December is always a busy time and then, on top of everything else, the directories season hits and PR departments can find themselves stretched to the limit. If you're wondering how to manage this large, additional project to ensure your firm gets the best results possible, our top tips are here to help.
We advise designating one team member to run the whole directories process so that partners and researchers have one, very knowledgeable, point of contact.
Make a timetable and plan ahead. For each directory, at a minimum you need to schedule:
sending out 'call to action' emails to start your partners working on their submissions;
an internal deadline for submissions allowing time for review and amendments;
when to submit signed-off submissions;
the period during which interviews need to be arranged; and
reporting on the firm's results on directory publication days.
Plot in key dates into your internal calendar.
Keep submissions readable, to-the-point and include as much evidence of success as possible. Detail up twenty highlight deals and, although there is no upper limit on the number of referees, from experience, twenty works best.
Update researchers - after the submissions have gone in, we advise updating researchers with any stand-out new matters that might improve your rankings.
Check up on referee interview rates – ask your partners to check with their referees and to encourage as many interviews to take place as possible.
Invite the editors in to meet with your partners and give them a brief overview of your offering. This helps the editors to get to know your firm, your strategy and your markets.
In larger firms, it can be helpful to offer directories training sessions before submission-writing begins each year, or alternatively, as part of the introductory programme for new partners. This enables partners to optimise their efforts and helps to dispel many myths that surround the ranking process.
Running the directories process requires a high-degree of organisation and communication but, run well, your best chance of achieving improvement in your rankings is to put your story across with high quality submissions, interviews and evidence.