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The Warsaw Voice » Law » September 17, 2008
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Talking Turkey
September 17, 2008   
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Dorota Hołubiec and Iwona Hołubiec, partners at consalting company Smart Communication Group, talk to Beata Gołębiewska.

As someone with a lot of experience in providing professional services marketing, would you say that law firms use the full range of marketing and PR tools?
D.H.: That depends on the firm. Those that have separate marketing departments use a wide range of tools, although they still don't take full advantage of everything that's out there.

Providing professional services isn't enough these days. You have to make your clients realize they need those services. You have to give them all the information they need at just the right time. Those law firms that can talk turkey with their clients are the winners in today's market.

Does that mean that law firms need to raise their profile, get more involved with the community, in charitable activities... in short to adopt some sort of Corporate Social Responsibility?
I.H.: Corporate Social Responsibility has become a real buzzword lately. CSR, however, is not just a synonym for charitable activities. It's a vital element of any management system. CSR means getting involved in a broad range of specific activities in a lot of areas and involves everyone from the firm's staff, through to its partners and associates, right down to its clients. This is not just some quick fix we're talking about here. This is all about building relationships, bonds and feelings of security. CSR also presents businesses with new growth opportunities by confronting them with all the possibilities of a complex business environment.

Is pro bono work likewise fashionable?
D.H.: Yes it is, although it is often mistaken for financially supported philanthropy. Pro bono means providing legal services free of charge to people who cannot afford them, nongovernmental organizations and so on. An institution known as the Pro Bono Center has been offering free legal advice to these sorts of organizations via some of the country's largest law firms since January this year. There is increasing interest in this form of assistance. This time last year, only a couple of Warsaw law firms showed any interest whereas there are now 15 Warsaw law firms working with the Pro Bono Center.

What are the advantages of using a firm like yours? What can an outside consultancy offer?
I.W.: Outside advisers usually have broader knowledge and experience and they're not burdened with any of the limitations that can affect companies or corporations. Outside consultants can look at things with an open mind and are often more creative. It's a case of everyone focusing on what they do best.
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