As part of our ongoing Q&A series with leaders in the LMA Northeast Region, we asked Michael Murray, the Director of Marketing at Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP in Albany, New York for his career success tips, what he wishes he could tell his younger self and why he felt that obtaining a graduate degree was a worthwhile investment.
How did you get started in legal marketing?
I joined Whiteman Osterman & Hanna a little over two years ago as its Director of Marketing, having previously served as a marketing manager for one of the top accounting firms in the area for 10 years. I found out about the opportunity at Whiteman Osterman & Hanna through a Facebook connection and decided it was an opportunity I needed to pursue.
What do you think is the key for success as a legal marketer today?
I think a big key to success is having solid communication and interpersonal skills in addition to your practical experience and background. A big challenge for legal marketers is getting engagement from attorneys, many of whom do not place marketing as their highest priority. Being able to effectively communicate with these attorneys, and develop relationships is critical to success. Legal marketers need to continually promote what we do, and show the value within our respective firms.
What do you wish you could tell your younger professional self?
Be open to the opportunities that are around you, take every opportunity to improve yourself and don’t be afraid of failure. You will learn more by trying and failing than by not trying at all.
What has been the key to your success?
Flexibility. I have held many marketing positions throughout my career for both small and large companies across a wide range of industries. Being able to adapt to the environment in which you are in is critical to success. In our roles as legal marketers, navigating different personalities and opinions is part of our daily routine, and so you can’t take things personally. Also, I believe that building a strong professional network is extremely important. I have strong contacts in our local business community and these relationships have been very helpful to me in each of my roles.
Why do you feel that obtaining a graduate degree was a worthwhile investment?
I have a master’s degree in business administration with a minor in marketing. I felt the MBA was a nice complement to my undergraduate degree in communications, and the additional business training has served me very well throughout my career.