M(erger) – Minus 22 Days: Can’t a girl catch a break around here?

I went to bed last night so confused. It felt like Wednesday, but, no, it was only Monday night. Something tells me this is going to be a long week. Not only do we have to integrate the two firms, but I have homework for my leadership class (assignment due tomorrow), and I found out last night that my Girl Scout neighborhood treasury job just doubled my work load.Yeah to being a volunteer.

Seriously. Can’t a girl catch a break around here? Oh, and it’s Babe Ruth Bobble-head night at Dodger Stadium. I really want to go, but it’s a school night. The Sports Dude will be working the game. It feels like I haven’t seen him awake in a week  … thank goodness the team hits the road for about 10 days starting tomorrow. We’re actually going to catch them at Wrigley Stadium next week. Go Blue!

So here we go. Twenty-two more days until the merger. What’s on tap today?

  • Yikes. Can’t believe it’s been that long since I updated that brochure. Well, nothing like merging to get you to update some of your older collateral pieces.
  • Homework assignment (write my eulogy) done.
  • Need to figure out how travel and expenses will work as of October 1.
  • Booking flights for my October travel.
  • Yoga. From the cramped muscles I have right now, I need more yoga, not less.
  • Where is Marty? I need him to sign off on his project.
  • Wonder what my new title is going to be?
  • Time to put the new tagline to bed and get the new collateral and business cards to print.
  • Need to integrate the two employment law blogs. Time to bring some more teams together.
  • Need to pull our diversity stats for the overall firm report. Luckily, I do have that … just need to update.
  • Met with my counterpart from the other firm on new materials for joint client visits. Need to get him our collateral on the group so we can create a new piece.

Tip: Before merging documents clean them up. Now’s the time to update the numbers, information, representative cases, etc. It’s also a great time to clean out your files. Dump the old and stale.

M(erger) – Minus 23 Days: Time to start integrating

I seriously need a 3-day weekend every weekend. But, here it is, a rainy, hot, humid day in L.A. Who in L.A. has a work wardrobe for this? Oh, well, quality problems.

It’s Monday, and we have three weeks and two days until the merger goes live. So here’s what things look like here. (oh, if I didn’t say so, the bullets are in reverse order. The bottom bullet was the first thing I did today.)

  • OMG. I think I finished Marty’s project.
  • Another new project — BD this time — time to prep some materials and go out and meet the clients.
  • Need to update logos for conferences we’re sponsoring next year.
  • Nothing like a new project. Figured out a mailing we can send to Marty’s mailing list for October 1. Staying top of mind!
  • Just got our next assignments from LexisNexis for the California Insurance Law & Practice chapters. Great project to coordinate with attorneys from both firms.
  • Yeah, still not finished with Marty’s project. But getting there.

Look at that. 4:58 and I think I am done for the day, which is good as I have to head off to the Girl Scout Leader’s meeting. Yeah. We’ll be selling stuff soon. Can I interest you in some dark chocolate, salted caramel candies?

Tip: Look for projects that you normally do and rather then team attorneys up down the hall, team attorneys up from the two merging firms. Great way to spread the work, and build new relationships.


The best business advice I ever got, I got from Joan Rivers

Farewell Joan, from this "Joan Ranger"

Farewell Joan, from this “Joan Ranger”

I was so sad yesterday at the passing of Joan Rivers. I remember listening to her comedy albums (yeah, I’m that old) in high school and laughing at jokes that I could relate to — “slide down please” — because they were directed at me, a girl.

I’ve written before about the worst advice I ever got — “Do a good job, Heather, and they will notice you” — which resulted in me being overlooked for a promotion. Needless to say, this lead me to becoming very proactive marketing me in my career.

I read this essay by Ms. Rivers today, Joan Rivers: Why Johnny Carson “Never Ever Spoke to Me Again,” and I got it: Continue reading

M(erger)-minus 26 days: It’s Friday!

It’s Friday. A full week and a day since the vote. I’m starting to look at my decisions with October 1 in mind and the impact they will have. And the questions keep coming:

How will we do this or that? Do we need approval to do this? How do we get approval? Will we get this, or have that by October 1? When will this shift over to the new system? And whose system for what? And do they wear jeans on Friday?

