The market has changed. In this new landscape, law firms compete fiercely on both national and international stages, alternative business structures increasingly challenge for conventional legal work and technological disruption looms ever larger. There’s a heightened awareness in the legal industry about what reputation really means and how it can impact your business, both negatively and positively. Your reputation must shine through for you to be noticed - it’s a commercial imperative.
Byfield is a specialist communications agency that drives the Legal PR industry and knows the business of law better than any other. Done well, Legal PR is about much more than column inches – it gives you an edge by communicating what makes your offer unique to the market.
Led by Juliet Carey, our Legal PR service knows how to reach the right audience for law firms across all channels, including digital marketing and social media. Byfield provides communications that deliver concrete outcomes: in the media, Byfield turns lawyers into thought leaders; in the marketplace, we translate business plans into compelling campaigns and content.
Byfield will strengthen your reputation so you can grow your business.
Growing your business and growing your reputation go hand in hand. The industry may believe you lack capabilities in a certain area when in fact the bulk of your income is earned in this way; or that a few high-profile departures somehow mean that morale is low; or worse – they may have no opinion at all. Whatever your challenges, our aim is to bring your business plan to life by helping you to realise what makes your story unique.
Working at the heart of your team, we take the time to really get under the skin of the law firms we represent, establishing where they are now – and where it is they want to go. Once we have translated your vision and values into key messages, we then put the power of communications at the centre of your business development objectives.
Too often we see legal firms taking a scattergun approach to communications – for example, they may have a strong media profile but no social media strategy. Because we’ve done the thinking, we can ensure that the different parts of your communications strategy are truly aligned.
When it comes to telling your story, we’re already talking to the people you want to influence; and, whether they are taking place in print or online, we will ensure that you become a part of these conversations. Working with clear objectives, we provide multi-layered communications that deliver concrete business outcomes.
We don’t just help clients shape the news; we help them make the news. Here are some examples of how our clients have shown leadership in their communications through working with us.
Positioning a partnership practice at the forefront of one of the biggest developments in the professional services sector
If your business objectives demand that you achieve success in a dramatically changing area of the law, then it is critical to establish an expert reputation in this area. Fox Williams LLP was already recognised for its leading Partnership Law practice and, with the Legal Services Act prompting increasing numbers of new market entrants, the team wanted to demonstrate its expertise in this area. In conjunction with the Partnership team, Byfield produced two considered and informative thought leadership projects –‘Big Bang’ and ‘ABSolutely Fabulous?’ – which were launched with panel discussions of leading industry figures and resulted in considerable media coverage. After over 1,000 downloads of the ‘Big Bang’ report and in excess of 50 pieces of coverage for both reports, Fox Williams has cemented its reputation as the authoritative legal voice on the Legal Services Act and Alternative Business Structures.
Attracting top talent to one to one of the UK’s most innovative law firms
Do you covet media coverage in the legal press, but struggle to establish the necessary relationships or build a sufficiently compelling narrative? Or, are you wary of entering a dialogue, anxious that the press believe that bad news makes a better story than good news? We believe the benefits of establishing a relationship with the legal press far outweigh the negatives and that it is essential to developing a legal business’s brand. This is particularly true if you are trying to attract 50 partner-level solicitors. We helped Keystone Law to fulfil this ambitious recruitment campaign through a strategic media campaign – ‘Join the Future’. This generated over 40 pieces of media coverage in key titles, helping to ensure that the original recruitment target was far exceeded. Those joiners have included a large proportion of heads of departments and partners from Top 50 law firms.
Develop the narrative that will allow you to tell your story effectively.
Understand where you are in relation to where you want to be.
Getting the right content to the right people means the right story is told.
With operations in the UK, US and the CIS, you can tell your story where it needs to be heard.
Social Media & Digital
Develop an online brand personality that delivers your message across a number of platforms.
Byfield Insight Reports
Claim a corner of the business agenda and build your reputation and your growth upon it.
The media are not the enemy: work with them and they will work with you.
Make sure that this important - but often overlooked - stakeholder group are fully in the loop.
Make sure the communications around your union are aligned.
Speaker Bureau Services
Getting the right conference slots will ensure that your voice is heard by the people that matter to you.
When Keystone Law informed us that it was embarking on an ambitious plan to recruit 50 partner-level solicitors, we knew that a significant presence in the legal press was essential to the success of this business objective. We developed a strategy to attract candidates of the highest calibre through communicating the firm’s ‘Join the Future’ campaign to the legal industry.
We built strong relationships between Keystone’s management team and key legal journalists which led to significant coverage of Keystone in leading legal titles (43 pieces of coverage). This resulted in a number of inquiries from senior lawyers who were interested in joining the firm and the original recruitment targets have been far exceeded. It also enabled Keystone to promote other initiatives the firm was working on, such as overseas expansion, and establish a much greater understanding of the Keystone Law model.
Testimonial from Keystone Law Managing Director, James Knight:
"Byfield have managed Keystone's public relations profile for over two years during which time we have seen our media exposure, reputation and brand profile increase many times over. Byfield have been passionate in raising awareness of Keystone's activity and above all they have been thoroughly proactive; encouraging and cajoling interest rather than just adopting a reactive approach. They do not over-promise or under-deliver which, in my experience of PR companies, is quite rare. I endorse and recommend their service".
With the introduction of the Legal Services Act, it became attractive for law firms to boost their credentials in Partnership law. Fox Williams wanted to maintain its leading reputation in this area of law and Byfield devised a PR campaign based on informative thought leadership reports which showcased Fox Williams as the authoritative voice.
Working very collaboratively, we produced the ‘Big Bang’ report in November 2009 which looked at the threats and opportunities created by the Legal Services Act. We arranged a panel discussion of leading industry figures to attract over 100 attendees to the research launch event. The report achieved extensive media coverage and over 1,000 downloads from the Byfield website and – even today – it is still referred to as one of the most accessible and comprehensive guides to the Legal Services Act. We followed this report with ABSolutely Fabulous? in June 2012. The report looked at the appetite for Alternative Business Structures amongst 100 commercial law firms and their role in a changing legal market. Again, the research was launched with a panel discussion of leading industry figures and was featured in an article in the business pages of The Times to coincide with the panel discussion. ABSolutely Fabulous? went on to be shortlisted for two prestigious legal awards and has been reproduced by the American Bar Association for its membership.
As a result of this thought leadership, Fox Williams’ profile as the leading Partnership practice has been reinforced and the Partnership team has developed a number of relationships with new clients, intermediaries, the media and other key influencers important to its business development.