Category Archives: Legal Themes

NEW E-book: Create and Monitor Your Marketing RBI

Play a winning game with these five ways to grow your business.

You may recall I wrote about the five ways to attract business in June 2017. Your Marketing RBI (Runs Batted In) has these components:

  1. Networking
  2. Speaking
  3. Writing
  4. Participating in the trade association of your target market
  5. Extending your digital presence

I’ve spoken on this aspect of Marketing in presentations to groups of accountants and attorneys, as well as on podcasts.

More recently, I wrote a series of six articles for the PLI Chronicle Insights and Perspectives for the Legal Community, a monthly publication produced by the Practising Law Institute.

Naturally, these ideas have evolved over time.

I have now revised those articles and presentations, assembling them in an e-book of more than 50 pages.

It’s chock-full of detailed instructions, examples and best practices that apply to professionals who are accountants, business owners and consultants, not only attorneys.

Now, this guidance is offered to you and others in a general audience who might benefit from these strategies. The e-book is available for purchase for $9.99 via Venmo.

Here’s the Table of Contents so you’ll see what you’ll learn.

This Month’s Tip

Try ALL FIVE strategies and then focus on the ones where you feel most comfortable. Networking may be your favorite and speaking may give your stomach butterflies. Or vice versa. The e-book gives examples of how you can take some practice swings and become more comfortable with the approaches you don’t ordinarily use.


It’s time you stepped up to the plate and took a swing for the fences. After you place your order and purchase the e-book on Venmo, contact me at, set an appointment here or call me at 212.677.5770. Together we’ll explore which of the five ways to grow your business will most improve your Marketing RBI. 

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Your Co-Authored Article Reaches Influencers of Your Target Market

A colleague or client helps an industry outsider gain credibility.

How might a company offering specialized training promote its services?

Sometimes the best way to reach a target market is through its influencers.

The strategy I developed for Ed Katz, founder of the International Office Moving Institute (IOMI®), focused on attorneys, not the Human Resources professionals responsible for training employees.

Lawyers specializing in employment and contract law might be interested in a product like a video training series in best practices for moving office furniture, once they are aware of the context of such training.

Failure to observe best practices in moving bulky items, like large file cabinets and office desks, may result in serious injury to employees, which in turn may lead to worker compensation claims and subsequent litigation. In addition to the costs associated with workers compensation claims and litigation, damage to property, either property being moved or walls, elevators, doors, etc., may require additional payments for losses and damage.

In the event an employee sues a company or nonprofit for injury sustained in a move, documentation of prior training will provide an affirmative defense. The fact that an employee is trained in best moving practices will mitigate the claim and may lead to denial of any compensation.

Lawyers who are alerted to the long-term value of this video training series might refer this resource to their clients, especially at those businesses and nonprofit organizations where staff ask untrained maintenance staff to move heavy items or hire professional moving companies. In addition, for those lawyers that work in-house, they may mandate, as a best practice, such training for employees.

In order to reach these attorneys via a legal trade publication, a legal professional needed to be a co-author. Jacqueline Thorlakson, Senior Corporate Counsel for The Suddath Companies, a leading global moving company that is a long-time client of Katz, agreed to co-write an article about the video training series.

Working together, Katz and Thorlakson developed a forceful argument on the need for training employees at various steps in the moving process to prevent any accidents that may occur:

• Before the move: preparing to deal with situations in advance;
• During the move: managing issues as they arise; and
• After an accident involving injury or harm: training may be used as a corrective measure.

The combination of Katz’ hands-on expertise in moving heavy file cabinets, for example, coupled with Thorlakson’s citation of recent lawsuits, proved compelling to Employment Law 360. It is unlikely the subject of best practices in moving and training videos would have been reported by the legal publication in a different circumstance.

And it may be unlikely that attorneys specializing in employment and contract law would have pre-emptively spoken with their clients to ascertain whether they currently observe best practices in moving and whether they have trained their employees accordingly. Or, alternatively, that in-house counsel would have issued a mandate requiring all employees undergo training.

This Month’s Tip

Your co-author speaks to her peers in their language. An article may not be accepted by, for example, a legal publication, without relying on the legal expertise and writing style of an attorney.


If you are reaching out to influencers who might refer your services and products, an article in a trade publication, co-authored by a specialist, may help you hit the target. Let’s talk and line up some topics – and co-writers – for future publication. Contact me at, set an appointment here or call me at 212.677.5770. We’ll focus on the appropriate influencers.

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Why You? Why Now?

How to introduce yourself to reporters.

You probably recognize that reporters call people they know. They are less likely to call someone they have not heard of.

Reporters are professional skeptics. They will always ask two questions:

Why YOU? What makes you a credible and authoritative source?

Why NOW? You didn’t contact the journalist last week or last month. What is the reason anyone should pay attention to you now?

Here’s how to write an Executive Media Profile that answers these questions and establishes the same level of credibility as the competitor quoted last week.

1. In a five-line paragraph, summarize your areas of expertise. Select a few themes of interest to those who regularly seek your advice or services. This is not an extensive bio that lists your degrees and former job titles.

2. Make a list of three to five hot topics. Reporters focus on issues that affect readers and their businesses. In the best case, there is a clear bottom-line impact. Perhaps there is a change in the law or an industry regulation or a shift in consumer preference. Show your expertise and anticipate how this affects sales, operations and the market sector.

3. Use a bullet point format. Simply list the topics; do not use sentences and paragraphs. You’ll have time to elaborate on your ideas in a future conversation and interview.

