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| 30 minutes read

Episode 86 - Chris Postizzi of MG+M The Law Firm on building a marketing function from the ground up

A law firm often brings in a new CMO to overhaul the firm's go-to-market approach. In some cases, the firm has little to no existing marketing function and the new CMO must build a team from the ground up.

On today’s episode of the CMO Series, Charles Cousins is lucky to welcome Chris Postizzi, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at MG+M The Law Firm, to explore the challenges, learnings and successes that come from starting with a clean slate as a new CMBDO.

Chris and Charles discuss: 

  • How Chris came to the role of CMBDO at MG+M
  • Where the firm is now, compared to where it was a year ago when Chris joined
  • The main projects Chris prioritised in the first year and the approach to delivering those
  • The experience of recruiting a whole team in the current market and Chris’s philosophy for building the team out
  • Advice for others thinking about or trying to build out their marketing and BD function


Intro: Welcome to the Passle podcast CMO Series.

Charles:  It often comes to pass that a new CMO is brought in by a law firm to review and improve the firm's go-to-market approach. In some rare cases, the firm has little to no existing marketing function and the new CMO must build from the ground up today on the Passle CMO series.

We're lucky to welcome Chris Postizzi, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at MG+M The Law Firm. Join us as we explore the challenges, learnings and successes that come from a clean slate as a new CMO.

Chris, welcome to the CMO series!

Chris: Charles, thanks for having me, greatly appreciate it.

Charles: And dialling in from Boston today. I've got fond memories of racing down the river there at the head of the Charles.

Chris: Yeah, always a great town when the weather is nice. Otherwise, you know, it's time to head south because you know, as they say here in Boston, if you don't like the weather, wait 30 minutes. Sometimes it's the greatest weather in the greatest city and other times it's time to head south and get warm. So happy you've enjoyed it.

Charles: Yeah, good times. And so for context, how did you come to be in the role of CMO at MG+M? Were you looking for a challenge like this?

Chris: You know, I really wasn't. So I came from big law, I was with an international law firm with offices in Boston, DC and other cities around the United States as well as over in Europe and in Beijing. I really enjoyed my time there. I was there for 13 years and I wasn't really looking to move. I mean, I'm always interested in new adventures and new challenges.

But I was quite happy I had a big team, a strong team. There were over 50 of us in the marketing and business development function there. And we were a well-oiled machine. But, you know, I was contacted by um MG+M The Law Firm. And I started going through the process, the interview process and, you know, I think everybody says this, but I immediately fell in love with the people in the culture. It's a very different environment than I was used to. And that's not to say that the environment at my last firm was bad by any means. But here it was all hands on deck and I was very excited about the way they had laid out the position and what I mean by that is in my experience when it comes to bringing on a new Chief Marketing Officer, a new Chief Marketing and BD Officer, you're brought in to do one of two things, either hire or fire. Right? And that's kind of a depressing way to look at it. But oftentimes a new Chief has, you know, a goal of either cleaning house and rebuilding a team, cutting staff, saving money or starting from the ground up. And I wasn't willing to enter into a job to come over to another law firm where it was the fire aspect if you will. You know, I really didn't want to get into that deliverable, right? 

I was much more looking forward to building out a team and my vision for what I thought marketing and business development should be at a law firm. And when I went through the process, it was made very clear to me that that was what they wanted me to do. You know, the first sign was, there was no team in place at all. I would be the first hire. At that time they were actually outsourcing marketing and business development to an agency, that agency was doing a good job. They were working hard, but they really wanted to move the function in-house. And so as part of the interview process, they said we're we're looking to bring in a Chief, we want him or her to be able to build a team. We want to make sure that they, you know, bring expertise that we have not had here at the firm. And so it was just a really good match.

