Meet Michael Guzzo
Marketing and Communications Manager, Allen Matkins
1. How did you start working in the legal industry?
My background is in public relations so I began working for PR firms when I was still in college. I continued working for a PR firm when I moved from Philadelphia to San Diego five years ago and our largest client was Luce Forward (now McKenna Long). After managing that account for three years and working closely with their in-house marketing team, I soon realized that the legal industry became my primary interest. So after paying my dues in the PR agency world for a better part of 10 years I decided to go in-house and a law firm seemed like a perfect fit. My role at Allen Matkins is a satisfying balance of still working with the media while strategizing with attorneys on business development opportunities.
2. What advice would you offer to someone new to the industry?
Get to know your attorneys on a personal level. Half the battle of a legal marketer is being able to connect with attorneys and effectively communicate your goals. Attorneys are much more responsive to marketing initiatives when they feel comfortable with the person or people they’re working with, and can appreciate that marketing is here to help them grow their business, not to complicate things. You can’t make those connections sitting in your office shooting out emails. Stop by their office to say hello, ask them to go to lunch with you, and otherwise don’t treat them like robots. Attorneys are people, too!
3. Why did you join LMA and is it the same reason you are still a member?
I still consider myself a legal marketing newbie, relatively speaking. All of the talented people I work with have many more years of experience working in law firms than I do and I saw LMA as an opportunity to better myself as a professional. Not only do I value the intellectual capital that LMA provides, it also gives me a sense of community among like-minded individuals. It also doesn’t hurt that most of my team members at Allen Matkins have served, or are serving, high ranking positions both at the regional chapter and national levels. So I felt the pressure! This is still my first year as a member but I look forward to getting involved for years to come.
4. What would people be most surprised to learn about you?
While my athletic days may be years behind me, I did grow up playing soccer and eventually played at pretty high levels. I’ve won state championships, was at one point captain of the Pennsylvania Olympic Development team, and went on to receive a Division I athletic scholarship at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Yes, this is me reliving the glory days.
5. What is your favorite thing to do when you are not at work?
I’m a self-proclaimed foodie, so anything that involves cooking or eating is what I probably enjoy most. Whether it’s spending a night cooking in my own kitchen or going out and finding the best new restaurant in town, I’m loving life.