A lot, actually.
Do you remember the day your high school yearbook was distributed?
I would flip to the page every year to see my picture amongst my 450 classmates. Although I had seen my school photo a few months earlier – having ordered wallet-sized photographs or maybe the 5×7 for my parents – it was fun to see it again within the context of my classmates. Then, I’d flip through to the group shots of my extracurriculars. The yearbook editors chose the photos, so that was exciting.
For each of the three years I was in the Senior Choir, you could always spot me in the group pictures. Typically, I’m on one of the top rows, standing on the risers on our school’s auditorium stage because I was one of the tallest sopranos. In fact, I’ve been standing on risers or chairs in every class picture since Kindergarten.
The Internet was years away, so once the yearbook was printed and distributed, it was a historical document, never to be updated or edited.
Again, what’s the connection between high school yearbooks and law firm websites?
I know what can happen after the site goes live.
After the thank yous, the kudos, and high-fives, some naysayers may lurk without your knowledge. And those naysayers’ whispers can turn into groupthink, and things begin to snowball.
Eventually, you learn of their concerns, like, “Did we make the right decisions?” “Does this copy really represent what we do?” “I just don’t like the site.” “My bio needs to be fixed.”
Not to worry.
I have some tips that can help legal marketers manage those post-launch blues.
- Stay upbeat. Remember that the beauty of the web is that you can immediately correct critical errors like typos or incorrect dates.
- Track the errors. Create an online spreadsheet to keep your team and boss updated. (Your boss is unlikely to review but should be aware of your progress.)
- Don’t be defensive. Listen to your attorneys’ concerns. And be sure to communicate as soon as you’ve addressed their particular issue.
- Take a step back. Review the original brief for the new site and compare where you started to the final product.
- Gather and track the most significant comments. But wait to make changes until you have spoken with your CMO, CIO, and/or your marketing partner. With their guidance, take the necessary steps for the required updates. (You should already have your champions’ support!)As a marketer, you know that writing and design are subjective. So the attorney who reviewed and approved their bio in the office a few months ago or is part of the group leading the website redesign and development is bound to turn to family or colleagues for their opinion. It’s part of the process and to be expected. Having solid supporters, like your CMO, the marketing partner, or, if you’re lucky – the firm chair, you’ve got this.Sound like any of the websites you’ve worked on? Do share!