FDCC – Defense Counsel

By June 15, 2012

Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC)

OBJECTIVE:

To build visibility and brand recognition for a 1,000-attorney association of leading defense litigators (and in-house corporate counsel) from hundreds of different law firms, to generate referrals/new litigation business from the insurance industry, and general businesses.

WHO ARE WE TALKING TO?

Insurance-industry lawyers, non-lawyer risk managers, and senior executives who hire lawyers.

BACKGROUND:

FDCC is a combined honorary, social/networking, educational, and referral organization for defense lawyers primarily in the insurance industry.  It more accurately would be called “Nation’s Best Defense Lawyers Association.”

They’re all outstanding lawyers – peer-selected litigators and trial lawyers.  They’re mostly in the insurance industry, but not entirely (many represent also general businesses), although they all are on the defense side of the litigation.

If you don’t know how to find a great litigator or trial lawyer (in some city or state), look for an FDCC member – they’re prequalified as skilled specialists. You can always trust an FDCC member.  We wanted to build name FDCC name recognition among our target insurance-industry/corporate defense audience.  Basically, “At FDCC, you’ll find the nation’s smartest, most talented defense lawyers, and in-house counsel.”

Every FDCC lawyer has been carefully screened by their peers to be an outstanding lawyer.  They must meet extremely rigorous technical, legal, and service standards, arguably the highest standards of any similar honorary association.  The membership committee may send literally hundreds of personal letters and communications to clients, judges, and opposing counsel, as part of the background check.

WHAT ARE WE SAYING TO THEM?

1. FDCC is a peer-selected, rigorously vetted group of the nation’s best:

(a)  defense-oriented litigators, particularly in the insurance industry ; and

(b)  in-house lawyers and key decision makers at prominent companies (e.g. Boston Scientific) who manage their company’s litigation

2. You can trust FDCC lawyers because of the strict admission standards.  Our lawyers have been rigorously screened and vetted for their experience, expertise, and knowledge.

3. Corporate FDCC members are among the leaders in the in-house legal community.  They are thought leaders who run an efficient legal department, and manage their companies’ litigation effectively.

HOW ARE WE TALKING TO THEM?

We needed a clear, clever, concise way to describe this in a tag line, brand message and visually as well.  We settled on a tag line that covered both the private firm litigators, as well as the in-house corporate counsel, and non-lawyer litigation managers: “Defense Lawyers. Defense Leaders.”

We worked closely with FDCC’s leadership, some of the nation’s top trial lawyers — including Visibility Committee Chair Howard Merten, FDCC President General Mike Neil, and the incoming president Ed Kaplan.  The headlines and visuals we developed are designed to help show that it is an honor to have been selected to be a member.  The laurel wreath conveys the highest achievement, which is also picked up in the revised logo.  The headlines state directly what the organization is, while the subhead is a light-hearted little wink; this takes the edge off of the headline so it is not perceived as self-congratulatory bragging.

The campaign was both image-oriented and content-based.  Their best marketing is showcasing their extraordinary substance, so we selected publications that would allow for a combination of  brand-building advertising as well as education.  The ads had our own FDCC articles wrapped around them.  We created special sections of the insurance-industry websites which allowed FDCC to create a storehouse of their own valuable articles.