ARIANNA HUFFINGTON: CLOSING KEYNOTE, FRIDAY, APRIL 3, 2009

Nancy Myrland LMA Conference Tweet Summary Leave a Comment

This is the TweetStream from the closing keynote address at the LMA Conference. Some who couldn’t attend mentioned it was difficult to follow the TweetStream at times because there was more than one session going on that same time.  For that reason, I will attempt to summarize each session by itself in this space.

Please keep in mind these are in reverse order, so you might want to start at the end and work your way up!  What a nice refresher of what was a wonderful, inspirational session by Arianna Huffington. Stay tuned as I gather and post additional session summaries in this space.  I’ve left a bit of the ancillary conversation as it is sometimes interesting to see the multi-tasking that takes place.  Enjoy!

gerkmana: RT @LindsayGriffith AH: Our longing for approval holds us back; the more susceptible we are to it, the less able we are to bring change #LMA  

gerkmana: @LindsayGriffith @nancymyrland Thanks for passing along the great inspiration from Arianna! #LMA  

CHLAW: Wow! Arianna Huffington was closing speaker at #LMA Conference in

Washington, D.C.I thought Carville was good…but she was great!  LegallyMinded: RT @nancymyrland RT @sjohnson123: AH: There is a differnce btwn being productive and being creative. #LMA  IslandBoyBob: @Mama_Red #LMA He not busy being born is busy dying…Bob Dylan  Mama_Red: RT @LindsayGriffith: AH: perspective is important – are you focusing on what’s dying, or what’s being born? #LMA  

marcthollander: just shook hands & chatted with Arianna Huffington #lma  

joedibiase: @nancymyrland – Did Huff cite the original source? #LMA  

joedibiase: RT @nancymyrland: #LMA Ships in harbor are safe, but that’s not what ships are made for. AH -2nd time 2day I saw that quote frm diff sources  

nancymyrland: #LMA Thanks Arianna!!! Thanks LMA….what a GREAT conference!  

LindsayGriffith: LMA President: The “recession-edition” of the #LMA has been a special one – I agree; it’s been my favorite so far!  

sjohnson123: AH: Every citizen is now a journalist #LMA And she just shook my hand!  

nancymyrland: #LMA Today, everyone has the opportunity to become a part of history by reporting world events they are witnessing.  

nancymyrland: #LMA When u r in public, don’t assume your words or self aren’t being recorded in some way.  

LindsayGriffith: AH: there’s never a time when you’re in public that you can assume that you’re not being recorded/photographed #LMA  

nancymyrland: #LMA AH is excited about citizen journalism. AT Huff’n Post, when we r pursuing a story, u wld b amazed @ info we get from citizens. nancymyrland: #LMA She doesn’t see the death of newspapers. They will coexist in the future.  jasonmilch: RT @nancymyrland:#LMA We need to unplug ourselves. Don’t charge your devices by where you sleep. —-(This a a huge problem for me)  nancymyrland: RT @sjohnson123: AH: There is a differnce btwn being productive and being creative. #LMA  

LindsayGriffith: RT @sjohnson123: AH: There is a differnce btwn being productive and being creative. #LMA  

sjohnson123: AH: There is a differnce btwn being productive and being creative. #LMA   LindsayGriffith: AH: You should be 1000 percent present in whatever you’re doing (unlike now, when I’m multitasking on twitter and my iPhone :)) #LMA  

sjohnson123: Arriana says no Blackberry or cell phone during dinner. #LMA   LindsayGriffith: Me too! It’s my alarm 🙂 RT @nancymyrland: #LMA We need to unplug ourselves. Don’t charge your devices by where you sleep. (I’m guilty!)   nancymyrland: #LMA We need to unplug ourselves. Don’t charge your devices by where you sleep. (I’m guilty!)  

Karen_Russell: AH: More sleep? That’s change I can believe in! #LMA  LindsayGriffith: RT @nancymyrland: #LMA In times of being so hyperconnected, we all long for ways to be disconnected.   nancymyrland: #LMA In times of being so hyperconnected, we all long for ways to be disconnected.   nancymyrland: #LMA Now on to Q&A with Arianna Huffington….   sarah_johnson28: #LMA in times of transition some things are dying and some are being born. you must focus on what’s being born.  

nancymyrland: #LMA Change means being comfortable with what is dying. Birth, life and death are realities, and make way for change.   JPSESQ: RT @LindsayGriffith AH: The most creative people are good cat nappers – not walking through life sleep deprived! #LMA  LindsayGriffith: AH: perspective is important – are you focusing on what’s dying, or what’s being born? #LMA

nancymyrland: #LMA Adam looked at Eve in the Garden of Paradise and said “Darling, we are living in times of change.”  

nancymyrland: #LMA In the end, the small, individual changes we make in our lives add up to make major change..the tipping point.  

nancymyrland: RT @sarah_johnson28: #LMA the worst enemy in change is ourselves.  

LindsayGriffith: RT @sarah_johnson28: #LMA the worst enemy in change is ourselves.  

LindsayGriffith: AH – in her book ,addresses 4 human instincts: survival, sex & power; and to find meaning in life, more than making a living #LMA  

sarah_johnson28: #LMA the worst enemy in change is ourselves.  

