American Lawyer Media rebranded itself as ALM as part of an ambitious plan to expand beyond its core legal news competency.
With its new moniker, ALM positions itself as an integrated media firm serving legal, real estate, financial services and business professionals.
“We want ALM really to have more value [and] meaning to our clients and to the audience,” said Monika Schreiner, director of marketing at ALM, New York. “Our individual brands do [have meaning], but we want ALM to mean something as the provider of quality information.”
ALM publishes magazines like The American Lawyer, Corporate Counsel, Real Estate Forum, LegalTech, GlobeSt.com and Law.com. It also produces Web sites related to those media properties.
In the first phase, ALM is ensuring that the new look-and-feel is reflected in standardized graphics and style across all titles. The second phase, now under way, is getting the message out about the new persona.
Part of the transformation includes creating a division for research. ALM's preeminence in legal news generates gobs of data that can be customized or repurposed for advertisers or other clients.
Education is another initiative. ALM recently partnered with Harvard Business School Publishing to launch professional series events focused on the business of law. There are programs for chief financial officers and recruitment officers, and on topics like law firm liability and partner conflicts.
Like many publishers, ALM is leveraging its publishing assets into related areas to meet a market need.
“There was a paradigm shift from a house of brands to a branded house,” said Mark Young, communications counsel at ALM agency Partners + Simons, Boston.
ALM's changes are not just organic. Recent acquisitions hint at the new direction. The company bought Insight Information, a Canadian conference producer with about 120 programs in Canada and the United States. Areas covered include healthcare, energy, finance and legal. ALM also bought Real Estate Media Inc., a firm that came with several publications and Web sites.
“We know that people want their information in several different ways,” Schreiner said. “Events fill that requirement. Also, for the clients, they want more ways to reach their audience online, in print and live. We'll create and customize a package based on our client's marketing goals.”
But ALM isn't neglecting its core duties. Take Corporate Counsel. The controlled-circulation monthly's rate base was raised from 30,000 to 43,000 in early spring.
“We have some competition on that front, and we wanted to shore up the publication on all fronts and circulation was the main area of competition,” Schreiner said.