There are many buzzwords around marketing management, office teamwork, and workplace functionality between departments. “Did everyone have some synergy this morning? Are you innovating strategically and strategizing your innovations enough?” At the end of the day, the most effective way to stay on the competitive edge of legal marketing is to hire passionate professionals, set the basic standards and goals you expect, and then adapt as needed.
Adapting means both adopting every new method that works, and cutting out any old habits that no longer deliver. One facet of that adaptation at Obu Interactive is our practice of peer review. It enhances critical thinking, saves time, and improves our leadership in the field of legal marketing. Here’s how:
What Is Critical Thinking in the Workplace?
You may have heard this phrase floating around: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” It’s attributed to Einstein, Alcoholics Anonymous literature, and mystery writer Rita Mae Brown (original authorship is unconfirmed). Critical thinking is essentially the opposite of that kind of insanity.
Critical thinking is the objective analysis of information in order to make a decision, and it isn’t easy. So much learning happens in a top-down manner: the teachers instruct, and the students memorize, apply, and repeat. Workplaces are often constructed the same way out of habit: the boss demands, and the employees deliver, often feeling that they’re paid to do, not to think. This can quickly lead to stagnation and burnout.
For industries like marketing where the end-goal is to stand out, critical thinking is essential. It is the tool that allows you to excise ineffective routines, recognize tried-and-true practices (they’re oldies but goldies), and embrace functional new techniques even if they seem counterintuitive.
Critical thinking is the practice by which you remove sentimentality from your workplace decision-making. One way critical thinking can flourish is with peer review. But how do you perform peer reviews at work in ways that are verifiably useful, and without ruffling any feathers?
What Is Peer Review and Why Is It Important?
The general peer review definition is: “an evaluation of scientific, academic, or professional work by others working in the same field.”
Most people know the phrase in relation to scientific papers that are peer reviewed, and thus far more reliable. Scientific peer reviews ensure that a set of results aren’t just one researcher’s accidental fluke, they can be successfully recreated and confirmed.
But what does “peer reviewed” mean for legal marketing?
Why Is Peer Review Important at Obu Interactive?
In a legal marketing context, peer review means building in a standard round of review for every project, no matter how ordinary. Here are the on-the-ground effects that a regular practice of peer review accomplishes:
- Editing: There is a deep satisfaction attached to catching mistakes before they embarrass us or our clients. Everything from basic typos, uncomfortable phrasing, formatting mistakes, or usability issues can be caught quickly during peer reviews.
- Teaching: New hires adapt to content styles faster when they can learn by doing, and their reviews in turn help to energize senior employees with new perspectives.
- Time-saving: It may sound illogical, but two people reviewing one piece of work back and forth saves time. The reason is because creating and analyzing fire up different sectors of the brain. By switching between tasks, the mind can cycle through different functions, rest those areas not in use, and then re-engage when they’re refreshed for optimal efficiency.
- Collaborating: Peer reviews work well within departments, but when they take place across departments, magic happens. When employees with differing expertises collide, inspiration strikes with questions like, “Is this possible? How can I help make it happen?”
- Inventing: When a new idea is possible, everybody starts to see the potential ripple effects for organic interest, website and social media engagement, and documentable lead conversion. This is what happens when a marketing firm is firing on all cylinders. For Obu Interactive, our unique inventions are what we proudly deliver to our legal clients as Obu Originals.
Curious about how to perform peer reviews at work? We have those details.
How to Give a Peer Review at Work in Legal Marketing
How to do a peer review at work may look different depending on the department.
How to write a peer review for content creation (web pages or blogs) and search engine optimization (SEO) goes far beyond just grammatical editing. It means generating suggestions, questions, and comments for the original writer to consider and incorporate.
A peer reviewer is there to help spot any information gaps. They also ask the kinds of questions that a reader (aka a potential client) may want answered, and help provide that content before we click publish. One final perk: the longer peer review is utilized, the more your content creators learn from each other, and build up their skill sets for future projects.
What is a peer-reviewed website? Peer review for law firm webpage implementation and useability involves having someone approach the page preview with fresh eyes. These reviews are meant to serve as a quality check for the page’s word content and its design layout.
For example, the images should be visually engaging, but not intrusive. The information needs to be well-organized so that a visitor to the page isn’t overwhelmed by a wall of text. Lastly, a peer reviewer for digital design takes the time to test any links, chat boxes, or other interactive features on the page to make sure all the moving parts are functioning.
Social Media Assets
Social media assets include both images and their accompanying captions. An effective peer review for social media combines elements of verbal and visual critique.
Reviews begin with evaluating whether the image communicates a clear message before reading the caption. Then the caption is reviewed to make sure it contains brief but vital information, be it a call-to-action (“contact our law firm for help”) or a promise of service (“we provide compassionate advocacy”). When combined, your social media posts are optimized for peak engagement.
By utilizing our entire team in multiple aspects of the services Obu Interactive provides, we increase interdepartmental understanding and foster innovation. With each review, we build and fortify the cohesive team our clients deserve.
Every “why” asked and answered during the peer review process has the potential to teach, re-evaluate, or improve the components of our legal marketing strategies.
Why Ask Why? Because the Answer May Surprise You
A siloed environment in a marketing firm is about as useful as a stagnant pond, which mostly blooms algae and breeds mosquitoes. By fostering peer review and department cross-pollination, new angles are discovered all the time. In fact, a fresh discovery is made nearly every time our teams intermingle.
Every “why” asked and answered during peer review has the potential to teach, re-evaluate, or improve the components of our legal marketing strategies. The best scenario is the most valuable, when a “why” leads to an “aha” moment—a new idea that never occurred to us before. Those new ideas provide fresh deliverables for our clients that other marketing firms have to scramble to catch up on and copy.
Want to see our “why”s turn into “wow”s for your law firm? Contact Obu Interactive today at (800) 619-5944. When you experience just how seamlessly we interweave your firm’s style across various web platforms, you’ll judge that our enthusiasm for peer review is justified.