Archive for the ‘ MarComm ’ Category

Prince, A Revolution, and Legal Marketing

I began my discussion of generational marketing with Talking ’bout My Generation:

In short, generational marketing recognizes that the different generations make purchasing decisions in different ways from one another.

The different life phases we are in presently, coupled with our upbringing and societal norms, provide us with different perspective than those we follow, or those who follow us.

I immediately got an email from my friend and legal marketing peer, David Bruns. He recommended I download and read “I Would Die 4 U:  Why Prince Became an Icon,” by Touré.

In short, the book discusses how Prince, a Baby Boomer, became such a huge icon for Generation X.

No icon is so talented that they don’t need the right generation to receive their message. Of course, some icons transcend their time, but that’s nearly impossible without first connecting deeply with the generation that’s consuming culture when you’re at your peak. The difference between being famous and becoming an icon is, in part, having the good fortune to have a generation that’s interested in your message. Pg. 17

It’s the Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers, theory of 10,000 hours of experience to achieve mastery, plus the luck of timing when that knowledge/skill is needed, the audience is ready, as in the case of Prince.

The author goes on to discuss Prince’s less than welcoming response when he opened for the Rolling Stones on October 9 & 11, 1981, here in Los Angeles. He was pelted with garbage and drinks, and literally booed off the stage. Twice. (FYI. The Sports Dude and I were at that concert. He even saved the ticket stubs).

Controversy was just too controversial for the crowd of hippies and boomers. We up and coming Gen Xers got it, though … we were waiting and ready for the Purple Revolution that was about to come out with “1999.” And we were really confused why the adults in the crowd didn’t get it.

So what does Prince have to do with legal marketing and generational marketing? It’s all in how we interpret his experience to our industry. Continue reading

Talking ’bout my generation

Where they Boomers got their name.

Generational marketing is a term that I picked up at the Chief Marketing Officer Institute earlier this year, and something Jonathan Fitzgarrald and I continue to toy with in terms of how this applies to legal marketing.

In short, generational marketing recognizes that the different generations make purchasing decisions in different ways from one another.

The different life phases we are in presently, coupled with our upbringing and societal norms, provide us with different perspective than those we follow, or those who follow us.

Roger Daltry is now 69. What happened to not trusting anyone over 30?

For example, I’m an earlier member of Generation X (born 1961 – 1981). I came of age during the Cold War.

I was raised by my Silent Generation parents (1925 – 1942), who came of age post-WWII. Only one of their five kids are a Baby Boomer (1943 – 1960). The rest of us are Gen-X.

And my parents were raised by their G.I. Generation parents (1901 – 1924), who grew up during, and were shaped by, the Great Depression.

One of the greatest challenges I face in the work place is working with the Millennial generation who were raised with technology at their fingertips (sometimes referred to as Gen Y; 1982 – 2000). The Baby Boomers really don’t get them at all.

Continue reading

I broke out of legal marketing, and it feels GREAT!!

(Image:Matthias Clamer/Stone+/Getty)

I broke out of my legal marketing industry bubble this week and have been attending the Chief Marketing Officer Institute in Vegas. For fun and comfort, I dragged along Adam Stock and Jonathan Fitzgarrald.

The CMO Institute has been a small and intimate, yet high-level and well-crafted event. Sure, there have been some misses from the podium, but, for the most part, my Curious George has been satisfied.

It’s been amazing, invigorating, eduational, and fun.

It’s encouraging,validating, and a bit frightening to realize we laugh at the same jokes: “Who’s department is seen as a cost center,” hahaha.

It’s been rewarding as I sat and brainstormed a challenge I had with CMOs from different industries and sectors and realized they had fresh solutions for me, and at other times validated my assumptions.

It’s been eye-opening to speak with my counterparts in the companies that my firm represents. Hello? Bueller? Bueller??? Makes sense. Right?? Enough GC Roundtables. I want to see CMO Rountables.

Not only did I make some new friends (Steve, Heather, you know I am talking about you), I found a new blog to follow Common Sense of Business.

Along with a couple products that I think could migrate easily into legal, Domo and Marketo, I also have some great content swirling around my head just waiting to be turned into blog posts, (must.write.before.I.forget).

