Helping a regional law firm to stand out in its crowded local markets and specialist b2b sectors
In 2010, local solicitor’s firm Harrison Clark – now Harrison Clark Rickerbys – had offices in Worcester and Cheltenham, a wide-ranging legal offering, and ambitious plans for growth. Having had a rapid turn-over of in-house marketing support and several, ineffective PR agencies in the preceding two years, the firm was seeking a PR solution to help it differentiate and strengthen its regional reputation; and create a platform for future, high value private and business services growth.
Hornby Whitefoot PR began by working closely with each of the firm’s departments and key Partners to analyse its particular strengths, ethos and ambitions. A comprehensive, year-round PR strategy and plan – featuring strands tailored to each locality and key legal specialism – was drawn up to ensure engaging, proactive, consistent PR activity; despite then-minimal marketing guidance. Local, b2c media relations aimed at regional, high net worth individuals and businesses formed the core: high quality, positive, interesting news about the firm’s local private and business successes, charity programme and team news – all supported by professional press shots. Harnessing areas of interest such as divorce, employment and business law we secured regular expert legal advice columns for the firm’s Partners with key newspapers. We also prepared many opinion-forming, educative and case-study features for news, business and lifestyle media; and secured topical radio interviews.
In the next five years, as the firm grew through mergers and established a dynamic marketing team, Hornby Whitefoot extended its b2c PR remit into additional regions including Birmingham, Hereford, Ross-on-Wye and the Thames Valley. Simultaneously, by generating a range of tailored vertical sector media opportunities we helped Harrison Clark Rickerbys to build its profile and success in specialised, nationwide business sectors such as farming and agriculture, health care and dentistry.
The PR remit always required spinning many plates simultaneously and meticulously; meeting the needs of multiple department interests within a limited budget; spotting and delivering short-notice PR opportunities; handling sensitive content with discretion; complementing the firm’s ever-wider marketing activities; and delivering a consistently memorable, credible media presence. Today Harrison Clark Rickerbys is the leading law firm between Bristol and Birmingham, with a national reputation in several key vertical specialisms.
- Successfully provided 5 years of continuously-building, tightly budgeted media relations support to a demanding law firm previously disillusioned with PR agency support
- Moved the firm’s messaging from firm-focused, ‘births, marriages and deaths’-type announcements, to more memorable, discursive and engaging media content and expert, leadership positioning that spoke strongly to its target clients
- Managed tailored, multi-strand campaigns across up to 5 local regions to create strong localised profile
- Typically achieved more than 350 items of positive media coverage per annum, representing an equivalent advertising value ROI of 1:5