to click and explore all of the highlighted Tweets. Users could also click any Tweet image for additional information and images.

The goal was to communicate the past year’s firm highlights internally as well as to their clients and friends in a non-conventional way. Andrews Kurth’s approach and product stood out as it was not a standard “State of the Union” email and, as a result, the firm received many positive responses, both internally and externally.

Honorable Mention

Perkins Coie LLP

Cause + Effect: Perkins Coie's Pro Bono Annual Report 2014

SummaryYHA | Perkins Coie LLP

The stories in Perkins Coie LLP’s Pro Bono Annual Report 2014 embody the firm’s commitment to justice, service and clients. With a tagline of “Counsel to Great Companies,” the firm knows its clients value pro bono service and makes an effort to create pro bono partnerships with them. The report also helped to personify the people contributing more than 60,000 hours of pro bono service in 2014, creating a halo effect for the firm.

The marketing team, freshly armed with a bold new brand and robust Web and reporting features, sought to maximize the investment by creating a multimedia, multi-platform report that would increase visibility and gauge the impact of cross-channel promotion.

Aware that clients hire lawyers and not just firms, the editorial team sought to balance the firm’s presentation as an Am Law 50 institution with insights into the people who define Perkins Coie. The report targeted a young, law school audience and an internal audience to increase participation.

Marketing objectives included highlighting matters related to practice areas and testing the effectiveness of a corporate journalistic approach. The firm questioned whether context-driven storytelling, reduced corporate gloss and a range of visuals could help to increase readership and interest. Perkins Coie leveraged the in-house resources of a former news producer and editorial designer to explore that theory.

The report’s theme, Cause+Effect, communicated the firm’s involvement in social and civic causes and the affect attorneys had on justice, society and lives. In 2014, many Perkins Coie pro bono cases focused on Constitutional rights and current events, including marriage equality, illegal immigration by minors and voting rights. The pro bono director had long wanted to highlight death penalty work. These factors influenced cover choices and story development. Newsroom-style editorial calendars and story rundowns became key organizational tools.

Perkins Coie used a magenta Constitution cover to help set the mood. This was not the scales of justice or courthouse pillars approach; this was a new perspective on familiar pro bono work. White space offered an easy-to-scan reading experience and balanced the colorful palette. Variations on Cause+Effect, such as American+Dream and Life+Death, became signposts atop each section. The report used news techniques, such as an inverted pyramid style and original interviews.

The death penalty roundtable discussion became a center-spread feature story on veteran attorneys. Associates, the lifeblood of capital cases, were featured in a sidebar to appeal to a younger audience. The collective message was that Perkins Coie is a place where you can play a substantive role in meaningful cases.

To extend the reach, Perkins Coie’s in-house video team created two related client videos posted on the firm’s pro bono Web page and social media accounts. The videos were pushed wider by the clients’ social media. Three different home page Web banners featured report stories and aligned with practice areas.

Since its June 2015 posting, publication and multi-channel promotion, the report increased awareness and visibility. Visits to pro bono Web pages jumped significantly: a 225% increase over 2013 unique visits and a 39% increase compared to 2014 visits. Content engagement averaged five minutes and 25 seconds, an increase in online viewing habits that usually was measured in seconds. The death penalty content also helped the firm win its first ABA Death Penalty Representation Project award. Early anecdotal reports indicate a significant increase in employees interested in pro bono participation, particularly in criminal matters.

The affect of the firm’s multi-channel, multiplatform journalistic effort was the creation of a new firm standard for the marketing team and attorneys. Perkins Coie’s leadership declared it “the most beautiful we have done” and point to the report with pride.