I still have a few more sessions today before heading out to Chicago for the LMA Board meeting, where it’s supposed to be a high of 61* today, and a high of 19* on Thursday. What the hell is THAT??

I think I will bring a better me to Chicago (still bitching about the weather). A more passionate me (you guys are warned, lol). A more engaged me.

For my personal “marketing me,” I will continue to add non-legal marketing programs like the Chief Marketing Officer Institute, to my mix.

The intimacy of the event allowed me to quickly meet new colleagues, and have some insightful, funny and memorable conversations and experiences, bring back new ideas to help me do my job better, and some new friends.

Can’t beat that. Except for the LMA Annual Conference coming up in April.

Jonathan and I have been tweeting at #CMOInstitute if you’d like to follow along today, or get an idea of what we’ve been experiencing and capturing over the past couple days.

Legal Marketing. Where to begin???

It’s summer. People are on vacation, and for those of us who are not, we have either taken advantage of the quiet, or are panicking and wondering “will the phone ever ring again?”

The news is not good out there. Markets are crashing. Questions about double-dipping recessions. Riots in the streets.

Didn’t we just get through all of this? Wasn’t the economic outlook looking up as of late?

Now is not the time to pull the covers up over your head. Now is the time for those who are “panicking” to take advantage of those who are, well, taking advantage of the quiet and might have a calmer perspective and outlook.

But where to begin? As Dorothy was shown in the Wizard of Oz, every path has a beginning, and when it comes to legal marketing and business development I like to begin with brainstorming.

Brainstorming is great. It’s fun. There are no wrong answers.

You get to throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks.

You get to come up with 30 ideas, knowing you’ll only implement one or two.

There’s nothing better to pull you out of the morass of what cannot be then thinking about all the things that can be.

Brainstorming can entail the hiring of a consultant, and the use of the large conference room for the day. Or it can be on-the-fly with a friend. And everything in between.

I had a great brainstorming session with my college roommate yesterday. While back in college our brainstorming was most likely limited to which club we should start our hopping at, yesterday we spent an hour discussing her legal practice, the economy and where she can make an impact for her firm. Husbands, kids and families were a footnote.

She now gets to take what she got out of our brainstorming session back to her partners and look really smart. She has ideas. She has a perspective. She has the beginning of a marketing plan. She has some spaghetti.

If you’re not sure where to begin, start with a brainstorming session with a friend on the phone, or walk down the hall to a trusted colleague and shut the door.

Then go and brainstorm with someone outside your practice area, perhaps a colleague on a different floor.

Then brainstorm with your colleagues within your practice. Partners. Associates. The, ahem, marketing liaison for your practice group.

Varying opinions count. Outside perspectives are valuable. Write things down. When the right “ideas” come together, you have the beginning of a plan. Put some “to dos” and deadlines next to those ideas, with measurable outcomes, and you have a marketing plan.

If nothing else comes out of this, you’ve pulled those covers back and had a peek at what’s going on outside of your realm. And while it might appear scary and uncertain, you now have some actions you can take to control your destiny (until the next holiday break).

Another Piece of Technology Bites the Dust

RIP. 1870-2011

Way back when I went off to college, my mother bought me a new dictionary, a new thesaurus and a brand new Brother electric typewriter.

For you younger Gen-Xers, and Millennials, we didn’t go off to college with computers, laptops or iPads. We were happy to just have a typewriter with the auto-correct tape installed.

Yes, personal computers were around in the mid-80s, especially at UCSD which I attended, but they appeared to be limited to the EECS-GEEKS.

We writers still used paper and pen, and tapped-tapped-tapped out our 10-page papers, double-spaced, on electric typewrites, sometimes using carbon paper to make that extra copy.

It wasn’t until my senior year that one of my roommates got a home computer that appeared to be the size of HAL. No one wanted to go near the thing. It was too imposing.

I don’t know what became of my Brother typewriter after college. It followed me around for a few years, but soon gave way to my first home computer.

But I became a bit nostalgic yesterday to read in the elevator that only 200 typewriters remain on the factory shelves, ready to be shipped out and sold. Production ended in 2009, but it has taken until now to sell off the stock.

As I rode in the elevator, I was remembering the late nights spent typing out papers. My college boyfriend and I were both writers, and we would use that time to edit one another’s writing, to discuss the themes and characters of our papers. It’s a magical memory for me.