LindsayGriffith: AH – another quote on her desk “Ships in the harbor are safe, but that’s not what ships were built for” #LMA  

nancymyrland: #LMA Ships in the harbor are safe, but that’s not what ships are made for. –AH  

nancymyrland: RT @LindsayGriffith: AH: When you’re bold, willing to take risks, you find grace and you are supported in bringing about that creation #LMA  

sarah_johnson28: rt @nancymyrland #LMA If u take one thing away, it’s to get more sleep..more creative, more able to manage change…men worse at this.  

nancymyrland: #LMA Act on your goals even when you’re afraid. The more you flex this “muscle,” the easier it becomes next time.  

LindsayGriffith: AH: Being fearless doesn’t mean being without fear, but acting on your goals in spite of your fear #LMA  

JayBerkowitz: RT @LindsayGriffith: AH: Has a list of “joy triggers” – things that she loves. I do that too!! – what are your joy triggers? #LMA  

LindsayGriffith: AH: When you’re bold, willing to take risks, you find grace and you are supported in bringing about that creation #LMA  

nancymyrland: #LMA Surround yourself with your “joy triggers.”  LindsayGriffith: AH: Has a list of “joy triggers” – things that she loves. I do that too!! – what are your joy triggers? #LMA   nancymyrland: #LMA When I’m rested, I get so much more joy out of what I’m doing. –AH    LindsayGriffith: AH: It’s just as important to enjoy what you’re doing as it is to be effective. #LMA   LindsayGriffith: RT @nancymyrland: #LMA If u take one thing away, it’s to get more sleep..more creative, more able to manage change…men worse at this.  

nancymyrland: #LMA If u take one thing away, it’s to get more sleep..more creative, more able to manage change…men worse at this.   LindsayGriffith: AH: main takeaway from this session: GET MORE SLEEP #LMA    LindsayGriffith: I fully agree RT @nancymyrland: #LMA It’s time 4 us 2 reinvent the model 4 success.  

nancymyrland: RT @Russ23229: #LMA AH started a fund for investivigative journalisn to cover the economic stimulus money  

nancymyrland: RT @LindsayGriffith: AH: The most creative people are good cat nappers – not walking through life sleep deprived! #LMA   nancymyrland: RT @Russ23229: #LMA AH is hiring journalists and adding transparency to the TARP and other govt investments   nancymyrland: #LMA It’s time 4 us 2 reinvent the model 4 success.   LindsayGriffith: AH: Our culture believes that you should work yourself into the ground, have a heart attack, get back up and keep working – not good #LMA  

LindsayGriffith: AH: The most creative people are good cat nappers – not walking through life sleep deprived! #LMA   nancymyrland: #LMA Cramming so much in to each day is the death of creativity.    Russ23229: #LMA AH is hiring journalists and adding transparency to the TARP and other govt investments  

LindsayGriffith: AH: what holds us back is our longing for approval – the more susceptible we are to this, the less able we are to bring about change #LMA  

nancymyrland: #LMA The more fearless we are the more likely we are to innovate. Longing for approval, not wanting to rock the boat..hold us back.   nancymyrland: #LMA So many journalists don’t dig deep enough because they are afraid of losing access.   Russ23229: #LMA AH started a fund for investivigative journalism to cover the economic stimulus money  

nancymyrland: #LMA Those of us who operate online can experiment — make it better quicker. (paraphrasing AH)  

LindsayGriffith: RT @nancymyrland: #LMA For those who expand in the middle of contraction, there are huge opportunities. (Read that carefully).   LindsayGriffith: @jhellerman I think that’s going to be the quote of the day 😉 #LMA    jhellerman: Huffington #LMA: “no one will pay for info and news online anymore. They will only pay for very specialized expertise and porn.”  

nancymyrland: #LMA For those who expand in the middle of contraction, there are huge opportunities. (Read that carefully).  

LindsayGriffith: AH: If you don’t want the sun to set, you have to be constantly changing, improving, expanding #LMA   nancymyrland: #LMA AH: The day I wake up and feel the Huffington Post is done is the day it will start to decline.   nancymyrland: #LMA U can’t start charging for news online. That train has left the station. Ppl only pay for porn online (Arianna said this).  

LindsayGriffith: AH: people are so used to getting their info online for free, that they’ll only pay for highly specialized info…or porn. #LMA  

nancymyrland: #LMA Roommate’s voice: “Those jeans sure r tight on u!” Arianna: “Did you put those jeans in the dryer?” Funny! 🙂   LindsayGriffith: AH: The best kind of change incorporates what is best from the old and best from the new #LMA   LindsayGriffith: AH: The big societal changes right now have to do with priorities – is service a priority? How much of our lives are giving back? #LMA  

nancymyrland: #LMA Michelle Obama is an example of being comfortable with herself.  

nancymyrland: #LMA Boy, Arianna sure has lots of great quotes/Tweets! 🙂   LindsayGriffith: AH – women have to wrestle that voice into the ground, arguing with it until we are exhausted #LMA   LindsayGriffith: AH has an “obnoxious roommate” voice living in her head – has learned to deal with it #LMA  

NancyMHendrix: RT @nancymyrland: #LMA Build a tribe around you that can support what you are doing. LMA is a tribe of supporters.  

nancymyrland: #LMA Stop reliving things we did that weren’t right. Women do this a lot. The voice of the obnoxious roommate living in my head helps.   NancyMHendrix: After hearing tweets from Huffington’s #LMA closing address, I think I’ll be buying her book   nancymyrland: #LMA Our perfection is the enemy of change. Always make new mistakes (a sign on her desk). Making the same mistakes, or fresh ones?  

