Passle clients tend to be much better advocates of what we provide than we are - especially when they are as switched on as Joe and Karen.
Joe English (Partner, Taylor English) and Karen Wilcox (Marketing Director, Taylor English) were kind enough to tell us - in their own words - what it is like to have adopted and rolled out Passle at their law firm.
Taylor English joined Passle in 2021 on the back of realizing that they needed to be able to efficiently and effectively showcase the fantastic knowledge of their attorneys to their clients and prospects. They knew that digital client engagement was going to be a key part of the success of the firm and turned to Passle to be the center of their content and overall digital strategy.
If you are thinking about rolling out Passle at your firm, Joe and Karen do an excellent and really authentic job of describing what the journey has been like for them.
"We take pride in the fact that we are lean and mean from a staffing standpoint. We're always looking for ways to provide excellent quality of service to our attorneys, but do that in an efficient way. Passle has been hugely helpful in being able to do that in both cases."
Karen Wilcox, Marketing Director at Taylor English
Hello, everybody. My name is Yasmin Zand. I'm a Client Success Consultant here at Passle. I'm joined today by Karen Wilcox, the Marketing Director at Taylor English, and Joe English, Partner at, and the English at, Taylor English.
So, welcome to Karen and Joe. Great to have you guys today.
Great to be here.
Thanks, Yasmin, good to be here.
Awesome. So, Karen and Joe are two of my incredible clients. I have a couple of questions for you both to get a better understanding of how you both have implemented and leveraged thought leadership at your firm.
So I'm gonna start really quickly with this first question. I'm gonna direct this one to you first, Joe. Then Karen, I'd love to go to you for your perspective on the other half of it.
Joe, where does thought leadership and Passle fit into your wider strategy for the firm?
I think in this age particularly, thought leadership, trying to stand out from the crowd and have your unique voice heard is more important than ever. And we've recognized that as a firm, and so we have been looking for ways to try to amplify messages of those attorneys and practice groups that really want to stand out and really want to have something to say.
And I think Passle has really been an incredible tool to enable the firm and the attorneys to do that in a way that does not involve a heavy lift on the part of any particular lawyers. You know, where people in all professions we’re busy, and it's hard to make time to work on your brand. And I think for us, Passle has been a great way for our lawyers to work on their brand and on their messaging, and to get out to the market what they want to talk about.
So Yasmin, to follow up on what Joe said, Passle has become kind of like the hub of our entire thought leadership program. We run everything through Passle and then distribute it through LinkedIn, YouTube, wherever from there. And it is the hub of our whole plan. In fact, yesterday, we sat down with the marketing team, and Passle was a circle in the middle of the piece of paper, and then everything flowed from that circle that we plan to do. So it is a key and vital piece for the rest of this year and then for our 2024 plan as we even start rolling out more thought leadership,
Karen,That's really interesting. So, you know having Passle as the ‘circle’ in the middle of the paper - that didn't happen overnight right? So I'll start with Karen, and then Joe, I'd love your perspective on what the technology brings to the firm. But how have you found the experience of adopting Passle as a firm?
So it's just like with any technology, you have your early adopters, then you have that second group who kind of hang out and wait and see if it's actually gonna work - and then they get on board. And we're probably in that the stage of where we have the second group who's like, "Yeah, this is working; I'll get on board now." So we did the Pilot with about 30 [lawyers]. Joe was a part of that pilot, which is hugely helpful - having one of the name Partners be part of the pilot.
And from there, we're able to create a buzz around the tool. And then when we redid our website last year, we've built it off Passle. So it is an integral part of our website. And we have shifted everything to Passle. So by everything, I mean if an attorney wants to do a legal alert, we no longer do the legal alerts the way we had been doing it; it's now a Passle post. We don't do anything outside of Passle. So it's a constant drumbeat ‘well, that's a Passle post.’
I wanna, you know, when the attorney comes and asks you, "Well, I want to distribute this," that's great; it's a Passle post.
