Blog by Gary Lawrenson, the outgoing Chair of the Website & Marketing Committee


Mark Twain said:  “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure“.  This neatly sums up how I felt on my first day as Wesbite & Marketing Committee (“WMC“) Chair in November 2016 when I was charged with the task of (amongst other things) continuing the inimitable Alison Hardy’s excellent work and managing the PLA’s website refresh project.  Thankfully, the WMC had (and still has) a vital extra ingredient which won the day – a talented team that works tirelessly for the benefit of members.

The updated website is our shop window to the world to be proud of.  It is now much more user-friendly for members and other visitors.  The website has been designed to be developed organically to ensure it can remain current at incremental cost.  Watch this space, for example, for a new process of digitalised payments of member subscriptions and events (which will be fully available in 2020).  Please do ensure your firm’s finance team embrace this new system.  In one fell swoop it will slash the administrative burden and ensure member funds can be deployed to promote the PLA’s objectives swiftly.  It is vital that our wonderful organisation moves with the times.   On this note, I would also like to get up on my soapbox to ask all members to actively engage with the PLA’s social media efforts:  your PLA needs you!  The reality is that only a fraction of members support the PLA through social media activities.  Let us change this (please).  It would make a huge difference to WMC’s profile-raising efforts.

WMC outputs are of course important, but I will most fondly remember the plethora of people (current and past WMC members) I have worked with on WMC who selflessly give (and have given) their time to support the PLA cause.  It has been a blast.  I am not going to name people individually – you know who you are; I salute you.

A shout out also to the multiple professional consultants who support the WMC, not least Dee Cornes (our PR consultant).  She amplifies the PLA’s campaigning role in key areas of property law reform through targeted press releases, articles and podcasts. The coverage achieved to date helps to give the PLA a stronger voice in lobbying for change, as well as significantly enhancing its profile. This is of significant value to support the PLA’s work and ensure we continue to be relevant within the legal and property arenas.

It has been a great honour to have had the opportunity to lead the WMC over the last three years.  I hand the reigns over to Mark Reading who will be a marvellous and effective Chair of WMC.  He has, of course, already had a bit of practice at this as former Chair of the JPLA.  I very much look forward to watching him and the WMC flourish in the years to come.  Onwards!

Gary Lawrenson