LindsayGriffith: AH has a sign on her desk that says “Always make new mistakes” – don’t make the same mistakes over again, but make fresh mistakes #LMA  

sarah_johnson28: #LMA AH deals with change by creating a tribe to support her.   nancymyrland: #LMA Build a tribe around you that can support what you are doing. (LMA is a tribe of supporters.)   NancyMHendrix: RT @Karen_Russell: Anyone else want Arianna to be their life coach? #lma definitely!  

LauraAWalters: RT @Karen_Russell: Anyone else want Arianna to be their life coach? #lma – Me!  

nancymyrland: #LMA Stay focused on what you are doing. Don’t get distracted by what others are saying.   LindsayGriffith: AH: Believes in being permeable to disappointment and failure – express your feelings, and then let them go #LMA   Karen_Russell: Anyone else want Arianna to be their life coach? #lma   nancymyrland: #LMA AH: I don’t believe in building a wall around you w/anger, resentment, etc. Be permeable.  

nancymyrland: #LMA When Huffington Post was launched, there were a lot of naysayers.   sarah_johnson28: #LMA in times of struggles we see how strong our foundation is. how strong is yours?   studentoflife: RT @LindsayGriffith: AH: Constantly work on yourself, and define yourself beyond your career, family and children #LMA  

LindsayGriffith: AH: Constantly work on yourself, and define yourself beyond your career, family and children #LMA  

nancymyrland: #LMA At times like these, we discover how firm out foundation is, and what it’s built on.   NancyMHendrix: What a great life lesson to rmbr! RT @nancymyrland: #LMA AH: There is absolutely no one who has succeeded who has not also failed.   MattFankhauser: RT @nancymyrland: #LMA Part of accepting change is accepting failure.  

nancymyrland: #LMA AH: Perseverance is the key to everything we do.   nancymyrland: #LMA When you persevere, the universe conspires to help you! –AH  

LindsayGriffith: AH: The difference is between those who persevere and those who don’t – when you persevere, the universe conspires to help you #LMA   nancymyrland: #LMA AH’s 2nd book was rejected by 37 publishers. Difference is between those who persevere and those who don’t.   nancymyrland: #LMA AH: There is absolutely no one who has succeeded who has not also failed.  

LindsayGriffith: Arianna believes that there is no one who has succeeded who has not failed along the way #LMA  sarah_johnson28: #LMA the biggest part of accepting change is not beng afraid to fail.    nancymyrland: #LMA Part of accepting change is accepting failure.  

Russ23229: #LMA Ariana agrees with Peter that things only make sesnse looking back  

nancymyrland: RT @Karen_Russell: Now Arianna’s session is full! #LMA LindsayGriffith: Arianna Huffington has lived in the US as long as I’ve been alive 😉 She’s originally from Greece #LMA  Karen_Russell: Now Arianna’s session is full! #LMA  @Karen_Russell: Surprised @ the light turnout for Arianna Huff so far #LMA  

sjohnson123: Sitting next to my media hero Arianna Huffington! #LMA  

nancymyrland: RT @sarah_johnson28: #LMA at keynote closing session. introducing Ariana Huffington…. 

Russ23229: #LMA Huffington on deck-am I watching CNN?  

nancymyrland: U R so kind Jayne. RT @jaynenavarre: @nancymyrland #LMA gets the GOLD STAR 4 2 Tweeps who can’t b at all sessions. GRT reporting. Thank you!  

sarah_johnson28: #LMA at keynote closing session. introducing Ariana Huffington  

Karen_Russell: Surprised @ the light turnout for Arianna Huff so far #LMA  

salosmom: looking forward to Ariana Huffington @ #LMA… all the best events start late 🙂    

LindsayGriffith: Getting ready for Arianna Huffington, coming up pretty soon – looks like the last session ran a bit late because it’s quiet in here! #LMA  

jhellerman: Get ready for #LMA Featured Speaker Arianna Huffington! Bio from the Huff Post: http://tiny.cc/iuFhf

Back To Basics In A Down Economy

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Business Development/Sales, Client Satisfaction Interviews Leave a Comment

Back To Basics In A Down EconomyI had the distinct pleasure of attending the 23rd Annual LMA, Legal Marketing Association, conference last Tuesday through Saturday.  To say the least, those who were able to attend this year were focused, passionate and engaged.  I loved being around that much energy and dedication because I feed off of it, and find I am better because of it!

Based on the sessions and conversation I took advantage of last week, I have many thoughts running a marathon in my head, so I will attempt to release them on paper over the next few weeks so I can share them with you.

A Silver Lining

The first is to talk about what’s going on with this economy as it relates to marketing and business development.  If there is a silver lining in this volatile, confusing economy, it is that many firms are taking advantage of what could be devastating circumstances.  They are returning to, or in many cases, discovering, the basics, which are those skills and practices that are the foundation of any healthy, profitable business. They are talking to their clients, whether through more frequent phone calls and meetings, via third-party client satisfaction interviews, by networking with them in professional social media, or through timely communication of what matters most to the client right now.  With intention, they are letting them know they care, are there to help them, to watch their backs and to do whatever it takes to protect them.

