As a trainee you will work closely with our support services teams, which incorporate Accounts, HR, IT, Administration & Facilities, Marketing, Business Development and Communications. This blog post will provide you with an insight into the role of the Communications team and, more importantly, give you an idea of how trainees get involved.
Working in conjunction with the firm’s Marketing and Business Development functions, the Communications team plays a central role in ensuring that the firm’s brand messaging, news and events are conveyed in an accurate and consistent way, both internally to employees and externally to clients, contacts, peers and intermediaries.
This is achieved via a range of digital and traditional PR and communications platforms. As seen below, there are many such platforms, allowing the firm to reach as many stakeholders as possible.
On any given day, the team will be: drafting and distributing internal newsletters and external press releases; liaising with partners from various teams to develop communications plans, editorial and blog material based on their areas of expertise; liaising with journalists from regional, national and international publications to secure coverage; and interacting with key influencers, clients, contacts and prospects via the firm’s blogs and social media platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn.
Why is Communications important?
Communications is a vital function for several reasons. Internally, effective communications ensure that each fee earning unit and support service team is reading from the same page. It is almost impossible for the firm to successfully promote itself to external audiences when, internally, staff do not know the firm’s vision – “a leading national law firm with strong regional emphasis“.
The vision – a summary of what a company intends to become – provides employees with a sense of ownership of the firm and creates a common goal for everybody to work towards. It also helps to create a positive company culture – the ‘Gateley way’ of conducting oneself and doing business. This culture radiates to external parties and enhances the firm’s reputation further.
Communications is an exciting area in which to work. As the ways that people communicate with each other evolve, so does the discipline. For example, in recent years, individuals and companies have embraced social media as a tool to interact with one another. As a result, we are increasingly using platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs to interact with these audiences. This is where our trainees come into play.
Trainees assist the Communications team in creating and publishing content for this blog, and other departmental blogs. They are also responsible for providing the Communications team with relevant and timely tweets relating to CSR activity, networking events or sports competitions in which they are participating. In addition, trainees get involved with filming video podcasts, providing an insight into life at Gateley. If you haven’t done so already, you can view these videos via – http://talkingtrainees.gateleyuk.com/videos/
It doesn’t stop there…Trainees also provide the Communications team with CSR updates and events they have attended for the firm’s internal newsletter and for external press releases.
Don’t worry though, as a trainee you are not expected to be a Communications expert. You are simply asked to ‘communicate’ with the team to ensure that internal and external stakeholders are informed about topics of interest. Internally, this allows each employee to feel knowledgeable and involved in firm activities. Externally, it communicates brand messaging and exciting firm news and events to third parties.
Finally, Communications is not only vital to the firm but is also beneficial for trainees wanting to progress their careers quickly. Being a good communicator is a key attribute for successful lawyers and the skills developed whilst working alongside the Communications team are invaluable for career development.