Monthly Archives: June 2011

Collaborating with the enemy

Nancy Glazer is Manager of Legal Launch LLC.  The goal of Legal Launch LLC is to provide uplifting, career counseling for 3Ls, recent law school graduates and experienced attorneys. Nancy offers her clients endless ideas and possibilities to help land them the right job in a competitive market. Visit www.LegalLaunch.net or email Nancy@LegalLaunch.net for more information.  

Did any of your first year law school professors ask you to look to your right and look to your left on the first day of school? Did a professor state that one of your desktop neighbors probably would not return to school as a 2L?

Don’t shake your head one way or another on this next question, but did you ever purposefully hide information or assistance to someone in your law school class, thinking that the guy to your right or the gal to your left was your competition? Similarly, have you secretly competed with one of your colleagues in your law practice?

Has this “economy gone mad” made you more competitive than usual?

I recently attended a workshop geared toward helping people reduce their college tuition costs. The workshop was hosted by an acquaintance. Before the workshop began, the leader asked if anyone in the audience worked for any of the companies read from a list, known to be competitors. With that, an attendee raised his hand and responded that he was employed by a competitor. The leader kindly asked that gentleman to leave the workshop. In that situation, my acquaintance reasoned that he did not want to give away his work product or have the competitor steal his clients.

I am in the business of career counseling for attorneys.  I recently attended an onramping program presented by Make It Better magazine. Before signing up, I wanted to make sure that my attendance wouldn’t pose a problem. If people at the function asked for my card, I did not want to create an inappropriate or uncomfortable situation. Simply put, I wouldn’t attend if my presence created an inkling of conflict for Make It Better staff.

The response to my inquiry from Ms. Suzy Hilbrant of Make It Better was remarkable to me. She instantly exclaimed that I was more than welcome, a sentiment that was later echoed by Make It Better’s founder, Susan Noyes. Most surprising was the reaction of one of the featured speakers, Sheila Nielsen of Nielsen Consulting. In the world of career counseling for lawyers, Ms. Nielsen represents the gold standard; she, too, amazingly echoed the cooperative sentiments of the prior two women. They all agreed, “We don’t compete; we collaborate.”

Because of these contemporary, forward thinking views, “to collaborate, not compete,” my business has benefitted tremendously. I now share business with two different career counselors who were in attendance at that one program.

So what does this mean to you, the law student, the associate, the partner, or in-house counsel? Take it from someone who’s been out of law school for a very long time:

Law school buddies and former and current

colleagues will be with you for the long haul.

Years from now, you will encounter lawyers from your past again and again. You will do them favors and vice versa. These are the folks who are in the best place to help you find and achieve what you need at different points in your life.

If you can, look past the shoulders of this treacherous economy when you turn your head to the right and to the left. Try looking up too. Look to collaborate. Try a more positive path, one where you and your desktop neighbors will both make it to be 2Ls. Even as colleagues, there’s plenty of legal work to go around.

If you are ever asked again to look left and look right, I hope you will do so. Take a good look at your “competition,” and be damn glad they are sitting next to you.

When good clients and colleagues go bad; don’t take the bait

J. Nick Augustine J.D., “The Law Publicist,” is the principal of Law Publicist Communications, an ALR/PRA, Incorporated agency. Nick advises and assists attorneys in transition in public relations, marketing and practice management. Nick shares recruiting and staffing experience and tips for legal job seekers.

The clients for whom you do the best work, give the best deals, and become your “friends” are the quickest to attack when things go poorly. Many young attorneys make the mistake of becoming too close and vulnerable to an attack. Ask any seasoned attorney and they will likely tell the same story. It is important to chose your battles carefully and remember, “ … this too shall pass.” Attorneys in transition must put their professional reputations first, and not get baited by losing battles.

Always bill the client. The first thing they do is forget the good things you did for them. When a client wants to avoid paying your bill, they will invariably claim you didn’t perform the services required, or failed to accomplish a goal. Earlier this year, I had to terminate a belligerent client, and the first e-mail was the claim I didn’t accomplish objectives – this was a month after I facilitated said client’s position on the front page of the Chicago Tribune’s Sunday edition. Remember; attorneys do not control the courts, and publicists don’t control editors, so let’s set and identify our “objectives” and “deliverables” wisely. When you send the client periodic invoices which are received and paid, the unhappy client has less room to later raise objections.