Firms Are Rediscovering What Business Development Means

Firms are also spending more time learning what real business development means.  Some are taking the time to plan, to determine what goals are important to them, then backing into a plan of action that will help them accomplish those goals.  They are becoming more strategic. My colleague and friend, Jim Durham, a brilliant marketer who has just become the Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at McGuireWoods, based in Richmond, VA, summarized his thoughts about firms getting back to basics in this video from the LMA conference.

My Suggestion To You

My suggestion to firms in this economy is to get back to the basics or, if need be, to find help learning what those basics are, and how they fit into your firm’s goals.  What will undoubtedly happen is that your firm will come out on the other end of this economy much stronger, smarter and more focused on how to serve clients and grow your business than ever before.  You will develop habits that will be hard to break, are much easier than before, and are forever a part of your new firm culture.

Nancy Myrland, Myrland Marketing & Social Media and LinkedIn Coach For LawyersNancy Myrland is a Marketing, Business Development, Content, Social & Digital Media Speaker, Trainer & Advisor, helping lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines. She is a frequent LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook for Business trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers and legal marketers understand how to make their marketing and business development efforts more relevant to their current and potential clients, and helps lead firms through their online digital strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases. As an early and constant adopter of social and digital technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasts, video marketing and livestreaming. She can be reached via email here.

 

MY TWITTER GOALS AND STRATEGY

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Marketing Strategy, Social Media Leave a Comment

The other day I received an email from the CEO of a very well-respected sales training company.  He asked me about my use and philosophy about Twitter as he noticed there are times when I am quite active.  He also wondered about the amount of time it took me. 

I thought I’d share my response with you in case you are thinking through the use of Twitter too.  Here it is:

Hi Tom:

Very nice to hear from you! 

The interesting thing about Twitter is that it is so new, as is the entire Social Media category, so those of us using it, including you, have the opportunity to make it whatever we want.  There are so many millions of users out there that are molding it to fit their purpose.  Sometimes those purposes are to simply have fun and enjoy conversing with people.  Other times it’s to do some type of business, to learn, to educate or to build confidence. 

My philosophy on Twitter might be a bit different than some, but also very similar to others.  I watched, or listened, at first to see what was going on, then jumped in to join the conversation.  It doesn’t take long to find one’s sea legs. 

I have 3 goals for Twitter: To Connect, To Communicate and there’s a 3rd I’ll keep confidential because it has more to do with a personal characteristic I’m building.  There are obviously subpoints to each of those goals. 

It’s my philosophy that people do business with people they like and trust.  It’s easy to execute marketing tactics that show one’s expertise.  People have been doing that for decades.  What typically takes longer is getting to that point in a business relationship where we have really connected with our client, much less our potential clients.  I know I don’t need to tell you this, but it’s that point where you simply smile because you treasure the entire relationship you have with that person—you like them, they like you and your work product or service, and you wish it would last forever.  In fact, you wish you could clone that relationship. 

Twitter can help build those relationships for those who find that deeper relationships can be valuable or important.  It allows me to show other sides of my personality and life in addition to my marketing and sales (Business Development to some) skills, and it encourages those I interact with to do the same.  I value that as I find those who only Tweet links to articles can come across very cut and dry, and haven’t necessarily helped me form an opinion of them first, or even at the same time as they are promoting their business or knowledge.  I think it’s okay to promote one’s business, and I do so, but I find I am more open to reading what one has to say when I know more about them personally as well as professionally.  

I have come to truly like and appreciate those Followers who have shared other parts of their lives as well.  It gives me an idea what they would be like to do business with, which I appreciate as I would never have known them in this way otherwise.  The interesting thing is that it has sent a few relationships several steps down the road simply because a Follower and I have shared information we wouldn’t have otherwise at such an early stage.  When my phone rings, and someone I Follow and who is a Follower is on the other end of the line says his/her name, we have been able to connect and share in a way right away that typically takes much longer in a traditional manner of getting to know one another.  This has been good for not only getting the word out to potential clients about what I do, but also to build referral sources and friends who I now know I can go to for help with just about anything. 

I could easily tell you that Twitter simply fits my personality perfectly as I love interacting with, getting to know, and learning from, people.  That would be true, but I also know that my 3 goals are important with this, or any other communication or marketing tool I use.  I don’t find that it takes very much time at all.  It depends on the day.  It’s very easy for me to send a Tweet from my phone in between meetings, on my way to an event or meeting, or while I’m waiting for a document to open.  Because I find it enjoyable hearing what others have to say from all over the world, and learning as much as possible, it doesn’t seem to take that much time away from what I’m doing, or should be doing.  I will admit there have been days when I feel like I could spend hours connecting with people, so I have to exercise some discipline and pull myself away from it on those occasions. 

IT’S 2009 – DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR BRAND IS?

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Marketing Strategy Leave a Comment

There is an interesting discussion developing on a few listservs of which I am a member about guerilla marketing tactics, specifically the T-Mobile tactic which has now gone viral,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUZrrbgCdYc

It got me thinking about ways for you to communicate the brand of your firms so I thought I would share it with you here as well.  These are important times for us to keep these discussions front and center as much as possible.  After you read my thoughts, please add your own in the comments section. 

When you think about what “the brand” of your firm is, or of a particular industry or practice group, or any product or service within your firm for that matter, then you can begin to imagine ways these [Guerilla] marketing tactics could be effective.  Even if the discussion is allowed to get a little “out there” in order to unlock the brains of those who are having these discussions in your firms, then so be it. 

