“We’re delighted to be shortlisted for the award of Marketing Campaign of the Year by Business Leader Magazine. PR is a relatively new channel for Barcan+Kirby and certainly we’ve never considered a campaign on the scale and complexity of Citizen 2025. However, AMBITIOUS immediately picked up on the core strengths of our business, shaped the PR messages and worked tirelessly to pursue media opportunities. We’ve had great internal support, both from the Partners and the rest of the firm. We’re thrilled by the results and the positive lift it has given us in the local area.”

Samantha Furley, Marketing Manager, Barcan+Kirby

BARCAN+KIRBY LLP

Integrated marketing communications

Client

About Barcan+Kirby LLP.

Barcan+Kirby LLP is a leading Bristol mid-tier law firm, which comprises 135 fee earners and support staff delivering advice and guidance from six offices across the city. The Bristol Law Society’s firm of the year in 2015, Barcan+Kirby offers a comprehensive range of legal services to both individuals and businesses across the South West and nationwide.

It specialises in family law, residential property, wills, trusts & probate, employment law, commercial services and also has a nationally respected medical and clinical negligence team.

The challenge

The firm began operating as the rebranded ‘Barcan+Kirby’ in April 2015, when it was created following the merger of two Bristol solicitors’ firms, Barcan Woodward and Kirby Sheppard.

With its core services being offered by an abundance of competitor firms and an increase in online providers, Barcan+Kirby was keen to cement its position as the ‘go-to’ firm in Bristol and establish a strong brand awareness following the merger.

With this in mind, AMBITIOUS was set the following challenge:

  • To position Barcan+Kirby as a forward-thinking firm with an excellent understanding of its clients and their future legal needs
  • To raise the corporate profile of Barcan+Kirby among B2B and professional services audiences in Bristol and the South West
  • To achieve a minimum of five good quality media placements in targeted publications
  • To increase social media engagements by 250% (LinkedIn) and 100% (Twitter)

The solution

Strategy

Our approach was to create a central platform from which to develop a firm-wide corporate profile-raising programme of activity. Many law firms compete for the attention of the same customer & offer fairly similar core services, so the challenge was to engage Barcan+Kirby’s target audience in a more intelligent, creative and impactful way.

The firm is effectively there to help its clients at every stage of their life, from providing conveyancing services as a first point of contact for many, through to legal advice on marriage, family matters, wills & estates and into old age.

Using this as our inspiration we developed the idea for a ‘Citizen 2025’ campaign, the bedrock of which would be a white paper. Our Citizen 2025 being the legal client of the future, with the white paper exploring what their wants, needs and aspirations would be ten years from now (2015).

To give our campaign structure, we identified four key themes pertaining to our emerging ‘Citizen 2025’. These themes were grouped in relation to four of Barcan+Kirby’s core service areas; family, property, wills, trusts & probate and employment.

Taking a thought leadership position on this subject would provide an excellent opportunity for Barcan+Kirby to position itself as a forward thinking firm that understands its customers. It would also enable the firm to cement its reputation as a market leader following the merger. In addition it would provide a vehicle for the firm to talk about the services it offers beyond its existing promotion of the products themselves, e.g. will writing, divorce services, lasting powers of attorney.

 

Tactics

Market research – we undertook significant desktop research, alongside interviews with heads of departments and focus groups comprising 40 lawyers from across the firm. We also conducted omnibus market research among 2,000 UK adults, with an additional 180 people polled in Bristol and the South West.

White paper – we analysed the research, planned the content and format and wrote the twelve page Citizen 2025 white paper.

Expert commentary – to give credibility to the trends we identified and add outside perspective on the research findings, we included expert comment in the white paper from Relate, Saga, Mercer and Fox Davidson.

Design – we worked with the design team Rumba and client to ensure a visually appealing white paper design and that key findings and concepts were bought to life with graphics. We also had key illustrations from the paper and infographics developed to support the press and social media campaign.

Media relations and outreach – launch press release on C2025 developed to achieve positive media coverage in regional business publications (online and print), legal press and other specialist media.

Content development – development of four ‘in focus’ blogs for the Barcan+Kirby website pertaining to its four core service areas and the C2025 whitepaper findings.

Social media – worked with the client on promotion via social media (Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn) with bespoke infographics to highlight key issues and encourage engagement/sharing.

Internal communications – advised client on internal launch, to highlight its ‘one firm’ approach to marketing and commitment to promoting and building the firm following the merger. As well as encouraging social sharing and interaction with the C2025 launch.

The results

“We’ve had great internal support, both from the Partners and the rest of the firm. We’re thrilled by the results and the positive lift it has given us in the local area.”  Samantha Furley, Marketing Manager, Barcan+Kirby.

Results included:

  • Significant media coverage in a range of publications, including business, legal and specialist press, exceeding our objective of at least five good quality media placements in target publications
  • Total Twitter engagements increased 575% during launch week
  • Facebook impressions up 580% & post engagements up 15% during launch week
  • LinkedIn post engagements up 666% during launch week
  • High level of staff interaction and positive customer and partner feedback

This campaign has also been shortlisted for the ‘Marketing Campaign of the Year award’ by Business Leader Magazine #BLA16