I found myself very much aligned with the COO, his name is Chris McDevitt. We see eye to eye in a lot of, you know, business development, marketing activities, but also just in firm culture and who we want to be working with every day. I can give you just one quick anecdote of my time here that kind of summarises the culture here and I would say, you know, I sit in a lot of meetings and I would offer up a piece of advice as I do every day and here I would get this look, and they would say, “Well, it's not advice, it's what we should be doing because you're the expert and we hired you to be the expert. So if you're telling us, you know, we need to do ABC, we're gonna go and do ABC” as opposed to, you know, and again, this is no reflection on previous places of employment. But oftentimes it was, “Well, we get that, we'll keep that in mind as we make some decisions on what we really want to do from a business development or a marketing standpoint” and, you know, maybe half of the information I share would, would be taken by the partnership or, or maybe none or, or maybe all, but here it has been an excellent place to settle in and be positioned as the expert and for them to take the advice that I give, that my team gives, and take it to heart and really follow our lead. It's been, it's been a very exciting year and a half since I've joined.

Charles: Just by hearing you talk about that, it sounds like you've really landed on your feet and found a place that you really sort of fit into and given that opportunity, you know, to be the expert in marketing.

Chris: It has been great and, you know, any time you take a new job, right? Decide to leave what you consider a good place to work and move to another law firm or whatever it is, you know, whatever industry it may be, there's a huge risk you're taking, right? You don't know if you're gonna land softly or not. And this has been an incredible move for my career. It's been an incredible move for me personally and professionally. And it's just been  I couldn't be happier for where I'm at, for the challenges I face every day and for the trust that they put in me and my team.

Charles: So you mentioned it in response to that first question, but you know, you've been in the role a year and a half now and before you came into that role, it was outsourced and there was not much happening in terms of marketing. So where is the firm sort of now compared to where it was back when you started?

Chris: Yeah, great question. So the firm as a whole has been, MG+M The Law Firm has been very strong, right? The revenues are strong, great group of attorneys. We’re continuing to grow. I think we've added about maybe 20 attorneys since I've started here in a year and a half, I've been here. So a lot of lateral moves, obviously some promotions up to the partnership level. So the firm has been strong and continues to be strong on the marketing and business development side. There really was not a team in place, right? So I started from the ground up. Now, there were a couple of individuals, I hate to use this term, but more junior employees that they had in place before I got here and they had left the firm. And like I said, we were relying on an agency model to really drive marketing and business development and that agency did a good job. It's just you can't replace having a marketing and business development team in place that knows the firm inside and out and works with the attorneys in, you know, every single day. That's how you build the knowledge, how you build the trust, how you build the team is to really be here every day working. So they decided as a firm to move away from that, that agency model if you will and, and bring me in. 

So when I came in, I was a team of one and to go back to what I was saying, you know, you're either brought into hire or fire and I was 100% on the higher team if you will as opposed to the firing. But there were times I questioned that decision and what I mean by that is when you walk in, you know, I was a Director at my last firm. I had a team of 14 individuals. I had a lot of people to help me out and all of a sudden, I was here doing everything from posting to social media uh to trying to develop new areas of practice, to internal communications, to doing bio updates to onboarding lateral partners. And it was quite the show for all of that to fall on me. And so there was a lot of work to be done.

The first thing I did was the firm empowered me to start building that team and I'm happy to say now we are still very agile, but I have a Marketing Communications Manager, Katelyn Flanigan, who was the first one to join my team. She put her trust in me. I brought her over from my previous firm. I brought in a BD manager. Her name is Kristen DeCandia. She's excellent. Brought her from Big Law as well. And Stephanie Wilson joined us from my previous firm. You can see a little theme here. I've taken two-thirds of my hires from my previous firm. You know, if you're not borrowing from places of success, then what are you really doing? Right? Why reinvent the wheel if you know that there's great staff out there, people you want to work with on a daily basis and that are gonna do a good job. Once the team was in place it was all about showing our worth, right? And I think that that's really very important in legal marketing and business development. Unfortunately, sometimes you can be looked at as a cost centre. You know, I like to use the term as kind of getting some traction that we are revenue enablers. You know, some people might roll their eyes at that, but that's actually true. You know, we are here to assist our partnership on a daily basis of increasing firm avenues and I'm excited to say that with the team in place we have done that over the last, you know, year and a half that I've been here. So it's an exciting time to be here. We've come a long way in a short amount of time, you know, the projects are starting to add up and then again, we can get into that in a little bit, but we are, we've hit the ground running. We've built those relationships with the partners. We're presenting monthly to the partnership on all different areas of marketing and business development. And it's been a very exciting time to be here.