Show this T-Mobile video to them…let them know it’s a bit extreme for your purposes (even if you don’t think so) so you don’t scare them away before your discussion even begins, then hold a brainstorming discussion about what T-Mobile’s brand must be based on what they just watched.  Ask them what T-Mobile was trying to communicate by doing what they did.  Let the discussion go for a while so the members of the group begin to feel comfortable talking about what brand really means. 

Talk about whether they think this was an effective way to communicate that brand.  If there are some who think it was an ineffective way to communicate T-Mobile’s brand, then have them brainstorm ways their message could have been communicated more effectively. 

I would then suggest letting this discussion evolve in to what your group’s brand is…what your personality is, what your clients and potential clients will think, feel and experience every time they do business with you.  Allow that discussion to flow freely, writing down all the thoughts and ideas everyone in the group has, telling them there are no bad or wrong ideas as this is their interpretation of what your brand is at that moment in time.  Ask everyone to encourage everyone with every idea that comes up.   

Then discuss the most common themes that came up during that discussion, and attempt to come to some type of agreement about those common themes that make up your brand.  Pick the top 5 or 10 and turn them in to a definition of what your brand is.  Don’t throw away the concepts that didn’t make it.  Discuss whether there are any of them that the group TRULY wishes were a part of your brand, and deal with those concepts, deciding whether they are important enough to make changes in order for them to become a true part of your brand.  Incorporate them if feelings are strong enough to do something about incorporating them in to your brand, but get commitment that your firm will make the investment necessary to truly institutionalize them, or leave them out.  If you aren’t going to work on incorporating them soon, then you will just confuse your potential/clients as they won’t see the parts of your brand you attempt to communicate. 

When you get to the point where you have agreement on the definition of what your brand is, then you can begin to build a marketing plan around that brand.  You have allowed all group members to buy in to your brand fundamentals because of the discussion you just led, which is critical.  No marketing person, whether internal or external, can go away and create your brand on their own without input and buy-in. 

Then go through the progression of marketing plan components in order to build a thoughtful, strategic marketing plan that takes in to account the targets, the messages, the goals and the methods to be used to communicate that brand to the right people with whom you want to do business.  

Show the T-Mobile video again, then encourage your group members to think in those terms to develop more subtle (maybe!) marketing tactics to communicate what you’ve developed in the plan discussed in the preceding paragraphs.  Encourage them to dare to be different. 

I’ve communicated a process to you that sounds very simple in this brief post, but I know it will take some time, and I know it will take more steps than I have outlined here, and might even take a facilitator who can help the group step in and out of its comfort zone at the appropriate time, but my point is the same. 

Step out this year! If you don’t, your competitors just might! Even if they don’t, what will you have accomplished at the end of 2009 without having spent the time to discuss, plan and implement that which will help your potential/clients understand what you have to offer that is different than others, or that the others haven’t taken time to discuss and communicate?

These tactics might seem outlandish for some firms because of their conservative nature, but they are not to be ignored.  There are versions of every marketing tactic that can be modified to accomplish the growth, retention and communication goals of your firm. 

It’s 2009.  Do you know where your BRAND is?! 

Good luck, enjoy the process, and let me know if you need help walking through this important process.

WHAT’S IN A NAME CHANGE?

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Name change marketing and acceptance is extremely important.  Shortening of a name such as Ice Miller, a firm based in Indianapolis, is a different topic than a complete name change.  The community and Ice Miller’s client base had likely already changed the name of the firm on their own.  That is a common trend.  In some cases, firm names have become so long that people can’t be expected to remember them, much less get the order of names correct.  They take the easiest path and shorten the name themselves, therefore the shortened name “Ice Miller” was already being widely used prior to its formal change.

Merging with another firm is a different story, and requires a great deal of strategy and planning prior to its announcement.  It is always important to put yourself in the shoes of the public, meaning clients, potential clients and referral sources, as well as those we interact with every day.  Try to imagine what it will take for them to get used to this name.  What do we need to do to make this name change so easy and so common that the transition is seamless?

It typically takes a multi-step plan to be successful.  I could go in to every step necessary, but it depends on the firm’s current position in the minds of their audiences to find the correct strategy.  I can tell you that it starts with making sure your internal clients, meaning staff and attorneys, are fully informed and comfortable with the meaning of  the name change and the new name long before it is introduced to the public.  It is also important to approach clients on a one-to-one basis to let them know what is being considered.  Bring them in to the process.  Build equity in your new name by sharing your news as much as possible.  When it’s time for the change, your internal and external audiences can help speak on your behalf to sell and explain the name change.  Who couldn’t use that many brand advocates on the streets when making such an important change?  We all can.

When announcing and reinforcing the name change, announce it widely and often.  Don’t stop after the first month or two as you haven’t gone far enough to help your audiences memorize the change, much less what that change should stand for in their minds. 

It might help to remember this:  Just when you think they are getting sick of hearing your message, whether that message is a name change or any other, your target audiences are barely beginning to pay attention to it.  You become tired of hearing it because you’ve been dealing with it for months, and sometimes years, and have been thinking about it internally 24 hours a day, but they have many hundreds and sometimes thousands of messages they have to filter through their minds every day.  Give your message a fighting chance by making your way through the clutter in their minds. 

Spend time creating a thorough strategy for this, and every other, message you have to share.  Yes, it’s that important or you wouldn’t be making it in the first place.

