Thoughts and news from the LMA-MN – Midwest Region – Minnesota Local Group


Who is Doing the Heavy Lifting on Driving Change Management?

Authored by Elena Cutri | Originally posted here. How well would you say your law firm adapts to change? Would you give the firm a thumbs-up, thumbs- down, or a solid “meh”? It may come as no surprise that most law firms (and companies!) would rate themselves with a big thumbs-down in the change management area. I had the pleasure of speaking to the LMA Minnesota chapter this summer about driving effective change management. This topic is a favorite of mine, as I wrote about overcoming change objections and presented typical change management barriers at LMA. Over the last 15 years, I have worked with hundreds of law firms on driving end-user adoption for their legal software solutions. One thing is clear: Enduring change is tough, driving change is tougher, but avoiding it isn’t an option. Clients demand better service, more customized solutions, and data-driven value for their investment. They’re also looking for law firms to supplement and complement the legal work they can do themselves because of technology changes. You may be thinking, “I KNOW the firm needs to be responsive to client needs, but driving change around here is tougher than nailing jelly to a tree.” Let’s look at why it’s hard and what you can do about it. Legal Marketing as a Career Choice First, I want you to think about how you became a legal marketer. Have you always wanted to be a marketer in a law firm? Recently, I asked this question to a group of legal marketers at LMA. I also asked about whether they fell into the role and whether they wanted to stay in legal marketing as a career. legal marketing as a career choice Perhaps you have a story similar to the summary of responses as depicted in the graphic below. Legal marketers often find themselves in the industry, but not by design. Most are committed to doing great work. However, many decide to leave or consider leaving because their firms don’t seem to value marketers as much as they should. Driving Change for Your Projects In many firms, a marketing technology project (like CRM) often becomes “the marketing project” and loses value in the partner community. When marketers tell the managing partner to use CRM solutions to be “more successful,” the message falls on deaf ears. Attorneys think, “I’m pretty successful already. Who are you to tell me how to be successful?” As a result, marketers feel as though change will not happen or it will be too difficult. Realistically speaking, enacting change in an environment where change isn’t always welcome takes a lot of work— but it’s not impossible. Cut your teeth on driving change for your MarTech projects and you’ll have the credibility to take on a similar project within the firm or somewhere similar. Essentially, change management can only work if you enlist the help of people who will do the heavy lifting for you. ia-2019-buttons In my discussions with clients, I often hear hesitation about looking to end-user adoption as an indicator of whether the MarTech project is successful. The knee-jerk reaction is that you will lose control of the project. Take a breath. Replace your urge to control behavior with a framework that empowers end users. By enlisting the help of many peers to do the heavy lifting, you can truly drive change while improving engagement, productivity, and commitment.

About Elena Cutri

Elena CutriElena is a lifelong learner at heart and an educator by trade. To her, learning is a direct route for people to live intelligent and informed lives. As Director of Education Services for LexisNexis, she partners with clients around the world to guide their software adoption strategy. Elena has spoken at industry events on change management, end user adoption and professional development. She leads a team of professional trainers who create effective and engaging learning for today’s Modern Learner. Outside of work, Elena is an adjunct professor at a Chicago college teaching public speaking and group communication skills. She volunteers as Chair of a 3,000-parent network for a Special Education Resource Group in her community. She leads a Girl Scout troop and teaches work-readiness classes for adults with special needs. She learns the most, though, from her husband and 3 children. Elena holds her MA in Corporate Communications from Northern Illinois University and a MBA in Marketing Management from Loyola University.

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What’s Next in Digital

PRESENTED BY: Kalev Peekna, Managing Director, Chief Strategist at One North Interactive

March 21, 2019 | 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

As marketers in the legal industry, we are on a constant hunt for inspiration. Too often, we take it from the “guys across the street”: our competitors and/or peer firms. While looking at other law firms is a great way to benchmark the performance and position of your firm, it’s not a good source of new or differentiating ideas. In this session, Kalev will discuss a mixture of emerging digital trends and ideas that can serve as inspiration for your marketing firms. Some are lare and transformative, while others are quick and easy wins. Though all are sourced from outside the industry, they are all applicable to the legal marketing strategies you already have in place.

