2017 Winners: Technology Management - Social and Media Engagement
Kelley Kronenberg and Ms. Esquire – Empowering Women & Communities
Ms. Esquire transitioned its online feats into real world success. Online marketing efforts often fall short transitioning from a virtual space to reality. Ms. Esquire is different; it is multi-dimensional. It has had a significant impact on the firm’s relationships, brand, new business and community service. When professional development and community service are linked to, and accessible through social media, it builds opportunities and results for women lawyers and ultimately the firm.
Despite significant gains in the legal industry, female lawyers continue to lag behind male counterparts professionally. Recently, law firms have begun to strengthen women’s development initiatives. Billions of people use social media. However, attorneys tend to be late adopters of new technology, and many firms remain slow to embrace social media. A majority of firms do not use social media, and those that do typically fail to do so effectively. Unlike most, Kelley Kronenberg has been quick to accept social media. The firm has also always prioritized philanthropy. Recognizing that social media is about connections, and business development, like philanthropy, is about relationships, the firm aimed to use Facebook to leverage this overlap and meet the strategic goals of:
- 1) Increasing women lawyer’s opportunities.
- 2) Developing profitable business relationships.
- 3) Expanding the firm brand.
- 4) Giving back to the community - all aligning with the “built on relationships” culture.
A young, charitable, female associate had the idea to create an online women’s attorney networking group. Working directly with the marketing department, the team spent significant time researching, branding and positioning the group. Weeks were spent identifying other attorney referral groups, examining social media platforms, and exploring existing women’s groups to develop a plan to give Ms. Esquire a distinct and unique perspective. The department conceived the name and designed the logo to parallel the firm’s brand. The firm implemented:
- Facebook group: Our target market was already actively using Facebook. We established a group for Ms. Esquire. Prospective members were identified and invited to join.
- Live launch: In Jan. 2016, the firm sponsored Ms. Esquire’s inaugural in-person event (marketed solely on Facebook.) The department organized, arranged and ran the event.
- Traditional marketing: Article placements, interviews and industry publication pieces were secured.
Ms. Esquire exceeded expectations. To date, the firm gained four new clients from relationships cultivated in the group. ROI was not solely assessed on earnings. Within 1 month of formation, membership hit 1000. The group has grown to 3000 plus members referring 580 plus legal opportunities. From sponsorships, speaking engagements (CMO, Partner in Tampa) and event hosting, the firm received digital and in-person brand exposure to 2,000 plus lawyers. The group has donated supplies (2000 plus hygiene products) and peer mentoring to H.E.A.R.T, aid for homeless girls. Event proceeds supported C.A.S.A. for Children and Metropolitan Ministries. In a male dominated industry, female attorneys have a comfortable space to grow relationships, empowering them to develop professionally/civically.