Charles: I like that approach of seeing yourselves as those revenue enablers. So you've taken the role, you've built your team, now into the nitty gritty. What have been the main projects that you've prioritised in that first year?

Chris: Yeah, I would start with, you know, to use the term 80/20 when I, when I first got here, we had a lot of reactive work to do, right? We had to make sure bios were getting updated and practice descriptions were getting edited and, you know, we could post something to social media and what social media platforms were we going to continue focusing on? And how could we help an attorney when all of a sudden, you know, a 95-question RFP showed up. Before I got here, we'll use the example of an RFP, the attorneys were doing at least 80% of that, you know, and scrambling to find assistance with was through the agency or through some previous members of a marketing and BD function to try to help them answer the other 20%. And immediately I said, “Look, you all need to go be lawyers, you need to bill hours, that's how I get paid. That's how the firm succeeds. That's how we drive revenue.” And so the projects that we focused on right away were that 80/20 rule, right? Finding ways to answer 80% of an RFP before it came in the door, banking all of our RFP answers, stepping-up on our pitch packs, right? Making sure that they were professionally positioned, that they had the right content that they looked great from a design perspective. So some of the things we prioritised, right? Editorial and graphic standards - didn't have much of that in place. Katelyn did an excellent job when she came in and building out those capabilities. You know, when I first came in, we were producing one maybe two pieces of thought leadership as a law firm a month. We've built a writing team of associates and partners where they work together. And now we're producing 2 to 3 times that amount of content. We've brought in news aggregators to get eyes on our content. We have one of the two technology projects that I was really pushing for as part of the interview process that I wanted to make sure we focused on was a website. A partner at our firm built the current website that we have. He did an excellent job in 2017, but it's time for a refresh. And so the firm has empowered myself and my team to rebuild a website.

The second digital project that we are very much focused on is a CRM. So, you know, a customer relationship management tool, we're getting our contacts organised, we're building all of that out. Both of those technology projects started last year and will carry over into this year with a goal of launching them before the end of the year. You know, a couple of other things that we were very focused on because of the amount that the partnership does, these things would be CEs and CLEs. We do a lot of these CE sessions, right? Continuing Education and Continuing Legal Education efforts with clients and prospects. They come to our attorneys and they're regularly asking for these presentations. We've built out a library, we have a deck, a deck of slides that we can pull from on a regular basis. We have a roster of which attorneys do what. Right? So really getting our ship in order was very important for year one and making sure that when an email came in from a partner saying, “Hey, I want to do a CLE, how do I do that?” We knew how to do it, how to get organised, you know, what decks we had available, what attorney should be leading those and really making sure that it was plug and play. And we've come a long way in doing that over the last 12 months. 

And I would say too, you know, we continue to use that agency I mentioned for legal directory and PR work as well as some complex graphic design work. And that's been huge, that agency has done a really good job for us. You know, I've tried to counsel my firm and our attorneys here that no matter how big you are as a marketing and BD function, you really need external third-party resources that can help with legal directories, awards and rankings type work. You need someone that can, that can run PR for you. You know, we had it at my last firm. There might have been 50 of us in marketing and BD, but we still needed agencies to drive legal directories in pr to some degree because they're very nuanced and you need to have relationships with the media. And so we've spent a lot of time making sure that agency fully understands our firm. We've organised all of our legal directory work, you know, we're monitoring 700 plus opportunities on a yearly basis and making sure that we are applying for the right ones at both the firm in the practice in the individual attorney level. You know, so we have really good cadence going on across the board with all of the digital marketing, business development, marketing communications, PR, legal directories. All of that is now in place And we're really focusing on so much here in 2023.

