There are two sides to every bankruptcy and hence two different target prospects. Those who represent creditors market predominantly to businesses and organizations, while those represent debtors usually target individuals.
For those attorneys and law firms that focus on representing debtors, marketing opportunities abound. The key to success lies less in which marketing vehicles to utilize (i.e., online marketing, print and broadcast media all make good sense), than in how such vehicles are utilized. To understand this more fully, one must first get into the mindset of the individual or business that may be struggling and considering or actually undergoing a bankruptcy proceeding. This is clearly a difficult and emotional time for those involved. Fear and shame are watch-words that can define those going through this. Hence the wise practitioner takes a marketing approach that emphasizes compassion and education.
By “compassion,” we are referring to those qualities that reduce levels of fear and embarrassment. Assurances that bankruptcy is not necessarily a sign of failure, that one does get to the “other side” of this painful experience and that many others are going through similar experiences can help to alleviate feelings of guilt and anxiety.
With information comes a greater sense of control and power. Hence, the education part of the marketing approach should highlight steps individuals and businesses should take before, during and after a bankruptcy is or has been implemented. Our agency had a great deal of success with a simple brochure produced on behalf of the bankruptcy department of a major multi-practice law firm in Philadelphia. That brochure, “Protecting Yourself During A Recession: Ten Tips for Small Business” was distributed to the local community through the media, press releases and the interpersonal networking of the firm’s attorneys. The efforts behind this little pamphlet were successful because they leveraged the uncertainty that many feel during difficult economic periods.
These same types of message elements should be incorporated into the firm website and all other types of communications. Bankruptcy firms should distinguish themselves from competitors by emphasizing that they help individuals and businesses get on with their lives versus just helping them decide between a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
One word of caution. For many practice areas, our agency often recommends getting in front of target groups via seminars and speaking engagements. For bankruptcy firms, these kinds initiatives can be bit more complex, if only for the perceived risk of being seen by others on a topic which often, unfortunately has negative connotations. To address this, bankruptcy firms would be wise to position their presentations in a more positive light (e.g., “Surviving in a Recession”) or considering implementing webinars where attendees can enjoy anonymity.
To discuss how A.L.T. Legal Professionals Marketing Group can help your bankruptcy practice, contact us at 856-810-0400 or submit the contact form on this page.