Practising Law Institute

CLE, delivered differently 

For years, the Practising Law Institute (PLI) has been synonymous with continuing legal education, keeping lawyers in government and companies on the cutting-edge of law and giving private firms a competitive edge. But what happens when rapid changes in the legal market, technology and buyer behavior threaten to leave the leader behind?

The challenge was to reposition a well-known industry name away from being a source of “old school” in-person seminars to being a source of intelligence delivered the way buyers want it, when they want it.

The work started with a bold new identity and fresh look and feel. Arming the sales force had its own challenges. They asked, “How do we get our buyers to see us in a completely new light?” Answer: Change the light. Their new sales brochure was definitely edgy for this institution. But everyone agreed, it was the right direction at the right time.  There was verbal wit in addition to visual. Words that contain “CLE” (the familiar “call letters” for continuing legal education) became headlines  from the voice of the buyer, such as “Amazing! My client treated me like an oraCLE.”

An organization’s website is often the first tangible impression an individual has of it. PLI’s new site put all the ways one can learn right up on the marquee and drove that freedom of choice (and strategic message) site-wide and into other media. Abandon direct mail? Not likely. Print communications are still the best way to bring in “students.” However, redesigning the offerings so they keep pace with the new look and feel of the brochure and website was critical. Meanwhile, back online, email announcements and invitations fly through cyberspace while print is traveling through the mail. Nice.