Charles: Leaning on the agencies and using some of the things that they're actually quite good at. You mentioned some of those PR tasks that goes back to your point about being the expert, obviously, you're the expert in marketing and you can get the stuff done in the law firm, but actually maybe some of those guys are, are better at doing some of those other tasks. So getting them to support, sounds like a pretty good idea.

Chris: Absolutely. 

Charles: And you mentioned a few punchy projects, a website and a CRM build, which a lot of marketers will wince at the thought of taking on a project like that. And so some pretty tough growing projects. So how did you get so much done in such a short time?

Chris: Yeah, I mean, the number one, right? And it's what everyone always says but it's so true. Right? Is a strong team. If it was still just me here, I certainly would not have been trying to rebuild a website, build a CRM, you know, get our RFPs and pitches in place, conduct research. We're even putting together internal communication strategy here at the firm. Right? None of that would be possible without a strong team. And so the three individuals that I brought in, they have made me look great, they make me look great every single day. So that is obviously number one and, and the other two, I would say are kind of aligned with the culture here and that is trust, you know, I mentioned that earlier, but trust from administrative leadership, trust from our executive committee uh to know that they wanted this function and then to see it grow, they have been fully supportive of everything I have tried to do and put in place. And that's not to say everything is rubber-stamped. There's a lot of hoops you still have to jump through, but I would expect that from a partnership. But to go back the idea of hoops jumping through, there's no more insane, crazy approval process, right? Which I am used to from big law. You know, I don't need 30 individuals to sign off on updating the editorial standards. OK? That is over with, I can give you a quick story on that one. So, like I mentioned Katelyn Flanigan coming over as our Marketing Communications Manager, you know, one of the first things that we worked on was redoing and re-vamping and really creating the editorial standards and we had some good questions, you know, based on the previous form we worked with, you know, do we want to be using serial commas? You know, whatever it may be, what do we capitalise? What do we don't. Really getting into the nitty gritty. And we went through it and we made those decisions and she said, “Okay, well, where do we go now for approval?” And I said, “This is all approved. We have editorial standards” and she said, “Really?” and it's just, “yes”, it's that unbelievable understanding that we have been empowered by this firm to make those decisions, we make those decisions and we move on to the next project.

So having a strong team in place, making sure you have trust from your leadership, your Executive Committee, which is our, you know, our partnership, our lead partners, our admin leadership and really cutting down on those crazy approval processes that are at a lot of firms and we be able to see the fruits of our labour every single day here. It keeps us motivated, it keeps us excited to come to work because we get to see how much difference we are making every time we take on a project and finish that project. 

Charles: I bet that that change of speed in getting stuff done is, is just a breath of fresh air for you and Katelyn and the rest of your team.

Chris: Absolutely. There's nothing truly more empowering for a team than to see, like I said, the fruits of their labour, you know, I mean, we're gonna get to go back to our two technology projects. We're gonna build a CRM from scratch and we're gonna redo the website from scratch, every single page and we're gonna get both of those projects done in a year. You know, there's been times where it's taken in my career, six months just to get approval on a home page. Right? We're not gonna have that here. We have people who trust us, we have, you know, attorneys who are engaged, that will weigh in quickly. You know, if I need advice and there is one particular partner here at the firm that has a really good eye. He did build the original website in 2017. You know, I know that I'm gonna get his feedback. I'm gonna get it timely. It's going to be important that I get it because he's got great ideas and we're gonna take that and it's gonna continue to help us get to a better product. But these deliverables don't take months now. They take days and it's so empowering for the team to see that they're being trusted, getting feedback that is spot on and then being trusted to go do the job that they've been hired to do.

Charles: So, a big part of what you've done is bring on board the people to help you with this. So we've talked a lot about this team and building that team out. What's that been like trying to recruit a whole team in this um talent market and what's been your philosophy in building that team out?

