Using Content Intelligence Platforms to Monitor Clients, Industry Groups and Competitive Firms
How Perkins Coie deployed Manzama to aggregate important information in one place for easy dissemination to relevant parties.
With the abundance of information available on the web about your clients, your firm, your competitors and developments in sectors that impact your firm’s practice groups, the challenge of keeping up with and making good use of that information is greater than ever. The explosion of social media – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. – have only exacerbated the challenge. Opportunities for expanding your portfolio of work with existing clients or new clients await in this informational universe…but so do potential threats to your firm’s brand, your attorneys, and to your clients.
“The abundance of information that I need to monitor can be overwhelming,” said Elizabeth Bevins, a former Business Development Manager in the Client Relations Department at Perkins Coie, who’s charged with overseeing client and competitive intelligence for the 700 attorney firm headquartered in Seattle. “We have so many clients and industry groups to watch over. There’s no shortage of information from external resources. The real challenge is figuring out how we best purpose our internal resources in Client Relations to respond to the disparate requests from around the firm in a reasonable amount of time.”
There’s no shortage of tools available to help meet the task. At Perkins Coie, Ms. Bevins and her colleagues make use of Google Alerts (in addition to regular Google searches), OneSource, WestLaw, PACER (Public Access To Court Electronic Records), CourtLink, and any number of industry specific periodicals and popular news sources, such as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. If she’s seeking information on an individual, she may also review LinkedIn and Facebook. “I was working on a report not long ago, researching a new general counsel at a prospective client,” Bevins said. “I looked at LinkedIn and the company’s website, trying to get a sense of what he’d done in his career. I then did searches on what law firms he’d retained at past employers, and looked into litigation that had been filed against one of his past employers while he was there. I also tried to review any news I could locate on his new company regarding new business initiatives or potential lawsuits. After reviewing as many sources that seemed relevant, I condensed relevant information into a report. A busy attorney can’t wade through 500 pages of research, so I aim to keep reports to five pages or less. Even with Google Alerts (which can be set up to perform daily searches on pre-defined criteria), there’s still many searches I must conduct manually on a given client or competitive intelligence topic—not to mention a vast amount of search results I have to review to weed out salient information.”
After participating in a brief trial of the Manzama platform, Perkins Coie chose to license the service in December of 2010. “In professional services, our market is our network,” said Kevin McMurdo, the firm’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Working with Manzama, we will be one of the first firms to understand – and respond to – our reputation and opportunities within those specific networks critical to our sustained success.” On a more granular level, Elizabeth Bevins believes that Manzama has already improved her team’s efficiency in preparing competitive intelligence. “One of the platform’s great appeals is that it aggregates all the salient information about both clients and competitors in one place,” she said.
“I no longer have to do ten different searches to find the intelligence I’m trying to gather. It’s all there in one place, and I can sort and view it according to client, industry group or even individual attorney. It’s made it much easier to monitor clients on a daily basis—both what’s being said about them in the news and what individuals are writing in blogs, on Twitter and in other social media.”
Perkins Coie has more than 700 lawyers in 17 offices across the United States and in China, and represents great companies across a wide range of industries and stages of growth—from start-ups to FORTUNE 100 corporations. Perkins Coie is frequently recognized for its leadership in the legal profession.
Recent Accolades include:
- Ranked #63 on the American Lawyer 100 list (2010)
- Listed on FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” for eight consecutive years (2003 – 2010)
- Honored as one of Working Mother magazine’s and Flex Time Lawyers’ “Best Law Firms for Women” (2008 – 2009)
- Received the Corporate Partnership Award for Supporting People With Disabilities
- Ranked #1 for diversity efforts by the Minority Bar Association of Washington
- Earned the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s top rating of 100 percent in the 2009 and 2010 Corporate Equality Index
- Ranked as a leading firm in Chambers USA with nearly 100 attorneys listed in 10 key markets across the country. Seventeen of the firm’s practices received Band 1 rankings (2010)