This November, Knox Design Strategy team members had the opportunity to connect with industry leaders in New York City at the Legal Marketing Association NE Conference. Celebrating 30 years of legal marketing within the region’s association, the conference began with an opening reception on Thursday and continued until Friday night with a series of enlightening panel discussions.

We enjoy being involved with the industry during these annual events – Knox Design Strategy Graphic Designer, Jensynne East, even designed the signage for the event! Our very own Brandie Knox was selected for a panel discussion of “Pitches and Proposals,” kicking off the conference alongside several other legal marketing titans. 

While the conference was filled with hundreds of compelling ideas, presentations, and dialogues, there are too many takeaways to expand upon them all. Instead, we’ve distilled some of the most interesting and actionable takeaways from our team attendees below: 

Inclusivity is Key to Modern Design

Diversity, equity, and inclusion in marketing and design continues to be a topic interwoven into the industry’s consciousness. In particular, the team noted that during the Marketing Masters Forecast session, panelists Michael Coston and Allan Schonberg offered insights into how to incorporate DEI best practices into marketing efforts. They touched on how the process is “ongoing” and on the importance of responding in both a timely and an accurate manner to DEI challenges.

Cultivating Relationships is at the Core of Marketing

Our client work necessitates that we are able to elicit a firm’s true identity through interviews and research. It also means that we have to understand our client, their audience, and how to tell the most compelling story along the way. In Building your Client Feedback Interview Skills, panelists Jill Zwetchkenbaum and Beth Cuzzone conducted a mock interview, and emphasized the importance of mirroring, body language, and the types of questions to ask.

Our team went on to catch a fascinating conversation between panelists Dave Southern, Aaron Schoenherr, and Elonide Semmes regarding Crafting an Effective Marketing Campaign

“It was very relatable when Aaron mentioned the impossibility of planning ahead for campaigns because other aspects of the business are always ‘more urgent.’ When it’s time for a campaign, a lot of time has already passed … They emphasized the importance of starting early, with a plan.. oh and bringing humor into your campaigns.” – Sema Bekmez, Knox Design Strategy UX/UI Designer

Lastly, Adrian Lürssen identified that storytelling is the new “viral” marketing component. Paula Zirinsky, Steve Cohen, and Lindsay Griffiths hosted The Best Influencer is a Good Story in which they divulged how stories can be transformative when properly catered to the audience.

Digital Presence is More Important than Ever 

In The Law Firm of the Future, panelist Lynn Tellefsen-Stehle described firms’ websites as their “digital command center.” Essentially, the session indicated a reframing of the website as the hub of digital services – it’s the basis for digital marketing, content marketing, business development, and analytics. Panelists Nancy Stein and Siobhan Burns agreed that the website is the most important digital asset at every firm. Milton Arantes, Knox Design Strategy’s Senior UX/UI Designer, says “I couldn’t agree more!” 

Building a Team is About More than “Getting it Done” 

In Innovating Your Marketing Strategy by Making Friends and Influencing People, Emily Rogers and Erin Douglass spoke with Brandie Knox about a new approach to team retreats. 

While discussion revolved around partner retreats for firms, the ideas apply to our own Knox Design Strategy internal team. 

“Concepts such as ‘fun before noon’ resonated with me specifically. As the firm leader, my goal is to come together twice a year. Our retreat held this past September mixed work with pleasure, and focused heavily on our values, how we collaborate and how to improve team efficiency, and thus our overall work-life and client service. While I can’t emphasize the value of this, I also feel strongly that we should come together once a year and focus primarily on fun and team building (perhaps with a little work sprinkled in). Our next retreat will focus on fun, wellness and enjoying being together as a team.” – Brandie Knox, Knox Design Strategy Principal & Creative Director 

It’s Possible to Shed your Glossophobia 

In addition to learning a new term (glossophobia; a fear of public speaking), the Public Speaking and Executive Presence session taught our team that there are coping skills available for those who are nervous in the limelight. Angus McQuilken, Aaron Kotok, and Teri Robshaw suggested that nervous speakers remember that the audience came to see them. There’s something to say! Focusing on the audience and less on yourself can cause anxiety to dissipate. They also mentioned the importance of evaluating your values prior to public speaking – what’s important to you and how can you use that to better engage the audience? 

In Summary 

Thank you to all those who attended and hosted at this year’s conference! We so enjoyed the opportunity to connect with colleagues, discuss best practices with the best in the industry, and leverage this knowledge to better serve our clients. Until next year! 

Photography by: Gregory Beltre