Chris: Yeah, the first question I think can be answered by the stance that I did bring two individuals with me from my previous firm. And that's not to say I took the easy way out. That was very calculated. I knew who I wanted. I targeted the two individuals I wanted, I knew their skill set. You know, there wasn't a robust market as I think we all have seen, you know, I didn't post that job and get hundreds of qualified applications, but I did certainly get several. But I just knew I was comfortable, you know, after going through the interview process with those two individuals. And so I did take them with me and that's been great just, you know, just talk about having those relationships in place. It's been really good to hit the ground running. We all knew our working styles. They have no problem pushing back on some things, you know, I want to put in place. It's a very collegial and collaborative environment. It was that way at my previous firm with the two individuals, with those two women. So it was great to just bring them over and hit the ground running. 

With our BD manager, Kristen, we did go through an exhaustive process and it was difficult to find the right candidate. But as I have said to her, you know, multiple times, I couldn't be happier with the team that I've been able to build, she's been such a great addition to the team. She came with fresh ideas, which is something I was very focused on. You know, my last firm did business development a certain way. I had a taste of that, but I wanted someone, especially on the BD side, that could say, “Well, we did this at my firm a different way and here's why it was successful.” And Kristen is very professional and able to provide that guidance in a way that we're all very receptive to that has moved our business development, you know, capabilities for our attorneys very, very far in advance. I have had so many attorneys that we have worked on would say, “Well, we've never had this type of capability here. You all just did 80/90% of that RFP and didn't even need us to chime in until the 11th hour.” And that goes back to the way that she has built that trust with the attorneys. How much we've gotten organised on the BD side. So, kudos to Kristin and everything that she's brought over. The second part of your question, I'm blanking if you can remind me, I think it was more on culture.

Charles: You're talking about your sort of philosophy and building that team out.

Chris: Absolutely. You know, and this is again a little cheesy to say and I hate to kind of preface it that way, but I wanna work with people that I want to be around, right? We don't have to be best friends. You know, we don't have to hang around every single night after work. You know, a lot of times work is about working hard and then going home to whatever it is you do at home, right? Whether it's, you have family, children, a glass of wine, golf, you know, sports, reading a book, whatever it may be that you wanna do, oftentimes work is just an outlet to pay the bills and to then go and enjoy whatever it is you do, you know, after the 9 to 5 and, and that's ok here I think we have a good mix. We all certainly have our own, you know, personal lives. A couple of us have kids. One of us is getting married soon, you know, whatever it may be. I wanted to work with individuals that wanted, that I wanted to be around. And so we have, we've really been able to take that on. We spend a lot of time working together. I enjoy spending time with them. We have our own personal lives. We do go out after work every once in a while. We have that social aspect. There's a significant amount of trust that we have in one another. I know that if I pass an assignment off to a member of the team, it's gonna get done, it's gonna get done well, it's gonna get done on time. And we can all stand behind that work. So it really is all about building a team of individuals that you wanna be around every day. You know, I didn't want to go to a law firm where maybe I had 20 or 30 members of my team. We are very agile here and I enjoy that. I get to know them personally. I get to work with every member of the team every day and it's been a joy to be able to do that. 

Charles: It does sound incredible. Yeah. And I'm fully on board with the idea of, you know, at the end of the day, you've got to spend a lot of your time at work. It's only gonna be better if you're working with people that you enjoy working with and I imagine you get some, well, you've highlighted some of the amazing things you're getting done.

Chris: Yeah, it's been great, I would say too. And, you know, there's like another branch of my team if you will, that we have here, we have a very strong relationship with a conference company, Perrin Conferences, owned and operated by Lynnsey Perrin. And she has been an incredible partner for my team. Her team, we're very much aligned on conference work. We're very much aligned on events and webinars and seminars and, you know, she has clients all over the legal industry. But we've been able to leverage the relationship we have with her and her experience and expertise in her relationships. And she's just been such a great opportunity for me to pick her brain on a regular basis. But, you know, that relationship in particular, I almost look at it and I had not almost, I do look at it as almost like another arm of my team, right? So  Perrin Conferences, and Lynnsey, they've just been great resources for my team from a marketing and business development perspective. But also, as you know, this is a little bit of a different area of law than I did at my last firm. And she and her team have been incredible resources for all of us here at MG+M The Law Firm to get us up to speed to make introductions and make sure that we are getting the most out of our marketing and media efforts. 

