Section 4: Department of Marketing and Communications
The Communications and Marketing Department's main functions are to coordinate communications to members, work on recruitment and retention campaigns, build and maintain relationships with the media, and evaluating and enhancing membership benefits. To fulfill the function of recruitment and retention of members in the DBA, the department along with the DBA Membership Department, has identified several groups of attorneys and non-attorneys to target for membership. These include law students, newly admitted attorneys, public counsel, corporate counsel, non-members and non-renewing members. The retention of current members is also of primary concern. Several programs have been developed to work with these groups. In conjunction with the recruitment and retention function, the department is also responsible for maintaining all membership records and statistics.
The department is also responsible for developing and maintaining benefit programs and services for the membership. These currently include discount programs on travel arrangements, office supplies, YMCA membership, and computer services.
In the Communications and Marketing Department, we try our best to keep a good relationship with members of the media, to suggest good stories, and to head off unfair or incorrect publicity. We were told many years ago by a firm that did a study on attitudes toward the legal system that we shouldn't try some "slick" campaign, but instead needed to emphasize a low-key, long-term policy of trustworthy information aimed at reporters and editors. We want to be the place reporters call when they need to talk to a lawyer and know that they'll be put in touch with a knowledgeable attorney who will call them back quickly and speak in plain language about the subject at hand.
We don't just wait for a call, however. When a topic becomes the focus of attention (lack of water, for instance), we call reporters and ask if we can put on a seminar for them, starring lawyers deeply experienced in that area. We e-mail reporters often, complimenting them on a story, adding a comment, or sometimes, offering a gentle correction.
We ask that you also hold reporters accountable for what they write. A study done in the wake of plagiarism and other ethical charges against two New York Times reporters showed that many people don't take the trouble to call or e-mail in corrections because they don't think reporters care. We think they do care. Please e-mail or call them when you see a mistake or believe that a story is unfair. Pass along a compliment even more quickly. Reporters are more careful when someone is watching. Please be that someone who watches.
SOME SPECIFIC PROJECTS:
RECRUITMENT AT LOCAL LAW SCHOOLS: The DBA encourages law students to join the CBA and the DBA if they plan to live and/or practice in the Denver area. To encourage active involvement in a local bar, the DBA, along with several other bar associations, waives membership dues for law students as long as they join the CBA. The DBA Membership Department works closely with the University of Denver College of Law and the University of Colorado School of Law to stimulate bar involvement.
MEMBER E-NEWSLETTER: D-Brief is an electronic newsletter e-mailed to more than 8,000 members every other Tuesday. If you have a Denver event, send information to email@example.com.
NEWS RELEASES are sent to statewide media outlets on officers, DBA and member awards, mock trial competitions, etc.
MEDIA VISITS/RELATIONS are coordinated by this office. If there is a legal issue that comes to light because of a high-profile case or other hot topic, we will set up meetings to help educate reporters. Reporters also call for experts on legal topics and we refer them to members who can provide background information or quotes for stories.
THE DOCKET: This is your DBA newsletter, mailed to all DBA members, as well as some interested members of the public and media. We want The Docket to be relevant to your practice and to your life. Let us know what you want to read about. Send us your news, photos and events to publish in the Legal Affairs, FYI or Picture This. Submit an article you wrote, or write a letter to the editor. Or, join the committee. Contact us: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for story ideas and email firstname.lastname@example.org for Legal Affairs.
BAR NEWS: The Communications and Marketing Department provides content a monthly column in The Colorado Lawyer, reporting on what various local and specialty bar associations are doing. If you've got a great project, let others know through this column. We also like to do short profiles on outstanding members. Contact Heather Clark, email@example.com.
We welcome your suggestions, comments or criticism about what we do. Our efforts are aimed at helping the legal community and if you can think of other ways for us to do that, we invite you to call us.