Date:  Thursday, March 21, 2019 Time: 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Registration & Networking  12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Program Location: Briggs and Morgan 2200 IDS Center 80 South Eighth Street Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402


Kalev Peekna is the Chief Strategist at One North. He leads the Digital Strategy team, advising clients on the creation and execution of strategic programs to enhance the use of digital for their marketing, business development and knowledge management goals. Kalev brings a cross-platform, user-focused approach to innovations in brand development, design, data analysis and technology, and helps clients apply those innovations to their strategic aims. Previously, Kalev led the UX/Strategy practice at One North. More information about One North can be found at: https://www.onenorth.com/

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Legal Project Management Panel

Legal Project Management Panel

December 12, 2018 | 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

As pricing, project management and procurement issues become increasingly important in the hiring and retention of law firms, their impact on the way firms and legal services are marketed is crucial. Legal Project Management ("LPM") is a crucial part of the relationship between inside and outside counsel. LPM professionals help law firms run projects more productively to increase client satisfaction and maintain law firm profitability. A firm’s ability to improve efficiencies and control costs while offering greater predictability creates value beyond the legal work itself by managing expectations and offering increased ROI to client and firm alike. Please join us on December 12th for a panel featuring legal project management and pricing professionals from around Minneapolis as they discuss ways to deliver the best legal service possible, how best to position your firm’s legal project management abilities when pitching new business, and identify ways in which marketers can help firms meet client expectations. Moderator:
  • William Josten | Strategic Content Manager | Thomson Reuters
  • Brendan McInerney | Director of Pricing and Legal Project Management | Stinson Leonard Street LLP
  • Bree Johnson | Chief Strategy, Pricing & LPM Officer | Robins Kaplan LLP
  • Tom Snavely | Manager, Legal Process Improvement and Project Management | Faegre Baker Daniels LLP

Date: Wednesday, December 12, 2018 Time: 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Registration & Networking 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Program Location: Gray Plant Mooty 80 South 8th Street 500 IDS Center Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402

Register Now! 


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Attend LMA Midwest Region at Ohio Practice Development Institute - November 15, 2018

Click here to register! 

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Do’s & Don’ts of Crisis Communication

You will likely find yourself in need of crisis communication at one time or another - whether it is a crisis in your law firm or one of your clients faces a crisis. During my time as a journalist and in the public relations industry, I have seen these situations handled well, and I’ve seen when a response can further damage a company’s brand or reputation. Make sure you know the do’s and don’ts of crisis communication. DON’T:Rush a Response - When it comes to crisis communication, you have one chance to get it right. Your first response might be your only response, so it is important the messaging is appropriate. A crisis communication situation is a lot of pressure and stress, and when it comes to the media, it is important to respond accurately. ● Wait Too Long - On the other hand, don’t think you have all the time in the world. As I tell all our clients, no response is a response, and it doesn’t look good. In the court of public opinion, saying nothing often insinuates guilt. Before social media, a crisis could “blow over.” Now the public has a way to immediately interact with a brand, and they expect a real-time response. Don’t forget, bad press will live on for years in website search engines. ● Respond Only on Social Media - A crisis communication inquiry may come in on social media. That doesn’t mean it is the only way you should reply. You can ask for an email address to send a formal response. A response on social media, especially on a public account, could be visible for years. Another media outlet can easily screen grab a response and publish it. It’s critical to consider the audience who most needs to hear the response and craft a strategy based on how best to reach them. DO:Have a Plan - Like it or not, every business must be prepared for a crisis situation. That means knowing who to notify, how to get in touch with them after hours and who will make the final decisions on how to respond. Having a PR partner with experience handling crisis communication and understanding of ideal communication platforms is critical. Inc. Magazine’s recent article made recommendations regarding finding a partner. ● Ensure Messaging is Consistent - This is something I cannot say enough. Internal and external messaging needs to be consistent. Internal emails sent during a crisis often end up in the hands of the media. Make sure your messaging is consistent and is aligned with your business’ core values. ● Take Crisis Communication Seriously - A crisis communication situation is serious and must be treated that way. It deserves a formal statement, and it does matter who is issuing that statement. If you want the media and the public to believe you understand the severity of the situation, I recommend the company’s CEO (or equivalent) issue the statement and outline what steps will be taken to rectify the issue. As P. T. Barnum said, “There is no such thing as bad publicity.” Remember, even a crisis situation can be an opportunity for you to message who you are and what is important to you. If you do handle the situation well, it can help improve brand recognition and essentially be nothing more than yesterday’s news. If you don’t , you may find your company in a crisis that makes headlines for weeks or more. Author bio: Kristi Piehl is the founder of Media Minefield, a news-driven earned media agency that moves past traditional public relations to mine stories, position experts and guarantee real news coverage. During her 12-year television career, Kristi worked as a reporter and anchor at 5 television stations. Kristi is a member of the Women Presidents' Organization and C200 Protégé Class 2017. More information about Media Minefield can be found at: media-minefield.com At the November 13th LMA program, Kristi will give you tips to navigate the media from building a successful pitch, to delivering an impactful interview and handling a crisis. Register here!