Don’t sue the client. Letting go of earned but unpaid fees is a better bet than pursuing collection from a client who is likely to reply with an attack on all fronts. There is no quicker way to buy yourself an ARDC complaint than suing for past fees. Some practitioners elect to take this risk and have their procedure for same down to a science. I will bet these same attorneys conduct a cost/benefit analysis since they do run the risk of altercation, and must report suits against clients and ARDC complaints to their professional liability carrier. Is it worth the additional premiums and headache?

When in transition people may seek references and talk to known existing and former clients. People are always watching, listening and taking notes. Our communities are smaller than we realize and those with whom we interact are very aware of how we react to conflict. Remember the phrase, “Don’t let them get your goat?”; well if you don’t tell them where your goat is tied up, they can’t get to it! Remember that most people make decisions and actions based on emotion and later justify them with logic. People forget negative events quickly and you should as well. If you air on the side of being a level-headed and calm professional, you are more likely to receive positive recommendations from others. If you have the reputation of being a hot-head you will likely earn the matching reference.

What if someone has bad news? Look on the bright side, and if that doesn’t work, distance yourself from the drama. Don’t fall into the gossip trap and remember how small your world really is. A story often has two competing accounts of the facts, and not getting caught in the middle will serve you well when in transition and generally. People seem to really love bad news and enjoy talking about it. The same people often look for others to validate and chime in on rumors. We all know where this goes and I’ll submit that most people don’t change, they just gossip with greater discretion. Don’t.

Believe

Bill Wilson spent over 20 years in legal departments at corporations large and small, from high tech to brick and mortar, and is writing about various topics while trying to find that next great career opportunity.

Nothing ticks me off more instantaneously, and completely, than arrogance. Pump that up by a factor of 100 when it’s present in someone who has no cause for it. You know who I’m talking about. The guy behind you on the Kennedy who’s convinced wherever he’s going is far more important than your safety. The lawyer on the other side who is convinced that his law school education is so vastly superior to yours that you represent a mere trifle on his way to yet another victory for his client. Yes, those people. But some things I read recently reminded me that such people have something to teach all of us.

Their self-esteem is usually the result of one of two qualities: gargantuan insecurity, or an unshakeable, bedrock belief in themselves and their capabilities, deserved or not. In the former, it’s pure overcompensation. In the latter, they may be the only ones who would agree. Either way, they press ahead, certain they are right, charging up the hill wielding their expectation that they will be victorious like a medieval sword. Sometimes, cosmic justice asserts itself, and they fall on the seat of their pants, but more often than not, they often reach heights that belie their often modest talent. There’s the lesson. Henry Ford, or any one of twenty other famous people to whom the quote is attributed, were onto something: “Whether you think you can, or can’t, you’re right.”

I am not advocating an inflated self of self-worth that conflicts with the available evidence. But I am often too hard on myself, and I suspect that more people suffer from this infirmity than a delusional sense of their omnipotence. Look in the mirror. There are no doubt some warts, perhaps real and often figurative that disappoint you on the outside, and similar shortcomings that probably haunt you internally. However only inside your head is the difference made: if you believe that those inadequacies overwhelm your accomplishments, they do. And if you don’t, they don’t.

Some of you are thankfully sufficiently self-aware that you instinctively understand what you do well and what you need to improve, and find on balance, that you’re pretty happy with what you see. But the job search process is the natural enemy of self-esteem. Rejection comes in large and small packages on a frequent basis. You are pummeled by forces over which you not only have no control, but which seem to delight in singling you out and torturing you. There are grim realities like paying bills and keeping families happy that are a monumental aggravating factor. It is more important than ever to survey your self-worth, and give it a bit of polish, and convince yourself that you have what it takes to overcome the obstacles between where you are and where you want to be. If you can generate the needed calibration from inside your head, fine, but if not, find it elsewhere. Get some validation. Invite a friend to coffee and do a sanity check. Because if you don’t believe, no one else will either.

If you jump ship, remember your previous station

J. Nick Augustine J.D., “The Law Publicist,” is the principal of Law Publicist Communications, an ALR/PRA, Incorporated agency. Nick advises and assists attorneys in transition in public relations, marketing and practice management. Nick shares recruiting and staffing experience and tips for legal job seekers.

A friend of mine, Cheryl Heisler, is the principal of Lawternatives, and she helps lawyers select alternatives to traditional legal careers. Ok, I understand that some get a wandering eye when faced with law school loans and the desire to pay the bills. Don’t toss your legal career away, your family says. Fear not, you can have your cake and eat it too.

