1. How did you start working in/with the legal marketing industry?
Before I began working with Berbay, I knew what industries I didn’t want to work in, but I didn’t think of professional services as an option. I had only started looking for marketing and PR jobs in Los Angeles when I obtained an interview opportunity for my current position. Even though legal marketing was a whole new area for me, I quickly realized how much I could learn from working with such high-level, professional clients. I consider myself very fortunate to have fallen into such an intriguing and educational line of work.
2. How do you describe your job to people outside of the legal industry?
I usually begin by saying that I handle marketing and public relations for law firms and other professional services firms. Sometimes, people aren’t familiar with what that entails, so I’ll elaborate by describing the kinds of services we offer our clients, and how we strive to raise a firm’s profile. This might include a discussion of media placements, bylined articles written by our clients, and the difference between the two.
3. What’s the best part of your work and why?
The best part of my work is that I learn something new every day. Since we work with clients across a range of industries, there is always something to be learned, and I am fortunate to work with very sophisticated and seasoned professionals who have a lot of knowledge to impart. I also really enjoy the people that I work with; Berbay is an environment that encourages personal and professional growth. We all bring different strengths to the table and it’s exciting to work collaboratively on various clients.
4. How do you deal with “impossible” situations?
When I’m faced with an overwhelming project that seems impossible to tackle, my strategy is to look at how I can break it down into different steps in order to make it more manageable. I ask myself, “What is Phase I? What is Phase II? What is Phase III?” and so on, until I have a plan of attack that involves a series of smaller tasks. Then I just start at the beginning and do one thing at a time. It’s easy to feel discouraged by a large project, but I find that if you figure out how to break it down, there really are no “impossible” situations.
5. If you were to build the “perfect” legal marketer, what skill(s) would they most need?
First and foremost, it’s important for a legal marketer to be able to wear a lot of hats. Our clients rely on us for everything from public relations to solving technical problems, and even if you can’t handle a particular request, you should be able to function as a resource to guide them in the right direction. Obviously, you should be in tune with the legal market, but it’s an asset to have an understanding of several different industries as well. The perfect legal marketer would be versatile, savvy, patient and tenacious. Results come from following up and never taking “no” for an answer.
6. If you could have any job other than what you currently do, what would that be?
I think I would enjoy a career in the hospitality industry, perhaps working as a wine distributor or doing PR for a food or beverage company. I grew up in the restaurant industry, managing, waiting tables, bartending and more, and I have always had a passion for food and wine.
7. What are your passions outside of work?
Cooking, working out, dancing, the beach, day trips around California.
8. What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?
Catching up on TV shows, especially on a rainy or gloomy day. It’s a treat to just relax, turn on my DVR and watch the shows that I didn’t get a chance to watch when they first aired.
9. Why did you join LMA, and is it the same reason you are still a member?
I joined LMA in the fall of 2011, when I first began working at Berbay. My predecessor was a member, and since I had been tasked to fill her role and I had little prior knowledge of marketing specifically for law firms, I thought becoming a member myself would be a good way to get my feet wet in legal marketing. This sense of wanting to expand my understanding of the field is also the reason I am still a member. Since the majority of my fellow members are marketers or business development people working in-house at large firms, it is interesting to hear what experiences they have versus the kinds of experiences I have working at a small boutique firm like Berbay. LMA is a great organization and I am proud to be a member.
Erica Hess, Account Manager
Berbay Marketing & Public Relations
2001 S. Barrington Ave., Suite 305
Los Angeles, CA 90025
firstname.lastname@example.org or (310) 405-7335