Why international law firms should blog about local markets

Legal business development professional Richard Smith recently shared an article on Twitter which is relevant to marketing initiatives of international law firms.  The article appeared in Harvard Business Review and noted how important it is for globalizing companies to approach local markets with a local approach. 

Globalizing companies need tailored local assistance

The article mentioned how Harvard Business School Professor Alexander MacKay studied the new market entry strategy of Uber and found that it adjusted its strategies to meet specific challenges it found from competitors and regulators in local markets.

Some Governments seek to meet the localized informational needs of globalizing companies

Another article from Reuters details how the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) has sought to actively market Malaysia as a jurisdiction of choice for international companies seeking opportunities.

The Reuters and HBR articles I believe demonstrate why the opportunities for international law firms in local markets are substantial.  Reuters notes that in the case of Malaysia, there are more that 1 million small and medium sized business which represent almost 40% of the country’s economy.  And that in a globalized economy, localized opportunities for international companies will expand.

In the case of Malaysia, MIDA has been highlighting local incentives which should be attractive to foreign companies, including competitive energy prices, high productivity levels, lower cost of skilled labor and a working population that embraces technology innovation.

Reuters notes how Malaysia’s economy has attracted numerous global companies and that MIDA operates offices throughout Europe.  MIDA CEO Datuk Wira Arham Abdul Rahman told Reuters that MIDA has become “a one-stop center for overseas investors seeking information and assistance in setting up or expanding a business in Malaysia.” I believe law firms can learn from this and seek to emulate this effort (which resembles similar efforts in other countries).

Some law firms have initiatives focused on providing local information to global companies

Law firms can seek to be a window into their market for international companies, which will help them become a trusted resource for all kinds of information (not just legal) about the local market – combining traditional legal blogging and the information initiatives of governmental agencies like MIDA focused in generating foreign investment.  Some locality-focused legal blogging examples law firms might wish to emulate include China Law Insight, The Malaysian Lawyer, My Lawyer in Spain, The Korean Law Blog, the European Law Blog, and Brazil Counsel.

Law blogging is a proven method for law firms to become a trusted source of information for clients and referral sources. A law firm blogging effort which seeks to combine the successful efforts of other law firms as well as local investment cultivation initiatives by governments — will serve any internationally focused law firm well in terms of becoming a source of trusted legal and commercial information clients and referral sources will be seeking when hoping to find capable and commercially astute local counsel.

I help law firms establish and maintain blogging initiatives focused on generating interest and new client engagements from foreign investors. If you would like to discuss how I might help your firm, please contact me.

Author: John Grimley

John Grimley specializes in providing writing, editing and business English communications services to professionals in law, governmental relations, and management consulting, and globalizing companies and startups.

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