Then the elevator doors opened, and I hopped into another elevator to make my way up to my office on the 47th floor, all the while checking my e-mail, accepting a couple new LinkedIn connections, and reading some comments on my Facebook page.  I grabbed a cup of coffee, fired up my two computers and my day was off and running.

I used Open Table to make lunch reservations (no need to call around and find out if the restaurant had any openings). I listened to my favorite band‘s new album that I prepurchased and downloaded via iTunes. It had dropped that morning and was waiting for me when I synced my iPhone.

While drinking my coffee, I checked the delivery status of my concert tickets for said band (turns out they’re on will-call). I caught a notice on Facebook that Prince (who has no website, but that’s for a different post) has another set of tickets going on sale this morning. I checked my bank statement after a long weekend away, and transferred money from one account to another. All of which took me a few minutes … and I never picked up the phone.

During my day, I confirmed the details for a client dinner, e-mailed out logos for a conference we’re sponsoring, and reviewed the design for the firm’s newest blog.

The only “blast from the past” I had was getting a fax. Probably the third fax I’ve received since starting at my firm in 2007. I signed it, scanned it, and emailed it back to the original sender.

I completely understand the comfort and security of old technology, and the old way of doing things, and missing the pleasantness of this or that.

But it’s really nice to be able to zip through my to do list with a smart phone while on an elevator, approve documents while standing in line at Disneyland with my kids, or troubleshoot a situation on the East Coast before I take a shower in the morning.

I am sure that current technologies that we are marveling at will die off as well, replaced by something newer and more advanced, and we’ll feel nostalgic for those too.

Will the laptop be replaced by the tablet? Proskauer Rose is issuing iPads to all of their attorneys. I believe the business card is in the midst of an evolutionary transition. QR codes are now being introduced on law firm business cards, but will they eventually lead to the demise of the brochure or the physical business card itself? Time will tell.

As I ran out for lunch yesterday, I grabbed a couple business cards. This was my first time meeting with Faith Pincus live (we “met” when I live-Tweeted a webinar she was leading for Lexblog).

While dining, we realized that exchanging business cards was not necessary. We already had one another’s contact information. We connected on LinkedIn immediately upon making our original connection.

This experience is becoming more common for me. I’ll still carry business cards, but I rarely need to exchange them anymore.

We can hold onto the old technologies. They are safe. But as the next generation graduates college and law school and join the ranks of the business world,  eventually become the hiring client, we — the legal services provider — need to meet them in their technology comfort zones.

Things that marveled me as a youth are now so obsolete that my kids have no awareness of them at all.

All of this became telling to me as I yelled to my daughter to grab her Walkman as we were rushing out of the house. With a bewildered look on her face she responded, “What’s a Walkman” <<sigh>>

And just last week my 8-year old brought me a cassette tape that she found in the house. She was worried that it was something incredibly important, although she didn’t know what it was.

For Judgment Day, we streamed Terminator via Wii and Netflix. My 11-year old shouted out: “Is that a Walkman?” while pointing at Sarah Connor’s roommate.

And while I miss the MTV of my youth (when they actually played videos), YouTube allows me to share my favorite songs and videos. From The Airborne Toxic EventChanging.

Is the Business Card Dead??

In this new age of Twitter and LinkedIn, I’m wondering: Is the business card dead?

When I think about it, I hardly ever carry a business card these days, and, when I do, it’s usually quite purposeful (I’m going to a conference and I need cards to win prizes in the exhibit hall).

Usually, when I meet someone professionally, we pull out our smartphones and connect on LinkedIn, or follow one another on Twitter. And I am not alone in this experience.

Jay Shepard (@Jayshep) writes about his recent experience at the ABA Techshow on Above the Law, Small Firms, Big Lawyers: Twitter and Business Cards at the ABA TechShow.

