Communicating Your Metaverse Plans

Many law firms have begun to consider whether they should expand their activities into the virtual reality Metaverse space, whether that is purchasing virtual real estate, like ArentFox Schiff, renting space owned by another company, as Benesch has done, or assisting clients active in the space in other ways. The decision to bet on widespread adoption of a world we can only see through Mark Zuckerberg’s glasses is complex, one often initiated by a firm’s innovation team but implemented by mere mortals who, like us, really struggle with more basic technological feats such as keeping all the passwords for their apps organized.

In other words, if you are asking us whether the Metaverse is a good bet, your PR and communications team at Page 2 has no idea. But we do have some thoughts about the marketing angle(s) on this brave new world, and how you should integrate your adoption of the virtual space into your overall communications strategy.

Consider the timing. Somebody has to go first, but when it comes to migrating to the Metaverse, those spots have already been filled. Next up will be the semi-early adopters, then the middle of the herd, and finally the kickers-and-screamers. If virtual reality really does turn out to play a crucial role in commerce in the coming years, joining soon may come to look like a visionary decision. If it flops — and it might, for all kinds of reasons — taking a wait-and-see approach may come to seem like the prudent course. It’s just too early to say for sure. Which means that the decision about timing is currently largely one of branding. What do you want to project about who you are? Who are the client audiences watching what you do, and what matters most to them? Would they view early adoption as a progressive move, or trend-chasing?

Communicate why you are doing it. Once your firm decides to take the plunge, think carefully about how you want to share this news with existing clients. Can firm leaders — as well as the folks writing your website and social media content — clearly articulate why the metaverse is the right next move for your firm? Maybe it’s about signaling that you are forward-thinking and tech savvy. Or maybe you are following clients to the space in the name of providing excellent, comprehensive service. Whatever the reasons, make sure you can frame them in terms of the benefits to the clients, and remember that while some portion of them will cheer the move, others may be skeptical of virtual reality and annoyed about having to learn a new process for receiving legal services. Make sure it’s clear that you don’t plan to leave your more traditional, slow-tech-adopting clients behind, and that your current lines of IRL service delivery will not change.

What do you need to learn more about? We know a few fuzzy things about what the Metaverse might be like, but most of what we talk about when we discuss it is what we currently don’t know. The ethos of decentralization at the heart of the space itself, the organizations that govern it, and the currencies that make its economies run means many things may not operate the way they do out here in regular life. Firms currently disagree about whether trademark protection is necessary in the virtual space. There are very real security risks to consider when it comes to financial transactions and privileged client information. And governance and accountability of companies looks very different in an undetermined legal liability environment. How can you make professional development around these concerns and the possible safeguards for them a part of your team’s preparation to understand and better communicate about this next frontier?