Charles: And that links to that point we were talking about earlier. It's something my friend always used to tell me like, “you don't need to be an expert at everything, but it's helpful to know an expert in everything.” So just knowing the right people, you can lean on and get them to help you when you have something come up.

Chris: That's exactly right. And I think it goes back to the saying the mantra of a great leader surrounds themselves with great people, right? And so, you know, whether I'm a great leader or not, that's for others to say. But what I've been able to do is surround myself by the smartest people in the room when it comes to marketing and business development. Right? And it goes back to what I was saying earlier where they make me look good every single day. But you know if I had a weak team, if you will, right? If it wasn't a good match then the work product would show. But instead, I've been able to surround myself with an expert in digital marketing, an expert in Marcoms, an expert in BD, you know, experts with Lynnsey and her team on events and conferences and webinars and seminars and then our agency experts in PR and legal directory work. And together we all come together and that's what makes the strongest team possible is all of us working together rowing in the same direction.

Charles: And you're forming a sort of legal Avengers team. So we're at that point in the podcast where we find out a bit more about you, Chris. We're gonna jump into the quick-fire round.

Chris: I love it. Let's do it. 

Charles: What was your first job?

Chris: So, I'm like, I think a lot of folks, I worked when I was before I was even in my teens.I worked at a farm stand in my town now that makes where I grew up in the country if you will. And I'm not, I'm from Waltham, Massachusetts. It's a big city. But growing up we had a couple of farms that were still in place. I think now they're all gone, but back in the day, I did work at a farm stand. I was in charge of setting up the tables with the flowers and doing the orange juice every day and making fruit cups and they had a little bit of a deli and I helped out in there and I used to cut the grass and work in the field a little bit. Although I wasn't the best at doing that, but that was my first true job. And then I also spent time really early in my life working in a pharmacy, you know, at the register and then during the summers I was a janitor - a lot of kids in my high school did this. We would partner up with the different schools and clean the schools all during the summer. So they were ready for September when all the kids would come back. So scraping the gum off the bottom of the desks, you know, I never put some on the bottom of the desk because I knew it would probably be me scraping it off. So I never did anything like that. But, you know, cleaning the floors, waxing the floors, washing all the windows and everything. So I had a bunch of jobs, you know, pre high school and in high school. But I was always working, it was always something that my parents instilled in me, that was always very important for me to do and who didn't like having some income as a high school kid, and before that.

Charles: Absolutely. What makes you happy at work?

Chris: Yeah, I would go back and again, I know that everybody says this, but it really is true. It's the people I work with. And it's obviously my team. It's the attorneys, they are great to partner with here. It’s the other admin staff. And then I would just add to that, I know I've said this a couple of times, but the trust, that's what makes me happy is knowing that I work in a place that fully trusts what I say, that fully trusts my team and wants us to be the ones that move marketing and business development forward as opposed to just feeding them ideas that they can come and come and go with. So the people and the trust and being valued and supported every day. I use this term a lot, you know, I want to just be treated like the adult I am, in this place and not to say that that other places I have worked didn't do this, but I feel like every day I am treated like an adult. And that's all you can really ask for.

Charles: Very good. What are you listening to at the moment? This could be podcast, music, audiobook.