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Lauren McNee Digital Marketing and Social Media Associate Pritzker Hageman, P.A.

Q: Why did you join the local steering committee (LSC)? When I started working in legal marketing, one of the first things I did was join LMA. LMA offers a treasure trove of tools that have helped me add value to my work as a legal marketer. I appreciate that our members are so open to sharing insight and resources, even though some of us work in the same practice areas. Over the past year, I've helped plan membership social events for LMA-MN, which led to my interest in joining the LSC. As the 2019 Membership Director, I look forward to continuing to foster a community of collaboration among legal marketers in Minnesota. Q: One Thing You Read Every Day? I start my day by reading the New York Times. Not only do I look for explosions and multi-state foodborne illness outbreaks for my job, but it's also incredibly important to be aware of the civil and political issues happening in the world today. Q: Favorite Restaurant? Spoon & Stable in the North Loop neighborhood. Best kept secret: you can order off-menu ramen at the bar only on Saturday nights at 10 P.M. Q: Your Pet's Names and Types of Pets? I'm a proud dog mom to my 2-year-old pup, Annie. She's an Australian Shepherd/Poodle mix and is so cute that she's been known to stop traffic. Q: Favorite Vacation Spot? My previous job in product marketing took me to Paris a few times a year and it remains my favorite city in Europe! There's nothing like a café au lait and croissant at Le Bonaparte in Saint-Germain. Q: An Interesting Fact... I'm a professionally trained flutist and have performed live onstage with Jethro Tull.

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Navigating the Media

PRESENTED BY: Kristi Piehl, founder of Media Minefield

November 13, 2018 | 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

When faced with a crisis, is “no comment” the first comment that comes to mind? Kristi Piehl will tell you why that’s not the best approach and will share other tips to navigate the media during her presentation on November 13. Kristi, founder of Media Minefield and a former TV anchor/reporter, will give you tips to navigate the media from building a successful pitch, to delivering an impactful interview and handling a crisis.

Date: Tuesday, November 13, 2018 Time: 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Registration & Networking 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Program Location: Fredrikson & Byron, P.A. 200 South Sixth Street Suite 4000 Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402-1425


ABOUT OUR PRESENTER: Kristi Piehl launched Media Minefield in 2010 following a 12-year career as a television news reporter. Media Minefield is a news-driven earned media agency that moves past traditional public relations to mine stories, position experts and guarantee real news coverage. Her Minneapolis-based agency employs former journalists who handle accounts ranging from start-ups to billion-dollar brands. Kristi is also a resource for media and is quoted regularly for her expertise in storytelling, media and crisis communications. Kristi is dedicated to creating a unique work environment with policies that value families, flexibility and health. Kristi studied Professional Writing and graduated with honors from Bethel University. In 2015, Bethel named her Alumna of the Year. She is a member of Women Presidents' Organization and C200 Protégé Class 2017. More information about Media Minefield can be found at: media-minefield.com.        