A few years ago I ran into a fellow law school alumni at an event. She told me that after law school she had children, her husband took a job in Hong Kong and she ended up working overseas as a teacher. Upon her return to Illinois, she served on boards of education and worked in fundraising. At the time, I was working in legal staffing and recruiting and my friend told me she felt behind the curve and was starting all over trying to get a job in law. At the time, I told her not to worry, and I would say the same thing today.

Many leave the practice and profession of law, and they can and do return, often with a better outlook, making them better practitioners. There is nothing that makes me shutter more than a senior attorney who says, “Shut up and take the money and tell these people what they want to hear – that’s the secret. …” What on earth? Where’s the ARDC when we need them? These practitioners need their cards pulled and should be removed from the bar. The practice of law is a privilege, not a right.

Having said that, if you find yourself compelled to work in another industry for a while (and I might add I recently heard some school reported 68 percent of grads were not employed in traditional legal practice) you can always stay in touch with the legal practice or profession. Here are a few ways you can stay involved:  (1) pick a legal topic you like and become an “expert” on your own and at your own pace; (2) maintain an active presence with your alumni organization; (3) volunteer in a legal clinic; (4) offer to do work or volunteer at the law school.

If you want to practice law and spend your life in the legal profession you will do so, it is just a matter of what you are willing to put up with until you get there. If you want to explore a “Lawternative” you should, and consider the value add you might bring to the table if/when you return to the law. Yes, the years of experience you gather in consistent practice can give you a good sense of legal instinct; however, the same can also breed contempt.

Sometime it seems like you are damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. At the end of the day we should all pursue what makes us feel enriched and what hopefully inspires us to make the world a better place. If the law doesn’t do that for you, feel free to take off. Nobody will condemn you for living a life of misery for a decision you made when you were 21 years old. At the same time, if you left, regret the decision and want to come back, just do it!

 

Testimonials and recommendations – 7 tips

J. Nick Augustine J.D., “The Law Publicist,” is the principal of Law Publicist Communications, an ALR/PRA, Incorporated agency. Nick advises and assists attorneys in transition in public relations, marketing and practice management. Nick shares recruiting and staffing experience and tips for legal job seekers.

Attorneys in transition often have impressive resumes. Anyone can write or pay someone to put together a nice resume. Consider the greater weight of testimonials and recommendations from others in the community. What do people say about you? If they offer to back you in writing, take them up on it and see if they will go further and chat with a potential client or employer. Here are 7 tips on testimonials and recommendations:

Who do you ask?

  1. Employers who really know what you can do. Remember that recommendations are for the people considering you for a position, or when making another hiring or referral decision. Most professionals can spot a canned recommendation, and if the person you ask doesn’t know you well enough, that is what you are going to receive. Try asking am employer who worked with you closely, who knows the quality of your work best. Before you ask for a testimonial or recommendation, ask yourself first if this person can easily recall and tell a story about you.
  2. Clients who think you did a great job. If you are hanging your shingle and looking for content to place on the testimonial section of your website, consider using the clients who say the best things, often about the simplest of projects. Think about the client’s experience before you remember the result of the underlying matter. A happy client who lost a battle, but respected and trusted their lawyer is likely to give you a glowing review.

Where should you publish them?

  1. There are several places to share testimonials and recommendations online. A common practice today is to seek recommendations on LinkedIn and repurpose them on a website. If you do this, contact the author first, and ask permission to repost their statement about you. Most people will thank you for having the respect to ask for consent, which can elicit a positive thought about you and they might update their statement. Broad permission to publish testimonials on a variety of social networking and listing sites is a good thing.
  2. Printed references can include a section for testimonials. Smart marketers and promoters know that printed material is a valuable resource. Don’t forget to include your earned testimonial statements and letters of recommendation in printed materials. I would rather receive your content peppered with nice things people say about you and your services.

How do you use them professionally?

  1. If someone recommends you, recommend them. Social networking websites like LinkedIn already prompt us to reciprocate a recommendation. Just like referrals, recommendations and testimonials are earned. If you are asked or are the one asking, first consider whether the recommendation is appropriate. Don’t give another person a bogus testimonial just because you earned one from them. Rather, earn the opportunity to give an honest statement.
  2. With consent, offer a potential employer or client the opportunity to talk to those who recommend you. A wise salesman once taught me, when trying to close new business, offer the phone number of a client who agrees to verify your credibility and reputation upon request. Try setting up a few of these relations and make sure you humbly thank others who support you.
  3. Keep the love alive and stay in touch with your supporters. Lawyers and business professionals are not inherently altruistic; make sure you keep in touch and continue earning supportive comments and testimonials. Even if you think you do not have clients to send along, maintain and communicate your effort to spot and make referrals when appropriate.