Chris: Yes. So good timing on this question. And I don't know, this might fall flat with some of the listeners to this podcast, but just two nights ago, which was Valentine's Day. So I don't know if I've just dated this podcast, but I went to a concert, that brings me right back to my childhood in the nineties, I saw Bush and Candlebox. Now again, I'm not sure how many folks know that, but in the late 1990s, Bush was one of the biggest acts going. So was Candlebox. So I've seen them both a few times and they played at a venue here in Boston. And there was about 14 of us that went, including our wives because it was Valentine's Day. So we did bring our wives, but it was a great concert of Bush and Candlebox. Other than that I'm really into podcasts. Right now I'm listening to Smartless which is Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett. And then there's another one, it's called Fly on the Wall that came out with Dana Carvey and David Spade. So I try to avoid the politics, especially when I'm, you know, working out and listening to a podcast. So I try to gravitate towards the humorous ones if you will, the nice lighthearted ones. So those are the two I'm listening to right now.

Charles: Yeah. Get a bit of David Spade on. What's your favourite place to visit and why? 

Chris: You know, I love to travel. I do have two kids under the age of 12. So that's become a little bit more difficult these days. So maybe I'll answer this with two of my dream vacations that I really want to take once my kids get a little bit older and I hope to take both of them with us, with my wife and I on this, but I am really focused on chartering a boat through the US VIs. I've been to the USVIs or the BVIs Charles, you know, I have no problem with that, although the pound is quite expensive these days. So that's why I kind of gravitate towards the US VIs but I would love to charter a boat. I don't know if anybody's ever seen the movie Captain Ron, one of the greatest movies of all time. If I do say so myself and I would love to have that experience going through the different islands down the different, you know, US or British Virgin Islands. And then the second one, I would say that I'm so ready to do at some point is to take a safari in an African country and I haven't decided exactly which country. I know saying Africa is lumping an entire continent, but an African safari is at the top of my list. I really want to do that as part of my bucket list.

Charles: They sound like two pretty incredible adventures. I will have to put you in touch with our founder at Passle, he sailed around the world with his kids, a few years ago so he can give you some tips So finally, to bring things back to the theme of our podcast talking about what you've achieved at the firm in your first year and a half of being there. What would be your one piece of advice for others thinking about or trying to build out their marketing and BD function?

Chris: Yeah, I would go with it. Do what you love and do what you know. Right? And I mean, I think especially in my instance, I needed a lot of quick wins when I first got here. Right? I needed to make sure there was a lot of communication in place with our executive committee, right? Which is our lead partners as well as our one or two leads on the admin side. But mostly it's a partner committee that leads the firm and it's so important that you communicate with them and get face time with them as much as possible. So when I say, do what you love, pick the projects that you know, and that you want to work on as much as you can. There's still gonna be 80% of reactive marketing and media that you have to do, but find some things that you know and love. You get quick wins out of them and make sure that you are taking every the opportunity to build relationships with improve communications, with firm leadership. Not enough can be said about building those relationships, both personally and professionally and making sure that you have regular check-ins. All right, one more quick story. So when I first started here, I was told that I had to conduct a monthly meeting for the entire partnership on marketing and business development. And I was like, "Oh boy, here we go. You know, what does this really look like? What am I gonna do? I'm gonna have to put together a presentation every single month and make sure I'm keeping them entertained for an hour", that has turned into my favourite hour of the month. And the reason for that is that it gives me an opportunity to manage up to the partnership, let them know everything that I am working on that. My team is working on all of our successes, all of the project updates. And there's never a thought, at least from my point of view of the partnership saying, “What does that marketing and BD team really do?” Because once a month, I get to tell them everything we're working on, collect their feedback and make sure that we are applying it, you know, to the different projects and opportunities that we have in front of us. So I would say focus on what you love, get some quick wins and make sure you have communications vehicles in place, whether they're regular meetings or what have you, they get you face time with firm leadership So you can hear from them and they can hear from you.

Charles: Brilliant. So I took away quick wins and keeping everyone in the loop.

Chris: Yeah, absolutely.

Charles: Well, thanks Chris. It's been an absolute pleasure to chat to you and hear about all the exciting projects you've taken on board and building out your team and it sounds like you've got off to a fantastic start and I wish you all the best for 2023.

Chris: Thank you so much. I really appreciate you having me on. I've been a listener to the podcast. So it was a real pleasure to have you invite me on and I would love to come back any time you'll have me.


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