National Association of Licensed Paralegals

Working with Panpathic to raise awareness of paralegals and increase membership levels

This is a joint case study, showing how SME Needs and Panpathic has worked together to deliver for a mutual client.

The Client

The National Association of Licensed Paralegals (NALP) is the longest running professional paralegal body in the UK, established in 1987.Through its centres, NALP offers paralegal qualifications and training courses. NALP strives to ensure that its members are recognised as a key part of the legal profession. It is the only paralegal membership body recognised by Ofqual, the regulator of qualifications in England.

Their Needs

NALP wants to continuously raise awareness of what paralegals do and how they can help consumers and businesses, as well as highlighting its regulated qualifications. It also wants to increase its membership numbers and drive new business for those members.

What did we do?

How we started working together

NALP has worked with Chantal Cooke at Panpathic Communications, a boutique PR agency that works specifically with small businesses, for over five years. Having worked with SME Needs previously, she recommended that we come on board to help with their marketing needs. “My role is essentially PR and social media and we focus very much on the media-facing side,” says Chantal. “The ultimate aim is to educate the public and other legal professionals, raising awareness of paralegals and what they do.” Following Chantal’s recommendation, we started working with NALP in 2020 to coordinate all of the marketing. There was a particular focus on communicating with members, supporting them and helping them improve their businesses and take their careers forward. We were also tasked with improving the website and increasing traffic.

How we work together

“We make a great team, as Nigel and I are very clear on our respective areas of expertise and we try not to overlap,” says Chantal. “He can spot what needs to happen from a Google/SEO perspective and then we work together to make that work from a PR perspective as well, to gain media coverage.”

“For example, Nigel wanted NALP to appear high in the list of results when people searched for ‘alternatives to solicitors’. So, alongside his SEO improvements, I created editorial content about the alternatives to solicitors that was placed in a number of media outlets,” says Chantal. “This project worked well from a PR perspective, as well as driving more traffic to NALP via online search engines. It’s a good practical example of how a marketing need drove the PR and then both sides benefited.”

Results

As a result of SME Needs and Panpathic Communications working together:

  • The general public and the legal community have a far higher awareness of both NALP and the role of paralegals in general.
  • Membership numbers have grown and
  • NALP has higher engagement with members and non-members than ever before.

Other successes include:

  • NALP featuring everywhere from the FT to BBC Radio and the Daily Mail.
  • NALP’s exciting new website features more engaging content and an improved user experience, which is driving more traffic to the site and connecting NALP with a higher numbers of users.

future plans

Looking ahead, the plan is:

  1. to continue growing membership,
  2. encourage membership renewals, and
  3. to make paralegals a well known alternative to solicitors.

The NALP Awards and National Paralegal Day, both on hold during the pandemic, will also be back next year. From a PR point of view, Chantal will continue to build the profile of NALP, as well as the profile of the Chief Exec Amanda Hamilton. The aim is to add a face to the name at the top and build members and non-members trust in the credibility of the organisation. By working together, SME Needs and Panpathic Communications plan to make NALP the only place to go for qualified, trustworthy paralegals.

What the client said

‘I am very happy that Panpathic and SME Needs work so well together and am totally confident in what they have done and continue to do for NALP. Since Chantal has come on board our profile has certainly risen dramatically and Nigel is just very good at what he does on the marketing side. Our membership has increased exponentially since he joined the team!’

Amanda Hamilton
CEO, National Association of Licensed Paralegals

and when we're not working...

“I’ll be on my rural small holding in Wales, hiking, planting veg or playing with my rescue pigs,” says Chantal. “You’ll find me either with my family walking our new dog Nina, or on the golf course!” says Nigel.

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