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 firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at 212-677-5770, so we can focus on the appropriate influencers.
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