“I wanna do a video” - that's great; we're gonna distribute it through Passle.
And you just constantly say, "We're gonna distribute it through Passle." And the attorneys have surprisingly accepted it pretty well because I do think it makes their life easier once they get in there and start playing with it. And they see that they can do their legal alert in three paragraphs versus three pages.
Yeah, if I can jump in there, that's a great point, Karen. So, you know, as a firm, one of our hallmarks is to drive value in everything we do - and that's internal as well as external. So when we think about technology and leveraging technology, we are not a firm that buys a bunch of solutions and then tries to see what's gonna work. So we were very purposeful about this. And when we invested in Passle, we did it understanding that this was going to be the centerpiece of our content marketing and our thought leadership.
And that's the way we've gone about it, and when Karen talks about the early adopters and then the kind of that second group, the early adopters, we all thought they would just take to this, like ducks to water, and that would be, they would just amplify their voices. But the fun thing for me has been watching that second group, the folks who were kind of, I would say sort of intimidated to get started and to really put their thoughts out there to the public, and to watch as they've started using and then embracing Passle and now they make it, you know, just a part of their, their weekly or, you know, a regular routine to, to get something out.
They love the feedback they get from it. They love the analytics that come behind it. And so I think it's been really fun to watch that second group get their voices out there, and it has concrete results for them.
Thank you both. That was great. It's really interesting how you were talking about the difference between early adopters and then, of course, your second group, the people who tend to take up technology once it's been vetted by their colleagues. In general, Karen, how did you find that the firm's attorneys - I mean, outside of those early adopters - what was that process like when they were taking on Passle and getting accustomed to it and acclimated to it?
So it was varied from attorney to attorney on how quickly we could get them to adopt it. So with some, we've actually sat down and been on the computer with them while they're drafting their posts so that we get over any of that fear. We have really, really pushed; “you're gonna send it to either myself or a member of my team to approve it”. So we're gonna be that second set of eyes. We're gonna make sure the grammar is OK. We're gonna make sure everything is OK before we hit publish and take that fear factor out of it because sometimes that's the hardest piece is to get them to hit the send button, so to speak.
So by having that layer of comfort added to the system, I think has been huge for a lot of them. But the other thing that we've really encouraged is co-authoring. Do your first post with somebody else. And so the two of you are working on it together, and then they don't feel like they're doing it quite so by themselves.
I think the other thing that's been really fun to watch is that we've got a couple in that second group in particular who have become the biggest advocates for Passle and will sit there in a team meeting and go, "Guys, all of you need to be doing this. This is the easiest thing you can do."
That's just been really, really nice to see is I don't have to ask them to speak up and say, "Please use Passle." They do it on their own. They're so bought in.They bring it up in team meeting after team meeting after team meeting -”this is the future”. They have been really helpful with this mindset change that we need to have. And by the way, I think it's probably a bigger way than, than even just Taylor English that we have moved to a digital marketplace. We all need to have a very good, strong digital brand and a digital presence. And we're all learning together how to make that transition. So to have those champions in a department team meeting, talk about how easy Passle is to use and how all of us need to be on there and how we can all support each other, I think has been huge.
The other thing that we have really been pushing is that I get it, not everyone wants to write content, that's fine. But what I do need and where a role that you can play if you don't want to be a content developer, is sharing. And so if you'll share and like the post that we have on Passle, it's hugely, hugely helpful and just as important as generating content.
So there can be a role for everybody, whether if you want to be a content generator or not; and there should be a role for everybody, whether if you're a content generator or not, you can be just as valuable as the content generators if you're willing to take that two minutes to share a post versus the maybe 20 minutes to write a post.
Many firms actually have quite a bit of concern about giving their attorneys more of a voice around the type of content published and how it reflects on the firm itself. Did you have that kind of concern? And how did you find that governance process? Joe, I'll start with you, and then Karen, I'd love for your perspective as well.