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The Next Big Thing: Law Firm Strategy Reboot

PRESENTED BY: Mark Beese, President, Leadership for Lawyers

October 25, 2018 | 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Does your firm need to reboot? The legal landscape is changing as client expectations evolve and innovations are introduced every day. Join this workshop to discuss disruptive market forces that drive legal buying behavior, gain access to a diagnostic tool to identify strategic options for firms and practice groups, and discuss a framework for strategy development. This will be a highly engaging and participative workshop appropriate for LMA members of all levels. Learning Outcomes:
  1. Gain an understanding of the dynamic nature of the legal marketplace today and how the market is being disrupted by new players and technology.
  2. Identify the connection between market trends and strategic options, focusing on two strategic options – Solution Provider and Talent Provider – to illustrate the need to define a strategic direction.
  3. Participate in a “diagnostic” evaluation relating to a practice group or firm strategic position, which will provide input on whether participant should consider a Solution or Talent Provider strategy.
  4. Evaluate a case study or learn about an example of how each strategy might be implemented.

To make the most of this program watch the Next Big Thing: Law Firm Strategy Reboot Kick-Off Webinar prior to the program, and don't forget to check out the resources in the Next Big Thing Socious Community!

Date: Thursday, October 25, 2018 Time: 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Registration & Networking 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Program Location: Dorsey & Whitney LLP 50 South Sixth Street Suite 1500 Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402-1498



Mark Beese is President of Leadership for Lawyers, a consultancy that is focused on helping lawyers become stronger leaders and better business developers. He is also the founder of DesignThinkingLegal.com, which provides workshops for law firm lawyers and legal departments on the design thinking innovation process. Mark is a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management and a recipient of the Legal Marketing Association Hall of Fame. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Denver School of Law, where he teaches business development and marketing classes.

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The Vampires of Business Development

PRESENTED BY: David H. Freeman, J.D., founder of Law Firm CultureShift® and CEO of the David Freeman Consulting Group

September 20, 2018 | 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Lurking in the dark corners of law firms everywhere are evil culture-killers - practices and mindsets that suck the business development life out of all they touch. Their dark forces block progress, weaken resolve, and stifle the entrepreneurial spirit. If left unchecked, they can eat away at revenue, profit, and a healthy firm culture. In this program, we’ll expose these “Vampires of Business Development” to the light of day, and learn how to drive a stake through their energy-draining hearts. Some of the areas we will explore include:
  • The silo mentality
  • Inertia, bad habits, time management
  • Lack of trust
  • Lack of knowledge and poor communication
  • Misaligned compensation systems
  • Fear of failure and misperceptions
  • Perfect as the enemy of good
  • Lack of skills
  • Over emphasis on billable hours
  • Weak leadership, accountability, tracking, measures

Date: Thursday, September 20, 2018 Time: 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Registration & Networking 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Program Location: Briggs and Morgan 2200 IDS Center 80 South Eighth Street Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402

Register Here! 

ABOUT OUR PRESENTER: David H. Freeman, J.D., founder of Law Firm CultureShift® and CEO of the David Freeman Consulting Group, is a two-time best-selling author who has written and co-authored twelve books on law firm leadership and business development. He has trained and coached thousands of lawyers and leaders in nearly 200 law firms world-wide, for three consecutive years he was voted the top law firm business development coach and consultant in National Law Journal surveys, and he is a Fellow in the College of Law Practice Management.

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Summer Social at Mission

Summer Social at Mission

August 14, 2018 | 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM


Enjoy drinks and appetizers while you mingle with members and supporters of LMA's Minnesota Local Group.

Date: Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Time: 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Networking, including two complimentary drink tickets and appetizers

Cost: No charge for LMA Members with advance registration $10 Non-Members and any registrations after August 10

Location: Mission American Kitchen & Bar IDS Center 77 South 7th Street Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402

Register Now!

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