Community Service - Make it Matter!
Like many of us, I watched the news for the past month and couldn’t help but feel a little overwhelmed. While Hurricane Irma was making its way to Florida, I was in New York City working with a client. My parents, both in their late 70’s, were at their home in Melbourne, Florida. So what do you do? I put my 19-year old son on a plane to Melbourne so he could drive them out of the path of Irma and up to my home in Upstate South Carolina. I was thankful that I had the resources and the family support to get the people I love out of harm’s way. Melbourne did not experience a direct hit and their home was fine upon their return. Others in the path of Irma were not so lucky.
I often talk about community service as a way to raise the profile of your firm and grow your practice. And yes, it is a very important piece of a larger marketing plan. I believe in the power of community service so much I dedicate an entire chapter of my book, Intentional Marketing: Building Your Legal Practice One Relationship at a Time, to the concept. The events of the past few weeks have reaffirmed my thoughts on the matter, and if your firm is not already actively involved in community service work, I strongly encourage you to start.
Building authentic relationships is the corner stone of my marketing philosophy. Community service is one of the things that makes that phrase more than just a buzz word. Helping tackle the issues that face your community is a chance to prove your authenticity. It allows you to demonstrate your commitment to those you serve, not just as clients, but as people.
Why not consider getting the whole firm involved? A firm wide endeavor would have other benefits as well, such as team building for starters. Another idea might be to partner with a client in a community service project. This creates natural opportunities to grow authentic personal relationships while working together for the good of others in the community.
How do you choose which organization to work with? If you are in Houston or Florida, opportunities to get involved are abundant. If you are not in an area effected by one of the storms there are local chapters of national organizations that might be able to point you in the right direction. Don’t forget about the people who work at the firm. If there are employees in the firm already active in certain organizations, are there opportunities to expand their work with firm participation?
There are endless ways to help. What are some ways your firm incorporates community service in the work they do? Leave a comment in the section below.
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!