Yeah, I think it's natural and actually healthy to have a level of concern like that. And look, even before we used Passle, we've had some of our folks just write on LinkedIn, but we would have to keep an eye on that backward looking. If there was something that went up that we didn't think was a good look for the brand, we would go to the attorney and ask them to take it down or edit a piece of it that we thought was maybe not really in keeping with the brand or what we're trying to say. But with Passle, to Karen's point earlier, what we get is that layer of security upfront. So every post gets approved. When Karen or one of her folks see a post that's been drafted that they think somebody in management ought to have a look at, and ‘say grace’ over before it goes out, they'll do that. I've reviewed a number of posts, and there's probably a small handful that we would go back and talk to the author and say, "Do you really wanna say all this, or is there a different way we can say it that's maybe not quite so provocative but still gets your point across?"
Being able to do that upfront before it gets released into the wild has been very helpful.
We're very candid when we talk to the attorneys about Passle and about posting and what we're looking for. We are looking for neutral commentary, and we just drive that point home. A regulation comes out. A new law comes out. We're not gonna state whether if it's good or bad; we're just gonna, we want the post to be about, "Here's how, what you have to do to comply," and that, you know, we normally have a close of something like, "This is a complex topic; please reach out to your legal counsel."
But we haven't - and maybe it's because we've been so open on, on the beginning when we do the training and when we're talking about that in practice meetings - we really haven't had many posts that I've had to send to gel. We haven't had many posts where I've had to change a word because I thought it was maybe a little inflammatory, and we've had very few that I thought went down the sales path versus an educational path.
So I think it's about - as with anything - communicating upfront what the goal for your firm is for which one on, on the Passle channel. And I think if you do that, you'll find a lot of the governance issues, take care of themselves. And if you have someone who didn't quite hear the message and that happens, you've got the approval mechanism to catch all of that before it ever goes live.
Karen, going back to what you mentioned about communication and this kind of goes into more of a conversation around feedback and making sure that, you know, you've got your attorneys really feeling like they're still a really big part of the program. Karen, I want to start with you, and then Joe, I'd love your perspective.
We've seen kind of like the momentum be a core part of keeping the Passle program moving from strength to strength. I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about your approach to maintaining that momentum. I think both of you have a really great perspective. Do you have any thoughts or insights for others thinking about using Passle or anything that you wish you had known before you had started or anything that's just made your lives easier?
I think my big picture takeaway, Yasmin, would be that don't be intimidated by the technology, because it is really not intimidating. It's made even less so by the terrific support that you and your group provide. I mean, the training that you've done for our firm and for our lawyers, the way you guys have been available to us and helping us get better at this and use it more effectively has really been a differentiator above and beyond the technology itself.
So, you know, a real shout-out to you and your team there. We are really excited to keep pushing this and watch it just go further and further. And thanks again for having us too.
Yeah, I would echo Joe's sentiment. The Client Service at Passle is top-notch. It makes it so much easier to roll out, makes it so much easier just on everything; anything we ask for is taken into consideration. Y'all are just great, and it made the rollout so much easier. You have everything prepared. I didn't draft a single email. Y'all drafted all the emails. I changed maybe two words, and then flipped it out when we were doing the rollout. I mean, it just makes my life easier.
I would also say that for the marketing folks who are looking at it, Passle is a huge time-saver. Because the attorneys are putting the content directly into Passle, I don't have to have a team member cut and paste and try to get everything into a post. It saves me so much time. I can't even put a number on it. It's saved me hundreds of hours this year already. It's just made my life easier. It's made my team's life easier. We're able to do more in a shorter amount of time. So it's just made my life easier. And I would say to anyone who's looking at it, don't hesitate; make the jump.
Fantastic. Well, thank you both, Karen and Joe. It's been really great to hear about your journey, and I know I've been fortunate to work with you both. And as you know, my role is to help you succeed with the platform and with your strategy. So it's been really great hearing about your success and looking forward to seeing what you do next.