When these lawyers weren’t listening to the dozens of cutting-edge seminars or browsing the exhibitors’ booths, they were making new friends and new professional connections. But instead of exchanging business cards, many of the attendees were trading Twitter handles — their online identities that begin with the @ symbol. (I’m @jayshep.) Massachusetts lawyer Gabriel Cheong (@gabrielcheong) told me that by the end of the conference, he had collected exactly zero business cards. (I immediately gave him one of mine. #irony) Instead of accumulating two-by-three-and-a-half-inch scraps of cardstock, he typed their Twitter names directly into his iPhone. (And I doubt anyone actually said, “Uh, I’m not on the Twitter.”) Molly McDonough (@Molly_McDonough), online editor at the ABA Journal, tweeted at the end of the conference: “For first time, I didn’t collect any biz cards at #abatechshow. Just made note of names and followed on Twitter.” Others retweeted (quoted) her tweet with approval.

Ironically, Jay’s experience, and the experience of others at the ABA Techshow, is no different than what we’ve been experiencing on the marketing side of the industry.


People also used Twitter to arrange impromptu get-togethers in and around the conference. If you wanted to know where people were hanging out, a quick Twitter search told you.

This quote reminded me of a recent post by Lindsay Griffith’s (@lindsaygriffith), How I love Twitter, Let me Count the Ways.


Over the last three years, I’ve developed a network of LMA friends and colleagues through Twitter – our online conversations happen on a regular basis throughout the year, both about professional and personal topics …. As a result, we’re talking before the conference and making plans, we’re talking during the conference – about the sessions, about meeting for meals, about meeting those on Twitter we don’t know in person yet, about where we’re sitting, what we’re thinking, the questions we might have – and we’re talking after the conference – sharing posts, sharing articles, continuing the new and old relationships and friendships we’ve found in LMA.


And most importantly, attendees began conversations with each other, many of which are likely to develop into relationships — as professional friendships, resources, or referral sources. Instead of ending up with a pile of business cards that end up in your desk drawer along with vague aspirations of “keeping in touch,” the Twitter connections directly start that process.


Through Twitter, I’ve met marketing professionals at all different levels – some new to legal marketing, some with years of marketing experience – and they inspire me, introduce me to other people in the industry, help me on projects, ask and answer questions, and make me feel cherished and supported.


This week in Chicago, I picked up about 50 new Twitter followers, and I began following about that many as well. And it’s not about keeping score; the point isn’t having a certain number of followers. It’s about making 50 new connections: new friends with whom I ate and drank and chatted, and new potential avenues for growing my business.


So I’m grateful to Twitter for enriching my conference experience – I’ve gained professional colleagues (as someone who works alone most of the time, that is invaluable), but I’ve also gained lifelong friends. Some people may still not understand Twitter or think it valuable, but it can really enrich a conference experience, and make your membership in an organization incredibly worthwhile and rewarding.

Twitter, for me, is about identifying people in a crowded room that I want to talk to. I didn’t need to connect with 1000 legal marketing professionals last week … but I easily found the people I needed to meet, and they were usually broadcasting loud and clear via their social networks.

I’ve broadened and deepened relationships I have identified on Twitter, by inviting many of these people into my inner-circle via my personal Facebook.

I use the social media tools available to me to reach out and connect on a daily basis, either personally or professionally. I know to whom I can turn when I need to brainstorm an idea, get a referral, celebrate or commiserate.

So, is the business card dead??

In it’s current incarnation, yes.

I see the professional business card becoming a beacon to connect, a calling card inviting you to join the holders personal network.

It won’t include a list of offices the holder has never visited (and that are constantly changing, and thereby requiring a new print job every few months), and the receiver doesn’t care about. But it will be personal to the user.

In addition to the firm’s website and office location, it will include the user’s personal Twitter, LinkedIn, blog url, Facebook page (business or personal), email and phone number (cell phone, preferably, for texting).

The LMA Bloggers: A recap of articles

For those who attended the Legal Marketing Association‘s annual conference in Orlando last week, it was an incredible few days of education, networking and camaraderie. Perhaps it was the location, or maybe there is truly a sense of “recovery” from the recession, but the mood was light, up beat, ENERGETIC.

Many of us took to our Twitter accounts to document our experiences. You can still read those here.

And then there were the LMA Bloggers. Here’s a quick recap of our posts to date.

