Dear Firm: What are you talking about?

Its like magic. Miracles!

For someone that has spent her whole life trying to persuade associates, partners, professionals to: write articles; speak at events; speak at cocktails; and sometimes just to say something! (aka doing the Lord’s work). These are magical times.

Everyone is talking. Have you noticed? Everyone!!! Almost everywhere. Almost all professional service firms now have an account on a social media platform or other. Our inboxes are swarmed by alerts on changes in the regulatory environment. We are kept ‘in the know’ by our auditors, consultants, tax people, and lawyers whenever the Government or relevant Regulatory Authority make any small change that could be relevant to us. I watch in amazement at the frequency of this considering getting a Partner to RT something was akin to pulling teeth a decade ago.

But, as I applaud Firms for doing this, I, at second glance, wonder at the effectiveness of all this activity. Whilst there is a great deal of what I will call ‘talk’, and there is nothing like activity to make one feel that they are doing something important, I wonder whether this activity would stand as effective and justify its related spend if we carried out an audit of its effectiveness in line with the Firm’s objectives and more importantly its strategy.

Sadly, many of us, would say no or a very weak yes (that needs some level of confirmation).

To put it plain and simple: If you find that your Firm has a lot of activity that you cannot easily or directly tie with your overall strategy and direction, then you are simply making noise and worse spending money to do so.

So, lets assume that you have been making noise. How do you stop the noise and begin communicating better and more profitably for your Firm? As a start, ask yourself the following questions and answer them honestly:

  • Is our Firm’s communication content very similar to that of Peer Firms in the market?
  • Is our Firm ‘standing out’ in the market through its communication?
  • Is our Firm in dialogue with the audience through its communication? Is there any response from the market or are you simply speaking at your audience?

A NO response to any of the questions above should warrant a long and hard look at your communications strategy and its implementation, and a shift to ensure that your Firm gains value from any ‘sound’ that you make. Expensive noise is the worst to make.

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