Published on 8th December 2016
Heloïse Paull is the Global Head of Marketing and Communications at Lawyers on Demand. Since 2007 Lawyers on Demand has pioneered a smarter and more innovative way to provide flexible legal services to in-house and legal teams internationally.
Ambition caught up with Heloïse to find out how she progressed her career to her current role and asked what advice she would give to other marketers.
Tell us about your career background – how did you end up where you are today?
I actually did a marketing degree (although mixed with French and Information Systems), so knew it was an area that I ideally wanted to work in. I never expected to go down the Professional Services route, but having been lucky enough to get a role with Mishcons very early in my career, I started working in law at a time when Partners were beginning to understand the importance of good marketing and BD. It’s been interesting to see just how much change the Marketing/BD functions in firms have gone through over the past 20 years.
I have been lucky enough to both run my own business and work in-house and have been Marketing Director of law firms including Matthew Arnold & Baldwin, Reed Smith and most recently Mathys & Squire before joining the team at Lawyers on Demand as Global Head of Marketing and Communications.
What do you do at Lawyers on Demand?
I deliver a global plan to all eight offices which is both sector, product and geographically driven. I am looking after the brand, messaging and general marketing offering. It’s an exciting time for us as we have recently merged with Advent Balance, increasing our office base to Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Sydney, Singapore and Hong Kong. We are also looking at an office in New York in the coming year.
What do you love about your current role at Lawyers on Demand?
The role at LOD is the sort of thing that only comes along once in your career. I get to use all of the skills and experience I have gained from working in law firms, but the LOD culture is one of complete innovation and being different, so I am also getting to use the creative part of my brain again. With the LOD mantra of “what wouldn't big law do”, I’m turning most of my ideas on their head and starting from a very different place. This is both exhilarating and exhausting!
What’s the most interesting campaign you have worked on in your career?
One of the most interesting campaigns I worked on was in one of my first jobs in marketing working for an international executive search and selection company. I created an unusual print campaign which was published in the Sunday Times. The campaign was a dual perspective advert called ‘Are you an Eskimo or an Indian?’, aimed at attracting high calibre candidates to the agency. It actually generated a lot of interest from press commenting on its innovative approach.
I’ve also been lucky enough to have created some pretty unusual websites over the past decade. The site that I did for Matthew Arnold & Baldwin was truly ground breaking in its use of blog posts to generate content. I had to re-educate lawyers that they would populate the site with their industry/sector/specific case law analysis and that I expected new content to be posted daily.
We ended up paying for the website in the first three months as clients found us through Google searches that put our content at the top of the results page (without paying for it!) and positioned us as real thought leaders. The user profile of the site was way beyond anything a regional law firm would normally have attracted.
What advice would you give to yourself if you were just starting out in your career?
My top 3 tips would be to:
- Always listen – you learn a lot.
- Never burn bridges – it’s actually a very small market.
- Have faith in yourself – it can be easy to feel like you aren’t adding any value. You are.
What are the main qualities you look for when you are hiring in your team?
I’ve hired a number of people over the past 20 years and there is one thing that I have always looked for in each candidate – a real spark. A real desire to make a difference and to make people take note of what is going on. The best compliment for me as a Director is when a stakeholder tells me that one of my team has done something exceptional.
I also think it’s important for my team to surprise and inspire me, so people looking for an easy career move, or people not willing to get their hands dirty tend to get fairly short shrift from me at interview!
Lastly, if you could do any job, what would it be?
Brand buyer for Liberty!