Heather Morse, The Legal Watercooler

The Legal WatercoolerHeather Morse

Jonathan Fitzgarrald - Bad for the Brand

Bad for the Brand, Jonathan Fitzgarrald

Laura Gutierrez - Duets Blog

Duets Blog, Laura Gutierrez

The Hubbard Perspective, Hubbard One

Larry Bodine - LawMarketing Blog

LawMarketing Blog, Larry Bodine

Cheryl Bame - Legal PR Advice

Legal PR Advice, Cheryl Bame

Tom Matte - The Matte Pad

The Matte Pad, Tom Matte

Nancy Myrland - Myrland Marketing

Myrland Marketing, Nancy Myrland

Russell Lawson - Progressive Marketing Blog

Progressive Marketing Blog, Russell Lawson

Kevin O

Real Lawyers Have Blogs, Kevin O’Keefe

Lindsay Griffiths - Zen and the Art of Legal Networking

Zen & The Art of Legal Networks, Lindsay Griffiths

We’re all creative people … even the lawyers

Jeff Williford (courtesy of Lindsay Griffiths)

At the Disney Institute, presentation at LMA last week, Jeff Williford talked about creativity.

It’s easy for us to point and say, “Well, of course everyone who works for Disney is creative.”

However, Jeff challenged us to look at our own creativity.

We’re all creative people … even the lawyers amongst us.

Walt Disney once said:

Every child is born blessed with a vivid imagination. But just as a muscle grows flabby with disuse so the bright imagination of a child pales in later years if he ceases to exercise it.

When we were little children, our parents could give us a box of 64 Crayola Crayons and a sheet of white paper, and we would create magic. A box of mismatched Legos would keep us entertained for hours.

Somewhere along our paths, coloring books replaced those plain sheets of paper, and we were encouraged to “stay within the lines.” Legos were introduced in kits with full instructions on how to build a Millennium Falcon.

Over time, as we started school, and began to grow up, our creative instincts were pushed aside. We started to fall in line, coloring in the lines, with all the other kids.

New and in the Box - going for $1500 on eBay

Jeff’s challenge to us last week to go to our next meeting and take notes with a crayon. I don’t know if I will go that far, but I hear what he is saying.

We enter meetings with a fixed way of viewing the problem or challenge. We look to others in the room to validate us.

We need to remove the lines, the borders, the proper order of things, and look to the endless possibilities available to us.

If you think about it, we’re all being paid, from marketing director to lawyer, for our creativity:

  • How do we see the problem?
  • What are the solutions we can provide?
  • What are the steps we can take?

Our solutions might not be in 64 magical colors, but they certainly should not be limited to just black and white.

There’s MORE at LMA

Are you getting excited? The Legal Marketing Association’s Annual Conference kicks off in just one week.

I know many of you are going through the online materials, flipping through the agenda, trying to decide which sessions to attend. Just remember, there’s MORE at LMA.

The MORE sessions (Mentoring Opportunities with Real-life Experts) are round-table discussions facilitated by leading LMA members.

As a member of the conference committee, I had the pleasure, with Catherine Alman MacDonagh, to help coordinate these sessions and I hope you check them out:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011 – Conference Day Two

10:45a.m.-12:00 p.m.

  • ABA 20/20 Commission and State Bar Developments
  • Avoiding Ethical Pitfalls – Examining Ethics-related and Regulation Issues
    • What are the top legal ethics mistakes that fall through the cracks? Are you aware of the importance of conflict checks? What are the ethics involved in social media, multi-jurisdictional practices, and offices that cross state boundaries? Join this roundtable discussion to find out, in addition to discussing recent court decisions in legal ethics cases and what they mean for you.
    • Facilitator: Russell Lawson, Sands Anderson
  • Branching Out – Explore Legal Marketing Career Paths
    • Uncover potential legal marketing career paths, and take this opportunity to meet a mentor/match make with LMA’s finest to help you transition into your new position/career.
    • Facilitator: Roberta Montafia
  • Confessions of a Legal Marketer – the Clean Slate Table
    • Own up to your legal marketing mistakes in a ‘safe’ environment – hear others ‘horror stories’ to know that you’re not alone and it’s OK to move on.
    • Facilitator Megan McKeon, McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP
  • Ways in which to Collaborate with the ACC Value Challenge
    • Explore the value proposition of value based billing and AFAs, and ways in which your firm can become a supporting organization of the ACC Value Challenge.
    • Facilitator: Felice Wagner, Sutherland
  • Convergence of Knowledge Management and Business Intelligence
    • As content continues to grow exponentially in the public domain and is increasingly merged with proprietary content, a need to effectively harness, manage, and act on this information will gain greater importance.  More and more, legal professionals that perform the function of business intelligence and business development are being asked to find actionable insights from a wide array of different sources. Knowledge Management can, and will, play an increasing role in ensuring that these folks are finding the actionable information that they need to achieve their business and practice objectives.
    • Facilitator: Peter J. Ozolin, Manzama
  • 1:45-3:00 p.m.