MYRLAND FAMILY CHRISTMAS 2008

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Our Dearest Family and Friends,

We’ve never written a letter to everyone before because we prefer writing when we can, but this year we thought it might make sense for a few reasons. First, there are a few thoughts we have to make sure we share with and about you, and two, there’s a right hand in the house that gets tired a little quicker than it used to.

You probably know this has been quite a year for our family. If it hadn’t happened, we wouldn’t believe it ourselves! Starting with the most wonderful puppy boys in the world, adorable Luke’s IBD flared up early in the year, but was, once again, tamed with new hypoallergenic food. He’s fine and only suffers from being the most adorable Yellow Lab on Earth. At the end of May, sweet Ernie had his second ACL surgery, this time on the right knee. This is a great surgery, but was extremely hard on Ernie because the recovery is so restrictive…on a leash with almost no lead, inside and outside the house, no jumping, quick starts or activity other than a slow walk inside the house, for about 3 months. He did great, though, and is back to playing and loving as hard as he can. Thank you Dr. Elkins! His only challenge is finding enough people to love, and faces to lick. They will both be 10 in February. We love them immensely!

What came next? Ahhh, yes, the night of June 29th, Nancy was finally out planting the flats of flowers she had bought up to a month earlier, when she walked in to the open back door. John was walking in to the family room with an arm that was uncontrollably shaking and moving around. With complete accuracy, he said, “Honey, I think something’s wrong.” He sat down on the couch while Nancy called 911. He was having a stroke, the origin of which is not very common. It was in a vein on the left side of his brain. Most occur in the artery, which leads blood to the brain, or because of an aneurysm. No reason has been found for the stroke, which is the case in about 60% of strokes.

You probably know the rest because Nancy proceeded to tell just about every detail of John’s private life via email during the next month. There were so many beautiful, loving emails, calls and inquiries that came in during those days that she found she had no choice but to begin to email updates using those email addresses she could gather quickly, so that all those who cared for and loved John would be in the loop, and could forward it to those who also knew John, or whose emails she couldn’t find right away. If she didn’t call or write back, please know it wasn’t personal.

John had a significant amount of impairment to his right side, but had an amazingly positive attitude, outlook and faith that carried him through the majority of his recovery. From the first night, he knew he was going to get better. He only lost speech for approximately 2 hours during that first night, but regained it quickly. To this day, we are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, support, love, food, love, flowers, love, visits to the hospital and home, love, yard planting, love, puppy-watching, love, hugs, love, trips to meals, therapy and other events, love, and other acts of kindness almost too numerous to mention. Did we mention love?! There was not any one gesture more significant than another because we know they were all born of an unbelievable kindness that all of you shared with us.

John spent about 9 days at Methodist, under the care of Dan Evans and Sam Odle, then transferred to RHI, the Rehab Hospital of Indiana, for another 9 days. He then spent about 45 days in outpatient rehab at the Neuro Rehab Center on the NW side of Indianapolis. Through all 3, he regained his ability to walk, to use his right hand and fingers, and to regain a good portion of the strength he lost that night in June. He was an A student, which he kept telling his therapists was his goal. I know you find that hard to believe. In each place, John was cared for by people who showed not only skill, brilliance and expertise, but in many cases, had hearts that touched us more than we could have ever imagined. They went above and beyond their jobs, and dedicated themselves to helping us heal. To them, we say thank you and we love you.

Life continued to be interesting when, a few days before John was released from the Rehab Hospital of Indiana, we found out Nancy’s mom, Ginny, from South Bend had been diagnosed with early stage lung cancer. Prior to having lung surgery, it was discovered she needed triple bypass surgery, so that took place first in mid-August. Nancy and her siblings moved in and out of their Mom’s home for the next 8 weeks, and spent many wonderful, love-filled hours with Ginny while she regained her strength. She then had lung surgery in early October, which was very difficult. Again, the Leyes siblings spent quality time with their mom up in South Bend. As Ginny says, and which Nancy and her siblings wholeheartedly agree with, what a Blessing it was for a mother and her children to be able to spend so much time together as adults. Nancy treasured her time with her mom, and is touched that she was given the gift of taking care of her, just as her mom has taken care of her for a lifetime. She adores her mother, as do her 3 brothers and sister, and their spouses.

We are happy to tell you that the girls brought Ginny here for Thanksgiving, then flew down to Florida with her, where she will spend the winter. They had a great time, and probably wore their mom out with all of the places they wanted to go! Nancy came home on December 9, so now Ginny can actually get some rest and finish her healing process! Please keep her in your prayers. She’s tough but prayers are always appreciated!

John is in his 3rd year of Ministry, after a 25-year career with the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, and has been back at work preaching and taking care of people for about 3 months. As you might imagine, there was no holding him back. He loves his life as Pastor at McCordsville United Methodist Church, and is very, very good at what he does. He is also very active as Chair of The Oaks Academy Board of Directors, and on the Blood Center board. He has spoken to a few groups about his stroke, and does a wonderful job, as one would expect!

Your prayers are still welcome as this is the challenging period of recovery we were told about, which is when healing has come to a halt, and will now come very slowly, if at all. His right hand, which we lovingly refer to as his “pesky right hand,” doesn’t do everything he needs it to do, and his leg continues to be heavier than it should be. You wouldn’t know these things by looking at him, or watching him, but they exist and are a bit frustrating. Nancy assures you we are not giving up hope for a complete recovery as it can go on for a year or two, or more in some cases. Dr. Pascuzzi is taking very good care of him. He’s very happy because he gets to go off his medications at the end of this month.

