To attract new law firms to the First4Lawyers panel and support its plans to broaden its profile in clinical negligence and enter new areas of law.
What we’ve done:
Our ‘launch’ story focused on the selective nature and exacting standards required of a First4Lawyers panel member and resulted in 67 firms being placed on a panel waiting list for assessment. Alongside this we gave exclusive access to Claims Magazine, which ran a four-page cover story on the success of the business and its future plans. This set a strong foundation on which to further build upon the PR.
An on-going programme of media activity ensued resulting in a wide range of coverage during the first year and in particular in two influential target publications, namely The Law Society Gazette (six appearances) and Claims Magazine (11 appearances); the former supporting the attraction of panel firms, the latter supporting the business’ plans to be a beacon of best practice for the industry.
For the growing number of firms on the panel, we introduced a programme of communications that not only updated them on First4Lawyers’ news but also offered insights into their business. We also set-up a distinct B2B Twitter account and interviewed long-standing panel members about their First4Lawyers’ experience to feature on a dedicated microsite to aid the attraction of new firms.
Following on from the success of the first year, we went into year two with a clear communications plan based around key milestones, which resulted in a 68% rise in coverage, as well as winning four industry awards. Alongside maintaining a media profile through articles and quick-fire reaction to industry developments, we held two roundtables, produced two White Papers, launched six new panels, created an inaugural panel member event and launched the First4Lawyers marketing network.
The first roundtable event held in Manchester brought together 10 PI law firms to hear and learn from firms about the impact of the Jackson reforms but also set a benchmark for future.
First4Lawyers director Qamar Anwar said at the time: “The roundtable was a valuable exercise in taking the temperature of the PI market at the moment. It helped confirm our strategy of focusing more on other areas of personal injury than RTA – around a quarter of the cases we pass on are road traffic accidents – and that we have been right to be choosy when selecting firms for our new clinical negligence panel.”
The roundtable was the precursor to our launch of First4Lawyers’ first-ever White Paper Breaking point – the future of PI, which looked at the post-LASPO market 18 months on from its introduction.
Shortly after we unveiled a major expansion of the First4Lawyers service with the launch of six new panels covering employment, property, wills, finance, family and driving law which attracted widespread coverage and enquiries.
This launch coincided with an inaugural panel members’ conference – an event conceived by and contributed to by Black Letter – for firms working with the company to learn how First4Lawyers continues to innovate and provide value for its panel members, and also hear from a range of speakers with useful advice to apply to their practices.
To mark the return to work for many after the summer holidays, and to act as the springboard for getting the business known as the legal marketing experts, our second White Paper was published, Spreading the word: the changing face of personal injury marketing. This was a major study into the spending patterns of law firms over a five-year period.
The icing on the cake for the First4Lawyers team has been the success of the awards entries drafted by Black Letter, resulting in four award wins in the last 12 months: The business was a double winner at the Modern Claims Awards 2015 for Claims Management Company of the Year and Claims Management Team of the Year. This was followed by another double win at the Eclipse Proclaim Personal Injury Awards 2015 where the team picked up the award for Claims Management Company of the Year again and also Marketing Campaign of the Year.
Andrew Cullwick, head of marketing at First4Lawyers says: “Black Letter Communications is an important extension of our in-house marketing team. They are results focused but do much more than help us achieve media coverage, bringing real strategic insight, creativity and great writing skills to our relationship.”