Post #909 – December 16, 2021

REVISITING: Making A Shockingly Unimpressive Impact


Further to last Thursday’s post, I’ve now been in touch with the Editor of the magazine in question and done some sleuthing. You will remember I posted about 4 elite firm leaders, who in individual published interviews were asked about how they differentiated their firm and their answers lacked much real substance. I did not identify the firms because it was not my intent to embarrass.

What surprised me with that post, was some marketing professionals trying to either rationalize that this was probably some obscure publication or suggest that a law firm leader should not be interested in being profiled in any CEO publication.

So, I’ve now discovered that these leaders interfaced directly with the Magazine Editor who informed me in writing that when working with any firm leader . . . "we would send the proposed questions to you and work with you on the areas of focus for your profile. The questions may be answered in writing and we will send a final PDF back for review and approval prior to publication."  
From what I could discern these firm leaders are definitely authoring, reviewing and approving their own material with the intent of getting it in front of Corporate CEOs.

Nevertheless, from one reader I was told “Given all that is on the agendas of the leaders of elite law firms I find it hard to believe that they would do anything with this request, but forward it to one of their able CMOs who would supervise the drafting of the response.” 
Are we talking about one of those $1m salaried CMOs?

I also heard, “As to whether CEOs read these interviews, I have NO reason to believe they do.”  
Maybe not.  But I’ve now been informed by the Editor that “we distribute 10,000 copies in addition to the digital version and we have an exclusive distribution platform reaching C-suite executives and private jet travelers."

Still can’t believe a firm leader would be interested in having their interview published to connect with CEOs? 
REALITY TIME: I've now discerned that this is really a PAY-To-PLAY exercise!
We have elite firm leaders each investing $10K+ to have a two-page glossy interview published . . . that no one is going to read? 

Meanwhile, the distinguished, former Editor of a major legal publication asked if I might disclose the names of these firms.  
My response: “Now if someone who has covered our industry for over 15 years, resides in NYC, and knows these firms better than most anyone I can think of, cannot decipher one firm leader's answer from another - I guess that says it all, doesn't it?

To those Firm Leaders or CMOs reading this: 
It could be highly productive to formulate a MEANINGFUL answer to this Editor’s initial question (which was really all this posting was meant to highlight): 
“How do you define your difference and what sets your firm apart in the industry?”

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