New Year's resolutions for legal marketers.

AuthorWhitaker, Kathryn B.

Every year at my firm, our Practice Standards and Risk Management Committee produces a list of New Year's resolutions for our lawyers. Some are quirky, some are practical, some are idealistic and some are targeted. They are all thought-provoking.

The tradition of taking the time to think about what you could or should do differently in the new calendar year is an admirable one. For us in this strange and wonderful world of legal marketing, I offer a few ideas for consideration.

* Intentionally seek points of view that differ from your own.

In a world where one-third of adults older than 30 years old get news through social networks, it is quite easy to surround yourself only with those who agree with your positions. Engagement and discourse are cornerstones of change and innovation. Though hearing others articulate what you believe and how you feel may provide more talking points for your position, you risk falling into a groupthink trap that stifles creativity and discourages civility.

* Channel the Energizer bunny.

Studies have consistently shown that a key characteristic of high performers is having a network that helps them learn, accomplish tasks efficiently and effectively, and enjoy their working lives. Not surprisingly, high performers share certain beliefs and attitudes, and engage in specific behaviors to develop and maintain their networks. One of the most important characteristics of a high performer that continues to advance throughout time lies with his or her ability to generate enthusiasm amongst those in his or her network. In fact, it turns out that this ability to create energy is literally four times the predictor of a high performer as any other network dimension and is also tightly tied to where innovations emerge and take hold in organizations.

* Write regularly.

InsideCounsel's 2012 New Media Engagement Study found that, for the first time, general counsel more frequently visited attorney-authored law blogs than media-authored law blogs. I thought that was a striking, though not entirely unexpected, result.

Put yourself out there as communications, public relations, business development, sales, strategy, and research experts. Writing is a credentialing activity, but I have also found that articulating my thoughts and ideas gives me a valuable and memorable way to process information. It strengthens my argument.

* Scrape the barnacles off your hull.

What is slowing you down? What keeps you from working efficiently...

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