Five Years with Blattel Communications: Michael Bond

April 27, 2015 at 2:48 pm Leave a comment

Over the past 25 years, Blattel Communications has been fortunate to maintain and build not only long-term relationships with our clients, but also with our senior professionals. In the next few months, we invite you to hear their stories – covering tenures from five years to 25 years.

Five Years with Blattel Communications: Michael Bond

How Did You Come to Blattel Communications?

I first was exposed to Blattel Communications while working as an in-house marketer at a mid-size law firm. Fast forward several years and several in-house stints, and I began doing project work for the agency. I found I had a passion for media work and looked for ways, even relatively minor, to add value. For instance, I dusted off the mothballed coffeemaker (discarded due to a lack of interest in cleaning it each night) and began making coffee each morning. (The subsequent uptick in productivity was labeled “purely coincidental.”)

Legal marketing is, quite literally, in my blood. My family could start their own law firm, if they so desired. My father, sister and brother are all attorneys. Legal marketing was the second-career for my father, a Workers’ Compensation attorney who excelled at developing business to the point where he organically became the firm’s go-to marketer and, later, first Chief Marketing Officer.

I entered legal marketing in 2005, fresh out of college and following three summer internships at law firms of varying sizes. What I found, more than anything, is an industry that struggles to identify what marketing is and why it is so vital. Law firms are pillars of the business community, and yet they are often relegated to the back pages of the business section – or ignored entirely. Through no fault of their own, firms are hamstrung in terms of how they can create empowered sales and marketing functions since “non-attorneys” cannot serve as equity members (except in Washington, D.C.). This means oftentimes attorneys who are good at generating business are asked to helm firms and share their “secret sauce” – for many a difficult and frustrating task.

I continue to find Blattel Communications services and my work here extremely appealing and vital. It is a distinct advantage to sit outside firm walls and see a broad swatch of the overall industry. Our amazing and deep internal industry knowledge base is a strength our team’s draw upon and a facet our clients rely on. We work with numerous law firms and other professional services companies – accounting, architecture, banking, real estate and construction – arming our professionals with the insight of our clients’ clients. We help firms create winning marketing, business development and communication campaigns by serving as a strategic outside partner. Our twin goals are to cultivate meaningful, business development-focused opportunities – often via the media – and to enable our clients to allocate their internal resources effectively so they can focus on their clients and build their books of business.

What Makes Blattel Communications Special?

Blattel Communications is defined by leadership, collegiality and drive. At the time the agency was founded – 25 years ago – the legal industry’s marketing efforts were a fraction of what we see today. Ellen Blattel’s sheer tenacity and belief in the industry’s evolution is remarkable and built the foundation for Blattel Communications’  culture. Ours is an environment where the entire team is deeply devoted to each other and the agency’s clients. We pride ourselves on knowing the news of the day, the industries we serve and – most importantly – the people with whom we interact on a day-to-day basis. We’re in the relationship business, and our industry-leading client longevity backs up this point.

Another key differentiator for the agency, and a strategic advantage for its members and its clients, is that we do not embrace a hierarchical structure wherein you hear only occasionally from the agency’s principals. We frequently use the phrase “senior professionals,” and our account structure and personnel tenure evidence the “senior” counsel clients receive. This accessibility leads to seamless knowledge-sharing, active mentoring and a level of responsiveness that has consistently earned positive feedback from clients and industry publications.

Where is Blattel Communications Headed?

Blattel Communications evolves based on the needs of our clients and the direction of the marketplace. The continuum of progress has taken us from printed and snail-mailed press releases to managing corporate social media accounts and providing analytical data.

Saying we are a “PR agency” is a complete misnomer. We are a scalable, hybrid business development, marketing and communications partner. In the process of aligning the right resources and tools for each client, we mix and match our capabilities and leverage the strengths of our team members. These build-on offerings now include website evaluation and copywriting, content marketing, social media, media relations, crisis communication and litigation support.

We are not immune or insulated – nor are our clients – from the shifting media landscape and its consequences. We are increasingly finding online-only or slimmed-down/less-frequently printed publications taking the place of the stack of periodicals that used to fill our “library.” The distinction between being “in” the paper versus “on” the website means less and less and is even reversing. And, we are acutely aware that our clients’ content is now competing for mindshare among a sea of digital devices and distractions – a challenge we readily embrace.

At Blattel Communications, the past really is epilogue. We continue to help our clients tell great stories, highlight their industry-leading thought leadership and find the best way – in terms of effectiveness and efficiency – to reach their clients and potential clients.

Much has changed, even in the five years I have been with the agency. However, the one constant is our dedication to doing the heavy-lifting needed every day to help our clients succeed. Our goal, and perhaps the reason for our long-term relationships internally and externally, is to become seamless extensions of our clients’ marketing and business development teams. It’s something we never lose focus on. And, it’s what has made these past five years so enjoyable.

Michael Bond

Entry filed under: Marketing, Public Relations.

Rethinking Blogs Ten Years with Blattel Communications: Melinda Hepp

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