4. Identify the publications read by your target market. Selectively contact the journalists who cover topics like yours with an email that answers the two questions: Why You and Why Now. Start by demonstrating you are familiar with their work: Your coverage of the ___ market prompted me to contact you and briefly share some thoughts on trends.

5. Follow-up with a call a week later. Reporters are as busy as yourself, so you’ll probably leave a phone message. Consider this a one-two punch and a foray into new territory. As Babe Ruth said, “Every strike brings me closer to my next home run.”

By establishing yourself as an authoritative and credible source, and by highlighting timely issues that readers need to focus on, you will place yourself in the reporter’s database for future reference, or even on a to-do list for a call today.

Ready to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard? Contact me at, set an appointment here or call me at 212.677.5770.A sample Executive Media Profile will be emailed so you can get started.

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Do The Right Thing

What goes around, comes around.

Some say Pay it Forward.

Others say Create good karma.

It’s a professional responsibility, for me, to be alert to news opportunities — even for former clients.

When Staten Island Legal Services (SILS) held a fundraising luncheon in April 2014, in part to mark its 10th anniversary, I spoke with the reporter from The New York Law Journal whom I had invited to cover the event. She asked to be notified of any celebration on the actual anniversary date, which was December 8. The project ended soon after the luncheon, and SILS and I amicably parted company.

Early in December, at my suggestion, SILS Executive Director Nancy Goldhill contacted the reporter and secured an interview. Goldhill used the opportunity to cite impressive statistics of the thousands of people whose cases SILS had handled over the years: families recovering property damage from Hurricane Sandy, victims of domestic violence, homeowners avoiding foreclosure and immigrants securing legal status.

Success! The news story in The New York Law Journal highlighted SILS and its 10-year track record. It even re-published a photo of Goldhill and the honorees from the April luncheon.

This article put SILS in front of New York attorneys, a key audience of current and potential supporters — thanks to my reminder to this former client.

You can join me and start (or renew) the habit to do a good turn, make a referral and introduce two acquaintances. Do it often and do it selflessly, with no thought of recompense.

Please let me know the unsought favor you’ve done. Contact me at, set an appointment here or call me at 212.677.5770. They say I get half-credit for an assist in good karma.

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Count on — Don’t Discount — the Intern Reporter

Make sure your pitch gets seen.

After identifying target publications for a new client, it was time to search the website of each newspaper and news service to locate recent stories on a niche topic and contact the most appropriate reporters.

Bingo! A weekly had covered a related angle six months ago. That good news was tempered by the realization that the author was not on staff, with an email on the masthead, nor a freelancer listed in a media database. He was an intern.

The problem: How to reach out, capture the intern/reporter’s interest and move the idea for news coverage forward?

His unusual name made it easy to locate the intern’s X (Twitter) account. A message referencing the prior article, and an offer of an alternative view of that subject, prompted an email reply.

My response, with the pitch sent to reporters at the other target publications, was copied to the News Desk. After all, the intern would not be granted authority to pursue the story without an editor’s okay, so this note would catch the editor’s eye.

It worked; all went according to plan. A staff reporter contacted me regarding the pitch forwarded by the News Desk’s editor. After that conversation, I sent additional background and introduced an attorney as the source for more details. An interview followed and here’s the resulting article.

Let’s find ways to put your name in front of more reporters, freelancers and media interns. Contact me at, set an appointment here or call me at 212.677.5770.

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No Photos, Please

Consider the downside of a photo in a news story.

Getting a company name or a cause in the news isn’t the goal. Indeed, having targeted audiences take action because they read about you is the name of the game.

The law firm Katz Melinger filed a sexual harassment case; the defendants included a top-rated cable television show, its production company and the network on which the show aired.

A summary press release was distributed, with a link to a pdf of the case filed in court. As expected, the celebrity news website TMZ jumped on the case and quoted some salacious details, prompting the show’s fans to post comments that degraded the client’s character.

In preparing their coverage of the case, two local newspapers contacted the law firm seeking photographs of the client. How would these requests be handled?

After writing about the photo that attracted 3,000 visitors, it might be surprising that my counsel was to not provide photos. Once the client’s image became accessible online, it could be manipulated in ways that could be personally demeaning and not helpful to the case. No photos were sent to the newspapers and the stories were published without them.

Simultaneously, Broadcasting & Cable reported the case objectively. Perhaps this article was more damaging, from the defendants’ perspective, than the gossip-style news stories. Advertisers are often skittish about adverse publicity that might affect them also, and networks assiduously keep their advertisers happy.

As a result of the media coverage, an attorney for a defendant contacted the law firm the same afternoon. That one phone call was the goal of the media outreach — and it was achieved without a photo.

Are you focused on the end game of driving target audiences to your phone or website, rather than media coverage for its own sake? Contact me at, set an appointment here or call me at 212.677.5770. Let’s address the upside and downside of sharing your story and photos — consistent with your business strategy.

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PS As for The New York Daily News and The New York Post, they easily located other photos and images to round out their articles.

Maximizing the BIG Name

Maximize the impact with media coverage in advance.

You’ve worked hard to line up a BIG NAME at a fundraiser, so make the most of their participation — even before the date.

Build attendance by notifying the media a few weeks ahead and provide access to the principals of the event for quotes.

Falk Communications helped Staten Island Legal Services sell tickets to their first-ever fundraiser with articles announcing an award and its presenter in the local and legal press. Of course, after the luncheon, follow-up articles reported the remarks of past New York State Governor Mario Cuomo.

If you’d like to attract more supporters to your fundraising events, and also increase awareness of your group, consider the impact of a BIG NAME in generating media coverage. Contact me at, set an appointment here or call me at 212.677.5770.

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