  • Top Tips for Marketing on a Shoe String
    • How do you continue to market without a budget? It is possible. Participate in this roundtable to share and learn marketing and business development ideas with little to no budget that bring big rewards.
    • Facilitator: Adam Stock, Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP
  • What’s next for the Legal industry?
    • The recession is almost over, now what? What practices are now on the rise? If the pyramid is out, and everything in the legal industry is shifting, what business models are now at play? This thought-provoking discussion will get you thinking about the implications surrounding the 21st century legal business model.
    • Facilitator: Maggie Watkins, Best Best & Krieger LLP
  • How do you Transition a Lawyer from a Hot Practice when their Practice has run cold?
    • Learn ways in which you, as a legal marketer, can play a part in allocating resources appropriately, so when a practice group runs cold, you’re prepared to help identify and transition a partner, using their current expertise to identify and renew their practice.
    • Facilitator: Tracy LaLonde, Akina
  • Adding a Value Proposition to your Marketing Department
    • As the structure of today’s law firms changes, so too does the look and feel of today’s legal marketing departments, and the way in which marketing and business development work together. Learn how you can add service standards to your marketing department, by recognizing your firm’s culture and how you should work within it as opposed to allowing it to impede you and your priority projects.
    • Facilitator: Kevin McMurdo, Perkins Coie
  • Quick Facilitation Tips to make you more Effective in your Day
    • There are many quick tips and ideas you should be adding to your tool box to make you more effective in your day to day functions and to increase your success rate with selling ideas. Learn them here!
    • Facilitator Beth Cuzzone, Goulston & Storrs
  • Ways in which to have Better Relationships with your Vendors
    • Vendors can be your best resources. Do you have the relationship you need for maximum support and access to critical information? How do you even frame a conversation with a vendor to ensure you get what you want from it?
    • Facilitator: Tim Corcoran, Thomson Reuters

Narrow your niche and widen your market

Contrary to some perceptions, marketing isn’t about throwing your message out to the broadest group of people and hoping something sticks.

To me, where professional service marketing is concerned, which legal is a part of, targeted and niche marketing is one of the most effective approaches.

For instance, it’s hard to market a general litigation, IP practice or corporate practice. It is much easier to market a construction defects, medical device practice or emerging technology practice. The target is narrowed, and you can then broaden your efforts and grow your visibility within that segment.

I am in NO WAY saying limit yourself to one segment or industry, or that this is the ONLY way to market. It’s just one way of making rain.

At a prior firm I had a rainmaker in the corporate department who always marketed to three industries: One that was red-hot right now, one that was on it’s way out, and one on it’s way up. While managing his red-hot practice, he was learning about and making connections with the up-and-coming industry, while winding things down with that once hot, but not so much now, industry.

This partner was one of several rainmakers within the firm, each one with a different way of making rain that worked for him or her.

Cordell Parvin writes about this in his post today, Lawyer Marketing Key Point: Narrow Your Client Base and Widen Your Visibility.

As you know, I began my client development efforts as a commercial litigator. I struggled to figure out how I could market myself. I was flailing away marketing to everyone. Unfortunately for me, there were several older and better known commercial litigators in my home town.

I changed my focus and narrowed my target market to highway and transportation construction contractors. It was by far the most important decision I made in my career. I actually widened my practice, to include contracts and every day advice. I narrowed my client base so I could be more valuable as a trusted advisor.

Cordell then runs through a few examples of helping his clients narrow their niche before concluding:

So, if you are marketing to everyone and not finding any success, you can narrow your focus to a smaller group, find a niche practice, or continue marketing to a wider audience. Whatever approach, use the tools, like blogging to widen your visibility. These are examples demonstrating there is more than one way to make rain.

So, if you’re tired of throwing spaghetti up against the wall, hoping something sticks, you might want to try narrowing your niche.


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