Following the demise of last year’s proposed extradition bill, fears for the future of Hong Kong have recently been stoked by a bill that would criminalise abuse of China’s national anthem and a controversial new security law to tackle so-called “terrorism”. The fears are very real to the people of Hong Kong, which is why the Foreign Correspondents’ Club (FCC) decided last week to seek the views of its last governor.

“Identity isn’t just a matter of ethnicity, and that is profoundly true in Hong Kong,” said the Rt. Hon Lord Chris Patten of Barnes CH. “Over half of Hong Kong’s population came from the Mainland. They enjoyed freedom and dignity in Hong Kong, and they made a fantastic Chinese success of it. But they weren’t giving up their Chinese-ness. They were demonstrating that identity goes beyond ethnicity.”

Issues around identity have for a long time troubled the legal sector. ‘BigLaw’ is often accused of lacking differentiation – the charge being that top-tier firms look and feel completely interchangeable. This is a problem when convention dictates that the most successful law firms over the long term will be those firms best able to differentiate their offering from those of their competitors. It is why ‘positioning’ continues to dominate management agendas.

Much of the legal sector has moved on from traditional event-driven, sponsorship-driven, advertising-driven marketing activities to more business development-focused activities. By doing so, these firms hope to engage more directly with clients and prospects. And while successful content marketing is all about developing thought leadership around issues that matter to this target group, firms that do it well will also have the opportunity to communicate a great deal about their identity.

Every firm is different and has a unique story to tell. But in 2020, every firm has to earn the right to communicate its marketing messages by first providing clients and prospects with compelling content that is helpful and wanted.

Give (first), and it shall be given unto you.