Alignment

Bill Wilson spent over 20 years in legal departments at corporations large and small, from high tech to brick and mortar, and is writing about various topics while trying to find that next great career opportunity.

My first post to this blog was entitled “Who Am I?”  In looking it over recently, reflecting on my own job search and life in general, I thought some further exploration was in order.

That question needs to take into account your values. What makes you who you are?  What is important to you? And most importantly, are you going to be happy working for a person or entity that is not who you are, or what’s important to you.

Now the conundrum for lawyers is that our profession has always required something of a disconnect between who we are and what we do. I think of John Adams defending British officers accused of murder just prior to the American Revolution.  We may be Christians representing a pornographer because we are defending the principles of the First Amendment.  We may personally be opposed to the death penalty, but nevertheless work as a prosecutor because combating crime is important to us. We put aside our beliefs because our client’s interests demand that we do so. There are hundreds of attorneys who seem to never have an issue with this potential divergence. They compartmentalize, and that’s the end of the issue.

But at some point, whether or not you compartmentalize, you have to ask: Is there a price we pay? If the conflict threatens to interfere or compromise your ability to represent your client, then the answer is clear that something has to give and it probably will not be your beliefs, so you withdraw from the representation. It still, however, begs the question: What if the conflict means only that you are at war with yourself, and what toll will be exacted?

The relevance of this tension to your job search is alignment. Numerous studies looking at job satisfaction and career success suggest that where there is synchronicity between what you do and who you are, the greater the chances are for both to happen.  If you passionately believe in privacy, going to work for a credit reporting agency may not be your best choice. If your bedrock principle is the fight for human rights, choosing a private paramilitary security contractor as your employer may not be a wise course. These are obviously extreme examples to highlight the issue, but there are hundreds of such comparisons that can be made. While there may be something to be said to trying to change an organization or cause from the inside for the better, and that may be laudable, you have to ask if you have the strength of character and principle to weather that battle. Or do you direct yourself more in line with your internal compass? Only you know the answer.

I encourage you as part of your prep work, addressing the “Who am I?” questions, to include principles as well as personality, and decide whether you need to seek alignment between them and your employment targets. This advice may be especially difficult in the current sluggish market, where any opportunity may seem like a gift from the Almighty, but in the long run, I think you have to ask the question. You should also keep asking it periodically, as principles evolve with age, experience and understanding of the world. Though some of my principles remain unchanged from my days in high school, others have undergone considerable transformation and will probably influence how I want to spend my working life.

A new opportunity

Here’s a little note for all our Attorneys in Transition readers. Many of our bloggers write about finding alternative legal careers – careers that are outside-the-box. Here is an example: Law Bulletin’s The Jury Verdict Reporter Division is seeking a Legal Editor to assist with managing, producing publications, and working with the JVR Manager and General Manager to jointly develop the electronic delivery of JVR content. If you are interested in the position visit: https://www.lawbulletin.com/company/opportunities/legal-editor-jvr

Pause and think before you ‘share’

J. Nick Augustine J.D., “The Law Publicist,” is the principal of Law Publicist Communications, an ALR/PRA, Incorporated agency. Law Publicist Communications is a legal marketing and public relations agency. Nick also offers coaching and consulting through the Pleading Drafter division, focused on management, technology and finance. Nick advises and assists attorneys in transition in public relations, marketing and practice management. Nick shares recruiting and staffing experience and tips for legal job seekers.

Attorneys in transition should beware of their permanent online record.  Many people openly share information on social media sites.  We can get a false sense of security from settings through which we supposedly control who sees the content published on our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages.  Knowing social media posts can reach a viral audience, we still see many people publishing questionable content.

Thinking before posting gives us a better sense of security when we post a status update or “like” something on a friend’s wall. Real problems can be avoided by thinking, before posting, What if grandma sees this? While your grandmother might not be your friend on Facebook, there are likely other friends who share grandma’s values. A greater concern is the publishing of statements, links and content that can be easily shared on other pages and networks with one click.

