By Meghan Spradling
On the 11th day, Meghan Spradling shares more about how her colleagues embraced virtual events to foster existing partnerships and create new business development opportunities for her attorneys and firm.
What was on your bright side of 2020, both personally and professionally?
Like many other contributors to the 12 Days of Social Media series have mentioned, 2020 was a year of not only growth, but also digging deep and fostering creativity to counter the challenges that presented themselves.
Personally, I consider myself extremely blessed to have had several bright spots in 2020: selling our first home and buying our forever home, developing an exercise routine and losing over 20 lbs, and most of all, spending quality time with my family. As some of my fellow LMA members know, I am a mom to Caroline, a vivacious 22-month old redhead. In 2020, Caroline took her first steps, started talking up a storm, and has become the most fun little girl I’ve ever known (yes, I know I’m biased, but indulge me, won’t you?). When we shifted to a complete remote work environment in March, I no longer dealt with an over three-hour commute three days a week; instead, I was able to be home for all of those big moments. One of the biggest challenges of being a working mom is potentially missing out on those moments, and the fact that I was able to be home was, by far, my brightest spot of the year.
Professionally, I could not have asked to be a part of a better firm and a better team during a challenging time. A significant increase in content creation and a focus on virtually responsive business development efforts forced our team to work in ways we hadn’t yet before. Our firm had just launched Microsoft Teams weeks before the pandemic hit, so the quick and high-importance need for effective and open communication thrust us into a great pattern. Not only did our work relationships grow and develop, but personally, I feel so much more connected to my teammates. We’ve put out a lot of great work in the past ten months and I look forward to seeing what’s in store this year.
As we look ahead to 2021, what are you most excited about with regards to the legal social/digital space?
While my answer wouldn’t normally fall into the social/digital space pre-pandemic, it does now. This new year will be another year of collaboration and growth, and I am most excited to hone in on virtual event planning efforts. For those of you who are familiar with Miller Nash, we have beautiful offices on a pier overlooking the Puget Sound in downtown Seattle. Events are our thing, and we host many throughout the year. While we did have to cancel our client event in March — the state gathering restrictions went into place days before our event was slated to happen — we did not want to have to do that with any of our other events.
In August, we signed onto the event platform Remo and hosted our first virtual event: our annual referral source and alumni party on the, now virtual, pier. Since then, we’ve hosted networking events, an employment law conference and had the opportunity to partner with clients and organizations to bring their important events to their desired audiences in this virtual space. The relationships we’ve built and business development that has happened as a result of these virtual event opportunities has been worth every penny and every minute spent on the platform. We even see these event partnerships continuing after we’re able to meet in person again, whenever that may be.
Since we can’t walk the halls, knock on doors and catch up with colleagues in the office, our firm also started a weekly “Coffee Talk,” an internal gathering on Friday mornings. Using Remo, we also hosted a family Halloween party and our holiday gathering as well, which was the first of its kind to include all four offices at once. We’ve found that these internal virtual events have been especially successful because we now have the opportunity to meet with colleagues across all offices, not just those in our specific physical space.
I’m looking forward to continuing our work with our various industry teams, organizations and clients in the new year. We have the unique opportunity to test our creativity, elevate these virtual opportunities and foster the community and experiences we’re all missing due to COVID-19 restrictions. While we will be able to gather again someday, our industry still needs to adapt to this virtual landscape. Virtual events will likely be the new norm as our industry and general business landscape evolve.
(Pictured above is my little ballerina having a blast at our “Monster Mash” dance station during our internal company Halloween party, held completely virtually using the Remo virtual event platform.)
What digital or social media campaign/effort are you most proud of and why?
This may be a bit cliché, but I am the most proud of our firm and, specifically, our marketing team for quickly and effectively putting together a COVID-19 resource page for our clients and developing a communications plan that included not only e-flashes and direct outreach, but social media as well. The start of the pandemic brought long hours for the Miller Nash client services department as our attorneys were producing content related to COVID-19 at a record rate. For a small team — there are seven of us in two offices — with content requests coming in from all directions, effective communication was key. Using Microsoft Teams and working together in a way we hadn’t before, we were able to accomplish our goals and put together a resource page that has received positive feedback and continues to be a resource for those in the industries we serve. We saw the opportunity for cross-selling at an all-time high, and our social media presence and engagement increased dramatically as we continued to share information that was relevant in our region at a time of challenge and uncertainty.
While our industry has made leaps and bounds with regards to social and digital content since I joined the industry nine years ago, the pandemic and forced move to a virtual world escalated our need for innovation and creativity tenfold. I’m excited to see what the year has in store for our sector of the industry, and I look forward to partnering with Katherine Rivera, fellow SIG leaders, LMA International, regional and local leadership and our fantastic members as we forge ahead. Cheers to 2021!
Meghan Spradling is the marketing and communications manager at Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP, a regional law firm in the West. In her role, Spradling manages the firm's brand, social and digital media efforts, marketing collateral, events and more.
Since joining the Legal Marketing Association in 2012, Spradling has held several leadership positions locally and now co-chairs LMA’s Social & Digital Media Shared Interest Group.
Spradling lives in Port Orchard, Washington with her husband, daughter and black lab, and enjoys Broadway musicals, Seattle sports (go Hawks!) and exploring new areas in the PNW.