So many questions. But it’s Friday.

  • Just invited myself to lunch over at the Hinshaw West LA office. Wow. We’re going to have fun. Lots of good energy and excitement.
  • Really am going to finish Marty’s project today. Really.
  • More bios to update.
  • Extend my October LMA Leaders’ Conference trip to include time in the Chicago office. Time to start meeting people.

Tip: Don’t wait to be invited to attorney events. Invite yourself and go. They not only want you there, they need you there. They just might realize it. This is not the time to be shy.

M(erger)-minus 27 days: Have you seen my normal?

A week ago today we were scrambling in preparation of the merger vote to take place that afternoon in both firms.

Today I think we’re all looking for our normal. New normal. Old normal. The familiar. What’s going to stay the same? What’s changing? What’s my new email address and will the old one still work? We need new key cards. Can I finally get a new picture for my key card? Better yet, can I just use my current portrait? My hair looks really good there.

On tap for today:

  • Going.To.Finish.Marty’s.Project.
  • Bios. Bios. Bios. Yes, they are responding.
  • Going to be formally introduced to the marketing team at Hinshaw. It’s been since my Pillsbury days that I was a part of a full “team.” I am definitely looking forward to this.

Just got a text from the kid. Off to urgent care we go.

Update: Acute bronchial spasm. She’s fine. And there just really is never a dull moment, is there?

M(erger)-minus 28 days: What now?

The announcements, press releases, and blogs posts are all out on the merger.

Calls are coming in from clients, reporters, and friends (really, folks, we are not moving to Chicago, and my job status is fine).

So what to do today now that things have calmed down a bit? I mean, besides the “work as usual” work.

  • Send memo to attorneys to update bios now, don’t wait until they are uploaded to Hinshaw website.
  • Checking stats, and tracking media stories.
  • Cleaning my desk of all Phase 1 (per-announcement) projects.
  • Setting up my Phase 2 (announcement to October 1) projects.
  • Cleaning out my in-box, and updating my “Get it Done” lists. What fell threw the cracks?
  • Bringing Marty’s project from the back-burner back to the front.

Other then that? Lawyers want to practice law, and this marketer wants to start marketing. But first things first. Finish Marty’s project. Oh, and write a blog post on something other than the merger. Ack. My leadership class. I have homework. And yoga. I am not missing yoga today.

A heather by any other name

fields of heatherOne of the reasons I started getting interesting in what we now call social media was if you Googled my name back in 2008 all these other Heather Milligans (my name back then) came up and I was lost in the field.

Within a few weeks of establishing my digital footprint, I started to rise in the Google rankings. Eventually solidifying my position, and elbowing out all those other Heather Milligans, and eventually the other Heather Morses.

It was pretty easy to do both. But will what worked then work now? There are a lot more people and more ways to get into the Google search result space.

My friend John M. Byrne wrote today about “Identity Theft: Sharing a Name With Someone (Kinda) Famous.” John is not only competing with all the famous John Byrnes out there, but now his 93-year old grandfather has joined LinkedIn, causing the LME to have some fun at his expense.

John has some great suggestions around creating and sharing content, all of which will work.

I’ll add a few other tips to aid the searcher when trying to narrow down the search results to find you:

  1. Be consistent across your social media platforms with your brand. The Sports Dude shares his name with another entertainment kinda guy: a historical documentary maker. So we always include his middle initial in everything.
  2. Use keywords in everything you post. For the Sports Dude, that includes making sure the keywords in his profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and his blog include references to “sports” “journalist” “broadcast journalist,” etc.
  3. Link to the right content. When blogging, or on Twitter, make sure you are linking to and retweeting the content that reinforces your brand. It will make it easier for people to find you, or confirm that you are the you they want to know.
  4. Guest blog on other blogs. That will help raise awareness, create links, and, once again, put out some bread crumbs to guide people to the real you.

You have to realize, the more common the name, or the more famous the name, the more you have to work at it. It doesn’t have to be difficult, don’t think too hard about it, just be consistent.

If you have found other helpful tips, please share them in the comments section below.

Photo Credit: Simon Herrod on Flickr


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