Easily, and through a variety of methods, your social media website history can fall into the hands of unintended persons. Discovery requests often include social media site captures which can be analyzed for various purposes. Many attorneys advise clients not to post any derogatory content on social media pages during divorce litigation, for example. Using expert witnesses, some lawyers seek the opinion of mental health professionals who are asked to review one’s social media site activity. What might they say about you?

It is not what you said, but what you failed to say that can set some people off.  Some who are privy to inside information might understand an implied message. Others who don’t have that insight might think your statement is odd, and they can interpret unintended meaning. This is a particular problem with sarcastic and dry comments; while some or most people “get” the joke, others might be offended.

Your social media publishing history might also be scrutinized by potential employers. Imagine that some of your contacts on social media sites have very opposing viewpoints. Which ones will know you are kidding or are serious when you publish certain comments or you “share” or “like” other’s content. Your best bet is learning the practice of sanitizing your posts and refraining from commenting on certain topics. Religion and politics are good discussions to avoid online.

When major news breaks, people talk about it online and share their cheers and jeers. Your biggest sports rival may be the place where a news event takes place, and when people make off-hand jokes, a reader not in privy to your rivalry, might think you’re a real jerk if you make an off-hand comment. Consider that your current employers may also take a look at what you say about current events. Does the boss think you “talk too much” or might be the type of person who might be a liability?

How many status updates do you think it takes to form an opinion about someone? How much time do you really think people spend critically analyzing the thought behind status updates? It is more likely that people take things for face value and assign attributes to people who make certain comments. Keeping a clean and objective presence on social media is a good policy. If you are looking for specific etiquette from your friends, then you should let them know you want to keep your wall and comments clean and neutral, for example. In my experience, most people understand and respect other’s social media pages. We spend so much time building a reputation; don’t undo it by being irresponsible online.

Honesty

Bill Wilson spent over 20 years in legal departments at corporations large and small, from high tech to brick and mortar, and is writing about various topics while trying to find that next great career opportunity.

I may be in the minority these days, but I would much rather that someone be honest with me than beat around the bush.  Did I screw up?  Tell me.  Think I’m obnoxious in my general approach?  Let me know.  Not a snowball’s chance in hell that you’re willing to help my search?  Prefer you tell me to get lost, rather than let me think I can count on you.

I am not entirely sure when it started, or how it became the norm, but our society’s inability to be candid is becoming toxic.  We have invented so many little minuets to avoid telling someone the truth about themselves that it’s almost comical to watch.  Other than enable people to avoid confrontation, it serves absolutely no purpose.  Sooner or later, there will come a reckoning: that inability of yours to ever be on time causes some type of catastrophe, followed by a ruinous argument, ending a relationship that could have been saved with a little bit of candor.

It’s critical during a job search, and even more so once someone is hired.  If you’re networking with a candidate, and you don’t think you would really be inclined to help, tell them, and even better, tell them why.  Maybe they’re just too pushy or self-centered.  Maybe their approach to you was offensive in another way.  If someone is offending you in a networking setting, they will probably be repeating the offense during an interview or after taking a position.  Help them avoid that damage.

In the employment context, one of the drivers of bad employment litigation outcomes is the lack of candor in performance appraisals.  A terrible employee skates on for years and no one takes the initiative to identify the shortcomings and suggest how they can be fixed.  Then the employee is fired and it leads to a lawsuit, as the lack of critical evaluations is cited as the  basis for a pretext charge: couldn’t have been my performance, so something else – e.g., protected category discrimination – must be the reason.

Feedback is a gift and should be offered and received that way.  You can’t fix a problem you don’t know you have.  Few of us are so self-aware that we have that objective “outside-in” view of ourselves that is necessary for change.  I am not suggesting that diplomacy should be cast to the wind, and we should become acid tongued oracles to everyone we know.  Differentiate between a situation involving merely how you would do it and how they did it; that’s not what you should focus on; everyone is entitled to be unique.  But if there is something substantive that is doing the other person a disservice, act.  Take some time to understand why you feel the other person falls short, and how best to describe it so that they can see what you see, and why it’s hurting them.

And never offer criticism in the heat of a moment; you’ll be far harsher than needed, and risk doing damage, sometimes permanent, to the relationship.  But constructive criticism, offered where deserved, in kindness, can help someone improve and make a difference in their life/career.  If you’re the recipient, accept it graciously, ask questions if necessary to insure you understand what you did wrong and how to correct the shortcoming, and find a way to make the change.

