Strategist - The FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog

Texas Law Firm Paying for Safe Rides on New Years

One Texas law firm is doing some creative marketing and hoping to make a difference locally this New Year holiday.

Instead of throwing money away on traditional marketing, the firm seems to be putting up about $30,000 so that anyone in the Houston area can get a free ride rather than drive drunk. The firm has limited their offer of reimbursement to rides within their geographic region, and only one ride per household, and only up to $30 including up to a 10 percent tip. The firm also disclaims that the offer is only open to the first 1,000 requests for reimbursement and to individuals 21 and up.

Can Firms Really Give Away Free Stuff?

When it comes to state rules of professional conduct, lawyers and firms may want to carefully consider whether giving away gifts, free stuff, or money won't be considered an improper solicitation or some other violation. Sometimes it's okay, sometimes it's not.

However, if you determine you're in the clear, doing a promotion like the Texas law firm mentioned above could be a great way to get your law firm's name out there and potentially land new clients, or at least social media followers and positive attention. While online promotions might not be the most attractive way to market a legal business, the model provided by the firm above is one that can easily provide measurable results.

Beware of Backfire

Although the free-ride promotion could very well keep drunk drivers off the road, it could also lead to some backlash from people who fall outside the limitations, or everyone after the first 1,000 submissions. The snarky tweets write themselves, "I sent this law firm a whole bunch of info expecting to get a few bucks, and all I got was added to their mailing list."

These feel-bad moments are bound to happen, but you don't have to let them spiral out of control. If you are prepared with a plan, or coordinate your promotion through a particular service that can prevent the shattering of expectations (such as through the use of a promo code at the point of sale), the risk of backlash will be proportionally reduced.

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