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July 22, 2007

Plane Banners to Advertise Law Firm Services?

I went to a very large antique auto show with my family today and heard a plane buzzing overhead.  When I looked up to see what was being 'pitched' much to my surprise I saw the following:

    • Have You Been Injured?
    • Call John Haymond
    • Personal Injury Lawyers
    • (Telephone Number)

Or something to this effect.

And because we live near the shore line, I wouldn't be surprised if this plane buzzed the beaches as well as any other public event with a large gathering.

Personally, it didn't bother me.  (Surprise me? Yes.) Why?  Because of all the lawyers in the state, I don't know anyone who hasn't heard of John Haymond and who doesn't know he does personal injury.  Therefore, he has accomplished his goal of name recognition.  I have to assume this translates into profitability because he has been around a long time and advertises extensively in what some may consider non-traditional ways for the legal profession.  Is hiring a plane to deliver your message above public crowds any different then buying a billboard on the highway or sideboard advertising on a city bus?

Given he deals with personal injury, anyone is his client.  So this approach is broad-brush but also makes sense for his target market:  anyone who has suffered an injury or knows of anyone who has suffered an injury.

I am not opposed to creativity in the marketing message or delivery of the marketing message as long as the individual attorney is comfortable with his message and the means of delivery.  Where the lines gets blurred sometimes by colleagues, who are generally the loudest to complain, is separating the message and method of delivery from the quality of the work product.

If an attorney is an aggressive marketer and chooses non-traditional means of marketing, this has no bearing on their adherence to the Rules of Professional Conduct or the quality of their work.  The lawyer clearly has to produce the goods if he is to continue doing business.

A laid back lawyer who does no marketing and looks down her nose at lawyers who are aggressive in getting business is not necessarily a better lawyer or even a good lawyer.  The two are unrelated.

I do have issues, however, with bad taste.  Why?  Not because I am necessarily offended by it. It is because I'm not sure bad taste gets the clients?  It may get publicity, but it is more likely to harm a business rather than build it.  If the end result is more harmful, it's just bad marketing and a waste of money.

Being an innovative and aggressive lawyer and using all creative methods of delivering a marketing message which does not violate any rules of conduct is perfectly acceptable, in my opinion.  It is rewarded with increased profitability providing the main requirement of delivering superior legal services is also part of the package.

I'm sure some would disagree with me and I would love to hear your take on this.

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Comments

Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

Tacky! I recently started getting spam emails from P.I. Lawyers advertising. The way I see it if this continues they will start cracking down on lawyer advertising again!

I can see it now; two planes representing two PI lawyers, dogfighting in the sky.

Better yet, how about me putting ads on Boxers like the casino's are doing!

Norm

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