One more thing: It’s probably better to forget this advice if you’re a candidate and you feel your networking contact is an idiot.  It’s just not done.  It’s one thing to burn a bridge.  Quite another to blow it up.

7 Legal PR/Marketing Tips for Attorneys in Transition

J. Nick Augustine J.D., “The Law Publicist,” is the principal of Law Publicist Communications, an ALR/PRA, Incorporated agency.  Law Publicist Communications is a public relations agency also offering coaching and consulting.  Nick advises and assists attorneys in transition in public relations, marketing and practice management.  Nick shares recruiting and staffing experience and tips for legal job seekers.

Public relations and marketing activities are important tools used to attract and engage clients and the referral sources who can send you business.  If you are in flux in your career or are just getting started, there are several public relations and marketing activities you can undertake to promote yourself.

1)       Write a new bio, highlighting your background, and how it complements your current objectives.  Our current legal market is full of niche practitioners who draw on past work or education experience to set them apart from the pack.  Make a set of bullet points listing compliments and recommendations you have received.  Think about how others describe you professionally and write a bio that doesn’t sound like a resume.  Your bio should be placed everywhere you are listed online and in your marketing collateral.

2)      Rewrite your website to highlight how you add value to clients.  Websites should be redrafted periodically for a variety of reasons, one of which is communicating to the expectations of website readers.  There are many ways people can find or simply run into your website.  If the first thing they see is a large amount of rambling text about how great you are, the reader will likely tire of your site and leave quickly.  If however, your site is clean, easy to read, and offers information valuable to the visitor, they are more likely to spend more time checking you out and if you have a strong call to action you might just get a client.

3)      Make a list of where you are listed and focus on continuity.  Once you have redrafted your bio, marketing copy and best keywords, you should make a list of every search engine and website where your contact information is listed.  You should update these listings somewhat frequently to signal the search engines.  You will likely find an added feature of one directory listing, such as the inclusion of a logo, which then prompts you to see if the other sites let you submit a logo.  Just as you would update your phone book advertisement, your online listings should never be allowed to go stale.

4)      Draft and send an announcement.  What are you going to announce?  You would be surprised how welcoming most people are to announcements.  You can announce just about anything and this is a great branding tool.  You could for example, announce a new practice area you are adding.  Talk about your qualifications and take the opportunity to discuss how this might complement your other practice areas or give an example of how your work in the new practice area benefits the community.  If you send an announcement on good stationery people are more likely to retain and file your information.

5)      Learn how to write and use an op-ed piece.  Just as politicians have talking points on issues before us, smart lawyers often have well-thought opinions on issues in their practice areas.  If you keep your eye on the news you will likely run into an opportunity to share your op-ed article for publication.  Editors of news and trade publications as well as top bloggers have editorial calendars and are always on the lookout for well written commentary from topical authorities.  You will get more mileage from focusing on a few media influencers than spamming the world with your content.

6)      Make a list of topics upon which you are knowledgeable and can write.  Attorneys advise and counsel clients.  The savvy client can look up and read a statute or black letter law.  The client needs you to advise and counsel on what the law means and how you can anticipate the implication of laws and policy.  Keep this in mind when listing your best writing topics and make some bullet points of what you know best.  You will be able to use these bullets to outline articles responsive to things going on in the world and in your community.  The content you produce can be published on your blog and expanded into feature articles.  Look at your blog and compare it to others and spot the opportunities to get more mileage out of your content.

7)      Research and build a list of influencers with whom you can share content.  Think about influencers who have a hand in what gets printed in the publications most likely to reach your target audience.  This list looks quite different if you are a commercial lawyer versus a consumer-focused retail practitioner.  Brainstorm and make a list of a dozen things your audience reads.  You should include news, trade publications, church bulletins and social media groups.  If you think out of the box you will create a more diverse list of publications.  Keep your list short at first because I encourage you to reach out and introduce yourself to the influencers and contact parties for each source.  When you say hello, share simply who you are, what you are writing and why you are sharing with them.  You will likely receive direction on what type of content the publication wants to receive.

If you create a schedule and carve out some time to work on each of these 7 activities you will start developing a good public relations and marketing plan.  Certainly there are many more public relations and marketing options you can learn by researching on your own or contacting a professional who can advise and counsel.  Spend enough time on public relations and marketing so that you build the habit.