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5 Ways to Celebrate a Law Firm Anniversary

By Christina DiPinto ©Androvett Legal Media & Marketing

Law firm anniversaries are a time to look back on all you and your fellow attorneys have accomplished and look forward to what the future holds. Of course, anniversaries also are a time to have some fun! When your firm reaches its next milestone birthday, consider supplementing the standard company-wide email with something more festive. Here are five tips on how to celebrate with panache, inspired by some impressive company anniversaries over the last decade.

1. Throw a Party

This is probably the most obvious suggestion on the list – in essence, a birthday party – but it is an excellent opportunity to reflect on years of quality work and show appreciation to your clients.

To give your party a memorable twist, try to come up with an interesting theme or activity that connects to your business. In 2009, when Virgin Atlantic celebrated its 25th anniversary, the company recreated its first flight from England to New York with celebrity guests, an 80s soundtrack and a special message from Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Upon landing in New York, the party continued at a Manhattan nightclub.

Law firms would do well by following Virgin Atlantic's lead. While they might not want to recreate their first trial, they certainly can hold an event at an interesting venue and provide memorable entertainment. Think of what makes your firm unique, and then brainstorm a way to celebrate that originality with your guests.

2. Launch a New Product or Service

As part of its 40th anniversary celebrations, Starbucks launched a new blend of coffee, as well as a line of pastries.

For law firms considering branching out with a new office or practice area, an anniversary can be a great time to introduce a new service to clients or potential clients. It is important to keep in mind, though, that this should be a well-thought-out initiative.

Starbucks spent six months developing its Tribute coffee for the company's 40th anniversary; likewise, the decision to begin a new service should not be made in haste.

3. Share Your Story

Last year, Saturday Night Live celebrated its 40th anniversary with a special broadcast showcasing the series' history as a comedy trailblazer. While law firms don't have an entire television show at their disposal, they can look to the comedy juggernaut as an example of how to tell their anniversary stories:

  • Rather than skits with former cast members, try posting a Q&A with long-term employees to the firm website.
  • No celebrity guest hosts for your YouTube videos? Interview clients about their partnership with your firm instead.
  • And, while NBC might not broadcast your firm's big anniversary special, recruit local, business and industry media to share the news.

4. Assist Your Community

As part of its 75th anniversary celebrations in 2011, Goya Foods kicked off an initiative to donate 2 million pounds of food across the United States. The company partnered with the nonprofit United Way, and created a website about the donation program to encourage the public's involvement in the fight against hunger.

This was a great initiative because it not only assisted those in need, but it also involved members of the community while raising awareness of the cause and of the company.

Similarly, an environmental law firm might consider taking a few days throughout the year to help clean a local park. A firm that specializes in education could start a scholarship fund, and a personal injury firm might adopt a highway to maintain safe road conditions. Do you have a lot of food industry clients? Follow Goya's example and get involved with local food banks.

5. Develop a New Look

After 20 years in Dallas, the Dallas Stars hockey team updated their branding with some radical changes. In June 2013, the team unveiled a new logo, team colors and uniforms. This change made quite the statement as the Stars became the only team in the National Hockey League that used green as the team's primary color. By doing so, the Stars used a major milestone to distinguish themselves from the other franchises.

Of course, if you do not want to commit to a complete overhaul of your website, stationery, etc., then you can use your firm's anniversary as an opportunity to add updated elements to the firm's existing "look." We employed this strategy at Androvett Legal Media & Marketing by adding "20 Years" to our existing logo, as well as refreshing our e-announcement templates, website and ads with the updated logo.

BONUS: Combine Forces

The best chance for creating maximum impact surrounding your firm's anniversary is to select a few items from the list above – or all five – and run with it. Remember that planning is key; begin developing your anniversary initiatives at least one year out. Of course, the marketing and PR team at Androvett can help develop, refine and execute your anniversary initiatives in style so that you and your team can focus on celebrating your firm's milestone.

Click here to download a printable PDF copy of "5 Ways to Celebrate a Law Firm Anniversary."