Big Partnership case study
Corporate law firm Dundas & Wilson is headquartered in Edinburgh, with offices in Glasgow and London, and is regarded as the industry leader in Scotland.
The PR brief has been to support and grow brand awareness among D&W’s many corporate markets; from life sciences, to taxation, PFI projects, employment, banking etc. using high-level exposure in B2B media.
From May 2005, the brief was extended to encompass the firm’s London practice to strengthen their position as a UK provider of business-focused legal services.
2. Planning & Research
D&W comprises 14 different key practice areas, operating across five key industry sectors.
As such, on their behalf, we have to simultaneously research appropriate media – and tailor appropriate copy / media angles across a huge spread of corporate and trade media.
Owing to the nature of the legal industry it is also essential for our research to be an continuous ‘work in progress’ so we keep abreast of issues.
A continuing programme of PR ‘clinics’ is held in each of the firm’s three offices with key legal specialists from each practice area. These 30-minute meetings allow us to “mine” for up-to-date information and maintain ongoing, close links with partners.
Close liaison with the corporate marketing team allows us to prioritise conflicting requirements in order to meet both corporate objectives and those of individual teams and incorporate both into a regularly updated media activity plan.
We also monitor forward features across a very wide stable of specialist sector media.
We have been proactive in identifying and pursuing a large number of simultaneous story ideas, which are carefully targeted at a wide range of media to give the best possible exposure, always in line with business objectives.
Successful media dinners in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London have allowed us to effect introductions for D&W partners in very specific trade sectors.
As a result of our relationship building campaign, we have established close working relationships with many key journalists in leading news and trade media.
Dinner attendees this year included The Wall Street Journal Europe, the Financial Times, Infrastructure Journal, Estates Gazette, Utility Week, Personnel Today, Project Finance mag etc.
Contacts made at these dinners are cultivated and we have coached D&W partners in developing excellent working relationships with key journalists, raising the profile of D&W in its target sectors.
D&W has over 500 staff so BIG runs in-house seminars to educate all D&W staff in identifying media priorities. We also ensure media are given first class briefing notes / copy ghosted for the partners to minimise errors in the reporting of complex legal issues.
Close contact is maintained with the marketing team to ensure no story compromises client interests in another area.
4. Creative input
To make best use of resources, we spot stories and regularly ghost copy for D&W partners across a wide variety of technical areas. Established trust means at the very least, we are given the opportunity to edit copy before submission.
(There is a vast difference between legal output and journalistic copy. It falls to us to strike a balance between readable copy and copy which is technically accurate enough to satisfy the client).
We also mine client newsletters and briefing papers for stories and create picture opportunities to enliven otherwise dry business stories.
In a typical month – May 2006 – we achieved cuttings with a PR equivalent of £45,000.
Between January and May 2006, D&W were featured in business, news and trade press, covering 13 separate industry sectors and reaching 1,404,786 readers in their target markets.
On average, we secure 22 separate pieces of appropriate editorial coverage per month for D&W.
Our proactive, story-led approach has secured coverage for D&W in media including The Daily Telegraph, The Scotsman, The Herald, Personnel Today, Infrastructure Journal, Caterer and Hotelkeeper, Estates Gazette, Financial Director, etc.
As a result of the campaign, we were also awarded the Gold Award for best B2B campaign at the CIPR Scotland PRide awards in October 2006.
D&W’s Marketing Director, Louise Coultas, comments: “Our integrated PR campaign allows us to obtain excellent levels of targeted and appropriate exposure.
"It all comes down to finding and refining appropriate story ideas which appeal to our target media. In this, the BIG partnership’s approach has proved highly cost effective.”
Picture: D&W managing partners Alan Campbell (left) and Donald Shaw
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