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It's a fundamental of common business sense: Nothing fails like success. Usually, and Jim Collins hammers that in his book "How the Mighty Fall," it's because of hubris. Winners perceive themselves as infallible.
But what's not cited so often as a reason for the failure of success is that players become one-trick ponies. They keep implementing what had been effective previously. Now and then they add a few new and improved whatevers. But essentially they keep riding that one pony.
Yet, the marketplace continues to change. They also change. About the latter, they may be aging and still leveraging a youthful branding. In contrast, the Beatles got it to present mature music and lyrics as they aged.
Here is a typical example of a one-trick pony. A former top dog in the dating game returned to the niche after years doing something else. His one-trick pony was direct mail, print and digital. Of course, I explained the need to create branding and post Calls To Action (CTA) on social networks and in social media. I even developed a plan for him.
Nonono was his response. When the last few invoices didn't get paid, I parted company. And that had reinforced for me to always audit and be ready to reset how we search for business. That extends to the gig economy. In a sense, we are all day workers.
Too many lawyers I have encountered have a narrow notion of what is appropriate in marketing. They are among those who used to (and may still) sneer at personal injury firm Carter Mario. It was a trail-blazer in leveraging heavy late-evening television commercials to position itself as the go-to firm. That one-time central Connecticut firm has branched out into New England.
And, no slouch at picking up on marketplace shifts, Carter Mario had added to the menu billboard advertising, wrap-around ads on public transportation vehicles, and more sophisticated broadcast promotions. It also has included the Chat feature on its website. The emerging branding is that it's a family business. The daughter has joined the firm.
Among the major one-trick-pony defaults in the legal sector are these four:
It's only part of the marketing equation. Look at price, who will be team members assigned to the project, recent outcomes, cybersecurity, and tech as tool of cost-efficiency.
Search engine optimization (SEO).
That makes lawyers vulnerable to scams. Before even embracing that tactic, lawyers have to do their own research about what is effective.
Lawyers are trained to take control through verbal skills. But listening is the new killer app. No one listens to anyone else. Even in commercial situations. Therefore, the edge comes from not talking. Those who can assign work should "hear" you listening.
Remember the old adage: The C students get to be the bosses of the A students. So many lawyers screw up a sale by presenting themselves as the smartest kids in the class. Instead, focus on the simplicity of what approaches could work and give prospects a choice.
The coming Fourth of July holiday gives lawyers an opportunity to reset their marketing communications. For every strategy and bit of content the question must be: Does this move us toward closing the sale?
Financial wizard Nassim Taleb brought mainstream the concept of the "Black Swan." That was an unexpected development which proved to be a total game-changer.
The classic example has been the internet. Now, it could well be Brexit and its impact on Campaign 2016 in America.
Brexit has been a stunner to The Establishment around the world. There was a majority vote for the U.K. to split from the EU. And, it could be The Establishment in the U.S. who can be negatively impacted by this development during Campaign 2016.
As journalists at Politico point out, the vote to go splitsville demonstrates the growing power of populism. That same force is taking place in the U.S. and it's what is fueling the Donald Trump campaign. Of course, he could use this to his extreme advantage.
That would be ugly for Hillary Clinton. Of course, she contends she isn't part of The Establishment. But, come on, she's been a politico in her own right since she ran for the U.S. Senate. In terms of politics per se, Trump isn't The Establishment.
On the other hand, this development has so upset the global economy and the domestic one here at home that there could be a recession. The Democrats who are in power will be the scapegoats. And despite the fact that Clinton has been distancing herself from the economic policies of the Obama Administration, voters might not cut her any slack.
However, a severe downturn might not necessarily be a gift to Trump. After all, he is not experienced in macro economics the way Clinton is. And his experience gap in that, when it looks like a brutal recession is on the way, could chase voters into the Clinton camp.
Then, there's the increased uncertainty triggered by the split. That might be too much for voters to bear. They could seek a safe harbor in a known like Clinton.
It will be fascinating how both Trump and Clinton leverage splitsville in the next weeks. Meanwhile we will be hearing plenty about the possible economic ramifications on the U.S. economy.
Sources at Politico say that he has been hired by CNN as a political commentator. That means that singing for his supper no longer entails putting up with The Donald.
And, the job could be a much better fit than his last one. Instead of having to stick with one party line Lewandowski can roam much further in identifying what he can pontificate on. In a sense he has broken out of the confines of public relations to the free-wheeling fun of journalism.
The takeaway is that axed associates and partners need not feel despair. If they leverage Lewandowski as a role model, they might land in a pile of gold.
"Unspoiling four deccades of EU legislation, negotiating a new relationship with the bloc and embarking on trade deals with the rest of the world means one thing for sure: billable hours. Attorneys with experience of international treaties will be in huge demand in London for years." - Bloomberg, June 23, 2016. Here is the article.
Global law firms should do quite well.
For example, luxury retail brands such as Ralph Lauren and Nordstrom are struggling. Yet, branding still plays a role in the selling process. Simultaneously, companies have to both defend/enhance their brand and attend to the other aspects of marketing. At the top of the list is pricing. Nordstrom's discount outlets are doing better in sales than the traditional storefronts.
