As part of our Q&A series with leaders in the LMA Northeast region, we asked Tammy Mangan, the Chief Marketing Officer at Cole Schotz for her thoughts on career development, professional branding, how to find work/life balance and how to be successful as a legal marketer today.
What advice do you have for those legal marketers who are new to the field and looking to build their professional brands?
A wonderful gateway to success for those new to the legal marketing field is the LMA. Pick a committee that interests you and get involved. It’s a great way to expand your network, find a mentor and grow your personal brand through leadership opportunities. The LMA and the people I’ve gotten to know through the organization have been a key to my growth in the field.
What do you think is the key for success as a legal marketer today?
Here’s my two cents on succeeding in today’s marketplace:
- There are not enough strong writers in the world. Hone your writing style and skills. This will serve you well.
- Learn how the business of law works. Otherwise, you’re operating in a vacuum without full understanding of the dynamics at play.
- AI is clearly going to be an important part of our industry going forward. Learn what you can, observe processes inside your firm and bring your best thinking to the table. Find an avenue for sharing your ideas.
One final note, our world is changing at warp speed and you may not have the skills that will be needed ten years from now. That’s okay. Stay curious and willing to learn. At one point in my career, I took on responsibility for writing press releases and interacting with the press. I had NO experience. Rather than panic, I enrolled at The George Washington University and earned a certificate in public relations! I did it on my own dime to invest in my career.
What do you wish you could tell your younger professional self?
Do your best to cast off self-doubt. You are a rock star in the making.
What do you love most about what you do?
The things I like most about my work are helping to set strategy that determines the future success of a business, influencing culture through brand building and thoughtful messaging, and helping others set and reach their goals.
I am a bit of a process geek, but at the same time I am drawn to creative thinking, design and innovation. I love taking time to think “big thoughts” to imagine what can be and then working to achieve it. It’s exciting to push boundaries and rewarding to see the progress you and others make.
How did you get started in legal marketing?
I was working in another position at Baker & Hostetler when I was approached by the director of marketing about a position in the marketing department. She talked me into it, saying that once I got started in marketing I’d never look back. I have to say she was right given that this is my 21st year in the profession. It’s been an “on the job training” experience of a lifetime. Thank you Barbara Harrison Kaye!
How do you achieve a work/life balance?
Work/life balance can be hard to define and find in a 24/7 world. Here’s my best advice for others.
- Put in the extra hours when needed and leave at 5 (or 4!) when you can.
- Take time off. Many of my friends have heard me say, “if the firm collapses because you’ve taken a couple of days off, you are due for a big raise when you get back!” Sounds funny but I mean it. Set parameters when you take time off. Checking email at the beginning and/or end of each day should be enough. This is your time to rejuvenate.
What is your greatest personal achievement?
I may sound like every other mom, but I truly believe my greatest personal accomplishment has been raising my daughter. She is currently a student at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont studying graphic design and digital media. I am most proud of helping her grow into an open-minded young woman with a strong sense of self and compassion for others. She is considering the Peace Corps after graduation.
Who is your role model and why?
I lost my mother to cancer last year. Now more than ever, I reflect on the ways she helped me grow into the person and professional I am today. She was a single mom who worked hard and overcame tremendous obstacles in her personal and professional lives. Her work ethic and honesty were a model for me and I look for these traits in others, especially when adding to my team.
What is your favorite quote?
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi