Attending virtual conferences: How to get value from a socially distanced event

October 27, 2020

While attending a conference used to mean skiving off work for a few days to listen to industry-specific keynotes with boutique coffee in your hand, these days … not so much.

Conferences are now being held entirely online, with participants watching presentations on one screen while checking in with work on another. This is all before we take into account that the farthest most of us can travel these days is to our porch. 

So even if you’re a rare unicorn of a human who can focus entirely on days worth of online presentations, odds are you are sharing your space with a partner, enthusiastic pet or homebound children.

This doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel.

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Law firm communications and COVID-19: What’s next?

May 1, 2020

Law firm communications and COVID-19: What’s next?

I was honored to be part of a panel discussion last week, hosted by three Florida Legal Marketing Association (LMA) groups: Orlando, Jacksonville and South Florida. If you couldn’t attend the virtual event, you missed hearing from the following law firm public relations professionals:

The panel discussion was moderated by Laura Kaminsky of BakerHostetler. While we covered a range of topics, I’ve highlighted key takeaways below (the full webinar recording is available here).

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How lawyers should network during the coronavirus crisis

April 23, 2020

How lawyers should network during the coronavirus crisis

Wendy Merrill is the Founder & Chief Rainmaker of StrategyHorse Consulting Group, providing leadership, professional and business development training and support to lawyers. We talked to Wendy about how lawyers can continue to nurture and develop their networks during the coronavirus crisis.

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Building business relationships means picking up the phone

January 13, 2015

161143948I’ll admit it: I hate talking on the phone. I’m in my early 30s, so I certainly grew up with the phone as my primary means of communication as a child and through my teens, but my professional years have been spent relying on Google, email and social media for any communication I cannot conduct in person. I’m a huge proponent of getting out and meeting people in person, but I absolutely loathe having to talk on the phone.

When I was a practicing attorney, I liked doing things by email so there was always a record. However, when I became a journalist and started writing for Forbes and then ESPN, I had to get over my aversion to the phone in order to interview sources for my stories. Then I joined Reputation Ink, and I was encouraged to pick up the phone to follow up on pitches and get to know editors.

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The best social media marketing and professional development tool you’re not using

August 7, 2014


Even if you think you understand how to use social media for professional development, you probably aren’t taking advantage of Twitter chats. I know, you’re probably picturing an AOL chat room circa 1999, but Twitter chats really are the hidden gem of social media for professionals. From staying on top of new developments in your industry to landing a job interview, Twitter chats are a largely untapped networking resource.

What is a Twitter chat?

Generally speaking, a Twitter chat is a planned event with a pre-determined hashtag (such as #AIAchat for the American Institute of Architects) in every tweet so that you can follow the hashtag in order to view and participate in the chat. Most chats are recurring, many on a weekly or monthly basis at a set day and time. There is usually a moderator who leads the discussion, often specifying the questions/issues to be discussed.

The AIA has a monthly chat that provides a great example. Each month AIA chooses a specific topic to tackle and a moderator offers up several questions over the course of an hour to stimulate discussion on the topic.

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Even an introvert can learn to create conversation

June 12, 2014

491994991Some people are blessed with the gift of gab. If you’re not one of those people who can walk into a room full of strangers and strike up a conversation, however, you need to master the art of the icebreaker. You can use some visual as an icebreaker – a company logo or perhaps a lapel pin – or you can put in a little time and research your way into an icebreaker.

Some icebreakers are visual

Some icebreakers are visual. Lou Imbriano, President and CEO of TrinityOne, a marketing strategy and business advisory consultancy, has it easy when it comes to icebreakers: he has three Super Bowl rings from his time spent as chief marketing officer of the New England Patriots. They’re big, they easily draw people’s attention, and everyone wants to hold one. He doesn’t have to look for conversation, it finds him.

I lucked into my own visual icebreaker when I created a logo for my work as a sports business reporter and analyst. It was a real photograph taken of me for my book on Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement that a friend with graphic design capabilities turned into my now signature logo.

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Three tips to get the most out of face-to-face networking in the digital age

March 24, 2014

Social_networkingFor the first time in what seems like ages, I recently attended a networking event. Having focused on growing my business over the past few years, I haven’t been as involved in the community as I like to be. But now that our firm is more mature, with a team of senior professionals, I’m venturing out more into the local business community.

The lunch meeting of the Association for Corporate Growth of North Florida was pretty standard—business professionals arrived about a half hour before the luncheon to network, meet new people and exchange business cards. The networking continued after we ate and I left with a handful of business cards.

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