Although having to step back from client work for about 4 months while everyone healed, Nancy is trying to get back to business at her 7-year old company, Myrland Marketing, where she partners with clients around the country to help them figure out how to grow their businesses. She loves it, and enjoys the international relationships she has formed because of her interest in communicating via social media and networks, as well as her association work on the 2008 Chicago Legal Marketing Association board, Vice Chair of the Goodwill Commercial Services board, and what has now become 22 years of Chamber volunteer involvement, among other things.

Whether you were in touch with us at the time of John’s stroke, or not able to be in touch but kept us in your thoughts and prayers, or even just recently found out about this and have shared a kind thought, trust us, you are just as important to us as the person who was there from the first moment. We wish there was an adequate way to truly thank you for everything you have done for us.

To all of you we say thank you, and we love you more than you will ever know. We are sending you lots of love, and huge hugs that might hurt if they matched the depth and passion of our feelings, and our wishes for the most magical and Blessed Hanukkah, Christmas and 2009 you have ever experienced!

You, our family and friends, are among our greatest Blessings.

Philippians 1:3-4 – “I thank God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy.”

With Love,

John, Nancy, Luke and Ernie

DO YOU USE TWITTER?

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Business Development/Sales Leave a Comment

Recently, a colleague of mine, Larry Bodine of the Law Marketing Portal and Legal Marketing Listserve, wrote to ask me about my use of Twitter.  Here’s what I shared with Larry:

Hi Larry:

Thanks for asking.  I hope you are well. 

I am looking to Twitter to help me communicate what I do, how I think, work, relate and listen….all important to the Myrland Marketing brand.  My main professional focus is helping firms strengthen their relationships with clients so they become more profitable, so I view Twitter as one way to help position myself in the minds of those who choose to “follow” me.  With frequency and time, those who follow me might come to know I am interested in client service via client satisfaction interviews, that I am inquisitive, that I have a passion for learning from others, that I am a serious professional with whom they will enjoy doing business, and that I am a very good listener, all qualities I have built my business and experience on these past 20 years. 

My profile links to my profile on my website, www.myrlandmarketing.com, so those who are at all curious about what I have “tweeted” can click on that link.  The potential strength of that link is that visitors can then read more posts written by me on a variety of topics that have to do with the services I provide my clients.  If someone Tweets about something I have said or done, which Heather Milligan did yesterday when I was “Tweeting” with John Byrne, my website stats showed significant movement.  She, in effect, introduced me to everyone following her Tweets on Twitter.  That meant a lot, so I direct messaged her and said “thank you,” similar to what I would do with any referral or introduction. 

I have also begun following news feeds, as well as some I consider to be thought leaders in business and the profession, such as entrepreneur Guy Kowasaki, Newsweek.com Editor-in-Chief John Byrne, HARO’s Peter Shankman, The Edge Group’s Gerry Riskin, and others.  I choose to do this largely because I like them and want to get to know them better, but also because I want to learn from them, to stay on top of issues I should be aware of so I can be of better service to my clients, and to build relationships with them.  I have replied to Tweets from some of these professionals, and have received responses from them that were directly related to my questions or comments.  It is also my intent to help the people I follow on Twitter if there is ever a way I can, whether it be for personal or professional reasons.  Again, it is all about building relationships with other human beings for a variety of reasons. 

We are in a profession that has everything to do with building relationships.  It is my job to build relationships with people who might be interested in something I have to say about a topic of interest.  Twitter is but one way I can do this.  The lawmarketing listserv is another, posting on my blog is another, attending industry and business events is another, volunteering for civic and business causes is another.  Realizing building relationships can take a while, I feel Twitter can help. 

I don’t know if I answered your question.  If not, please feel free to ask me anything as I will attempt to answer! 

Take care Larry. 

Nancy

ARE MARKETERS SPENDING ENOUGH TIME ON BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND SALES?

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Staffing and Recruiting Leave a Comment

Recently, a discussion topic was posted in my LinkedIn group, PM Forum titled:  “Marketers spending insufficient time on the things that matter to their MPs”  

Here is what was posted by Richard Chaplin of PM Forum: “The latest PM Forum Snapshot monthly survey (www.pmforum.co.uk/snapshot) indicated that marketers are not spending nearly as much time as managing partners would like them to spend on the business development and client service activities that both marketers and managing partners see as vital to the commercial success of the firm. Any insights as to why this should be the case?” 

I couldn’t resist adding my perspective to the discussion.  You see, I’ve been on just about every side of the management and marketing professional relationship, and have the ability to empathize with all of those sides.  I thought I might be able to help.   Here’s what I shared.  Let me know what you think. 

“Richard, you pose a very important question. In many cases, marketers are hired to manage a department of people, of projects, and of the needs of attorneys, whose needs are many (as they should be). What then happens is that marketers get bogged down in the day-to-day management function of all of the above, which leaves them unavailable for the amount of time it takes to be as strategic as most of them would love to be.  Some firms hire their marketers as traditional marketers, then expect them to shift to the sales/business development role without taking in to consideration these are very different roles, and take very different skills. Some marketers might not have time, as I suggested above, but some might not be sure where to start. It is imperative that those to whom marketers report take the time to analyze the situation, perhaps with outside help, in order to determine what is needed to get their people from point A to point B. Marketers might need skills training in BD, they might need to staff differently than they are to free up their time, or a host of other reasons they might not be contributing to the BD effort the Management Committee wishes they would. 

Our job and responsibility as managers is to provide the support and the tools necessary for them to be successful on our behalf, rather than wonder what’s wrong with them, being unhappy with their priorities, then forcing them out to make room for the next marketer. Investment in people and the tools they need to be successful is much less expensive than churning through one after another hoping you find the right one.”  My advice to both marketers and managers: 

1)    Marketers-Be assertive about what you need to re-tool, or tool, to perform the BD functions your firms expect today.  If you don’t know where to start, ask for help.  Be honest and let firm management know you are embarking upon a plan to take the firm where it needs to go, and you need their endorsement.  Who can deny your request for help when you have the best strategic interest of the firm at heart?  2)    Managers-Don’t get frustrated before you’ve had the necessary discussions and performed the thoughtful analysis necessary to determine where your marketers are in their careers, where the firm has placed them, what the firm needs to do to help them get to where you want them to be, and to be willing and supportive.     These discussions take time and thought, but they are necessary.  There is a lot brewing in law and other professional services firms regarding sales/business development, so reach out and ask for help if you need to.  Your firm needs these skills, so take the bull by the horns and help perfect them.  Time is of the essence.        

WHAT IS THE NEXT “BIG THING?”

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Client Service and Retention, Marketing Strategy Leave a Comment

I recently had a partner ask me what I thought the next “big thing” is as he wants to make sure his firm stays on the cutting edge.  I shared with him that, although there are many marketing initiatives that need to be paid attention to, ONE of the major developments gaining speed rapidly is Social Media and Networking. 

I recommended to him, and to you, that you add Social Networking to your list of traditional media to consider when implementing your marketing, communication and business plans for 2009 and beyond.  Traditional media have their place, depending on what you are trying to accomplish, and shouldn’t necessarily be thrown out just because Social Media is hot.  It depends on your situation.

I shared with him that I think he should create strategy around how to accomplish firm goals through all media available, and to pay attention to the benefits Social Media can add to the conversation we all attempt to have with our potential/clients. 

One of our goals as marketers and business owners is to find ways to engage and interact with our clients and potential clients in order to build and cement our relationships with them.  Even if we think our target audience isn’t spending time using social media, we might be wrong.  It can’t hurt to be there before they get there, then show them the way.  To be viewed as a resource for the unknown, or the intimidating, is just one more way you can reinforce your brand as a trusted advisor. 

Sure, it can be intimidating.  To get started, you could pick at least one practice, industry group, department, service or studio, and add a Social Networking strategy to your marketing and business plan for 2009, if not sooner.  As you are ready, add it to other areas.  Just don’t put it off because you are afraid of it.  Ask for help. 

Twitter, for example, is one of the fastest growing applications out there.  I invite you to “follow” me on Twitter www.twitter.com/nancymyrland.  If you don’t know about Twitter yet, go to www.twitter.com and set up your account in a few seconds.  You not only have the opportunity to create connections with your target audience and friends, but you will also find multiple ways to expand your knowledge by following thought leaders around the globe. 

Twitter, as well as LinkedIn, Plaxo, Facebook and other applications, creates the perfect opportunity to update clients at a moment’s notice if they care about a subject with which you are connected.  Thus, reporting on legislative issues, new laws, changes in policy, events, personalities, etc., often throughout the day would be one way to engage potential/clients. 

Social media itself is nothing without sound strategy behind it, the same as video, radio, direct mail, podcasting and other marketing media are nothing without good content and execution behind them.  They are all simply means of sending a message to our intended audiences.  The difference with social media is the ability to interact instantly with those we care about, and who have chosen to care about us, and for them to provide feedback if they so chose.  This makes for a pretty powerful connection.

IT’S BEEN AN INTERESTING SUMMER….

Nancy Myrland All Posts Leave a Comment

In case you noticed, I haven’t posted in quite some time.  I’ll explain….

On June 29th, my husband had a stroke caused by a blood clot in a vein in the left side of his brain.  This was completely unexpected as he had none of the lifestyle or health markers that can lead to stroke.  It remains a mystery to doctors and to us as all tests were negative.

I was, as you would expect, with him night and day in the hospital for most of June, then in outpatient rehab most of July.  I am happy to say he is making a remarkable recovery.  He initially had significant damage to his right side.  If you saw him today, you would never know he had a stroke.  We have been Blessed beyond belief because we know this could have been much worse.  We saw many in the hospital whose lives will never be the same because of head trauma.  John has a few minor issues left with his right hand, but we are hopeful those will heal also.  We have been overwhelmed with an enormous amount of love and prayer from family, friends, and friends of friends who we don’t even know.

For the majority of the past month, I have been 3 hours north of Indianapolis in South Bend, Indiana with my Mom, who had heart surgery about three weeks ago.  Out of respect for her privacy, I will just tell you she is definitely improving.  She has miles to go, but we remain hopeful and thankful for her and her progress.

There you have the reasons I have been away from my website/blog these past few months.  Being self-employed, I need to begin focusing on work issues again very soon, so I plan on jumping back in during the next few weeks.  I appreciate the support we have been given from many of you during this time, and certainly treasure the grace my clients have shown as well.  Without all of you, we wouldn’t have such a positive story to tell.

I’m here if you need me, or if you have any questions at all.

Nancy