In some niches in professional services, though, brand can still be a critical factor influencing the sales. BigLaw is one of them. When corporations or financial services firms have a bet-the-ranch litigation matter, it's likely they will consult with the major brandname firms to make a pitch for the account. Or, they might just go with the brandname which has the special expertise in that kind of litigation.
Therefore, as a member of BigLaw, Jones Day has to monitor how its branding is doing. It has to keep up-to-date on: How is it being perceived by current clients, prospects, the media, regulatory agencies, Congress, and the White House?
Currently, if one reads between the lines in media coverage of Jones Day, it could be assumed that the brand is, well, in play. It could gain increased prestige or its equity could be devalued.
It is well known that two partners at Jones Day are representing Donald Trump's Make American Great Again campaign. That representation as well as the campaign itself, including in GOP circles, is controversial.
No surprise, Jones Day announced that it is closing its Cleveland, Ohio office during the RNC convention in July. Headquartered in Cleveland is Jones Day long-term client Sherwin-Williams.
Since the 1990s, it has been representing Sherwin-Williams in state-level class action public nuisance lead paint litigation. The most recent case has been "People of California v. ARCO." Sherwin-Williams was one of the three out of five defendants convicted in that bench trial.
That verdict had been appealed. The case against Sherwin-Williams had been tossed by the Rhode Island Supreme Court in that state Download Statev.LeadIndustriesAssoc.,Inc.
Should Trump get the nomination and be elected in November, the Jones Day brand could take on an aura. The meme could be: Those guys were smart. They saw what was coming.
Should Trump not get the nomination or not be elected in November, the Jones Day brand could become an object of ridicule. Humor as a a weapon is a cruel one.
There are also other developments threatening Jones Day's traditional positioning and packaging as a white shoe firm. The latest is the lawsuit filed by its former business development manager, Courtney Nathanson. She contends she was terminated in March 2015 because of gender, pregnancy, and age discrimination. In this era of Leaning In, this is the wrong kind of litigation any law firm wants to be saddled with.
There has also been the question: Why has Jones Day not, at least not yet, matched the Cravath $180K bump? Gleefully, Abovethelaw's Joe Patrice has been tracking that through its insider sources at that law firm. Leakers in an organization can be a grim signal of internal discontent. On Glassdoor, employees give it a 3.3 rating on a 5-point scale. The 5 is the highest. Among the major complaints is the leadership/management style.
So, as a communications strategist and content-provider, I observe that the Jones Day brand could be in play. What happens during the rest of 2016 can determine its future.
How U.K. split from EU could impact Campaign 2016. Could Jones Day be on right side of history? But, maybe not. Read all about it here.
We recall DLA Piper law firm associate, David Messerschmitt, was murdered during his attempt to seek out paid recreational gay sex in D.C.. And, Manhattan skin doctor, Kristen Cerveney, died during what seems to have been a drug overdose. She collapsed in the doorway of a New York City building.
Currently Newman is on the hot seat in Manhattan for allegedly drugging a female ER patient and ejaculating in her face. In a hearing in Manhattan Supreme Court, the prosecution contends he gave the young woman the drug propofol. After administering that powerful sedative he allegedly engaged in that sexual act.
Since that woman complained to the legal powers that be, three other young women had stated that Newman had groped their breasts in the ER at Mount Sinai.
He had been arrested last January. Here is the coverage in the New York Post.
On June 22, Cortney Nathanson filed a lawsuit in federal court against law firm Jones Day. This former business development manager contends that Jones Day discriminated against her on the basis of gender, pregnancy, and age.
As Law360 reports, the lawsuit alleges that when Nathanson returned from maternity/disability leave, a partner at the firm began micromanaging her work. Eventually she was fired in March 2015.
This lawsuit is only one of the reasons Jones Day has been in the news lately.
Jones Day is among the BigLaw firms which hasn't matched, at least not yet, the Cravath $180K bump. In addition, two of its partners are representing Donald Trump's Make America Great Again campaign. Its Cleveland, Ohio office will shut down during the RNC. Lawyers will work remotely during that political special event.
The powers that be didn't buy that he was a changed man. The transformation, he claimed, involved becoming a care-taker in the slammer. In fact, he told the board he was "doing wonderfully." Here is the coverage in the Daily Mail.
Berkowitz had murdered 6 and wounded 6 in New York City during a summer as hot as this one. The terror was as palpable as the heat which hovered over the city.
No way can this kind of murderer be released from prison. Society just will not allow it. It's interesting that Berkowitz continues with his illusion that he can spin his way out of prison. A fellow con should have wised him up.
As New York Magazine reports:
"On Wednesday, [Santa Clara] District Attorney Jeff Rosen announced a new bill that's co-sponsored by various Northern California legislators. Bill AB2888 would make the mandatory minimum punishment for sexually assaulting an unconscious person the same as if they were to sexually assault a conscious person: three years in prison."
One of the drivers for taking this action was the emotions elicited by the victim's impact statement. Her words triggered something deep around the world.