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4 Reasons Why Visual Communication has a Big Impact

The use of visual communication continues to grow and it is happening in all mediums – newspapers, websites, social media, instruction manuals and emails. Whether it is images, animated GIFs or video, visual aids can produce higher engagement than regular texts.

Visual communication creates a more effective and meaningful message, helping content creators get their point across. Read these 4 reasons why visual communication is crucial and more impactful when delivering a message:

  • It saves time by relaying messages faster. Time is money, right? Getting your point across quickly is a huge benefit considering that readers often prefer to scan content rather than read word for word. The media landscape is filled with clutter and it is hard to acquire and retain the readers` attention, so keeping your material loaded with visuals is a surefire way to relay your message in less time. Studies have shown that we can get a sense of a visual scene in less than 1/10 of a second and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text!
  • Visual communication ensures that a clear, unified message is delivered. In the business world of communication, less room for interpretation is what you want. It is important that all readers interpret a similar meaning, otherwise it can result in waste of time and confusion. Text-heavy content leaves much to imagination and it works for novels and pleasure reading, but not for business. Short, simple videos or animated GIFs are a great way to make sure everyone involved is on the same page.
  • Visual Communication helps to provide a shared, consistent experience. Branding is an important part of delivering a consistent experience with visuals. Marketing activity is more effective if organizations define brand colors, logos, font, graphics, icons and imagery that will pair with the company`s voice and tone. It will not only make your brand recognizable and consistent, but it will also build brand awareness!
  • Visual Communication results in better retention of the information. Considering that images are directly deposited and stored into the long-tern memory, using visuals helps the audience remember the information more effectively. Studies have found that after 2 weeks, only 10-20% of text or spoken word is recalled, compared to 50% of visual content! Regardless of your communication topic or plan, retention is always something to aim for.

Bringing it all together, the benefits of visual communication are for both the sender and the receiver and it is crucial to an overall strategic communication plan.

Congratulations to Education to Career Network of North San Diego County

We love to brag about our clients.  And we especially love it when others brag about them. Last night, Education to Career Network, the leading provider of adult education courses and services in San Diego’s north county, received a FIRST PLACE from the San Diego Press Club for its student-focused website. Our design and content team launched the site in 2016 and work with each of the six of the member schools – Poway Adult School, Escondido Adult School, Vista Adult School, Ramona Adult School, San Marcos Adult School and Palomar College, to ensure the site is current and relevant for all students.


We are proud to work with such an important project, which serves thousands of students each year, and helps them to reach their educational and career goals through high-quality programs, pathways and services. And the best part? Most of the classes they offer or either low or NO FEE.


So, if you know someone over the age of 18 who is interested in getting their life on track, learning a new skill or wanting to explore new career and higher education options, have them visit ETCN at www.educationtocareer.net


Congrats you guys!

6 Best Tips for Getting Referrals for Your Small Law Firm

If you are a small firm lawyer looking to get more referrals, you know it can be a challenge. Since new client development is one of the main priorities for any law practice, referrals are lifeblood of most of successful law firms. Have you really leveraged your contacts including existing clients to do the marketing for you? Read those 6 tips for getting new referrals:

  1. Maintain your book of contacts. Documenting names of people you connect with is the first step. You never know who can be a good source of referral so be organized, maintain a list of contacts and spend some time to study it for the relationships that can generate leads. Make it a point to update your contacts on a regular basis.
  2. Motivate/Prompt. Eventually, you will have to ask for referrals and it is not a bad idea. Your referral sources don’t know that you need referrals so it is really important to maintain a good attorney-client relationship. That way, you can confidently request for referrals. For example: if your clients thank you for your service, you can prompt them to make a referral by communicating that the best way to show their gratitude would be to send you a referral.
  3. Focus on lawyer-client relationship. Do not focus only on legal representation, court hearing and legal billing. When dealing with a client, always remember they are your best referral sources. Trustful relationships are not developed overnight so focus on building a genuine, quality, and long-term relationship with your client. Remember: referrals are often made out of trust!
  4. Educate your referral sources. Sometimes they don’t know what you really do. Tell them the type of people and business you can help and also provide examples on what a good referral is.
  5. Follow up. Once you receive a referral be sure to make follow up calls with the prospects. Be confident and understand that now you are not making cold calls. You are already endorsed by someone who is willing to connect with you so don’t fail in making follow up calls.
  6. Thank your referrers. It can be as simple as picking up the phone and making a Thank you call or sending an e-mail with a Thank you note. Always remember to let them know that you really appreciate such referrals. Also, ask new clients how they came to know about your law firm. If the lead generation is by referral, express your appreciation.

3 Tips on How to Keep Your Writing Concise

In a profession where writing can take up most of the day’s work load, PR professionals can employ various strategies to keep their writing tight and active to convey their ideas more aptly.

Here are three tips on how to keep your writing more concise.

  1. Get rid of expletives. An expletive is an indirect phrase that only delays the writer’s point. Expletives include “There is,” “there are,” “there was,” and “there were,” as well as any of these phrases with it substituting for there. It is not necessary to every expletive you come across, but use them sparingly.


In most cases, eliminating the expletive and beginning with the subject will do, as in revision of “There are other steps a company can take before an economic downturn to protect against its impact” to “A company can take other steps before an economic downturn to protect against its impact.”


  1. Change adjectives to adverbs. One class of wordy wording often found in business writing is represented by such adjective-noun phrases as “on a daily basis,” which is easily replaced by the adverbial form of the adjective (which in this case is identical: daily).


Regarding similar usage, “This issue will be resolved on a case-by-case basis” is easily converted to “This issue will be resolved case by case.” (Again, the replacement is identical, though the hyphens are now no longer needed.)


  1. Avoid adjectives all together. Some adjectives and adverbs themselves are extraneous. Such qualifiers as currently and different almost never contribute to better comprehension.


For example, in “We are currently accepting applications,” the verb are clearly represents that acceptance of application is a current state, meaning that currently serves no useful purpose, and “These shirts come in seven different colors” provides no more information than “These shirts come in seven colors,” and different can therefore be omitted without negative consequences

How Lawyers Can Conduct Successful Pitch Meetings

Preparing adequately for pitch meetings it is not always a lawyers’ priority. Their busy schedule leaves them unprepared to address the real concerns of the clients and they end up talking too much about themselves. Here are the six steps of a successful pitch meeting:

Diagnose before you prescribe. Most lawyers are very proud of what they do as individuals, groups and as law firms. And they should be. They usually attended great schools, got excellent grades and mastered the practice of law until they achieved good results for their clients. However, a lawyer should never focus on his capabilities during a pitch meeting. Diagnosing before you prescribe means to address the problems that are keeping the client up at night and discussing possible solutions. A lawyer should talk about himself only after taking the time to focus on the client.

Research the potential client. Start early and do your research. This is the first step in preparing for a business development meeting with a potential client. You can find information about any company on the internet – via client`s web site, content searches, case-filing searches and your own lawyers.

Probe the potential client. Acquire additional information prior to the meeting and find out who will be participating. Call your potential client and ask about the company`s goals, culture, emerging challenges and legal needs. It will not only make a favorable impression but prepare you for a great meeting.

Prepare relevant materials. Use generic firm, group and biographic materials as supplemental materials to demonstrate how your firm has successfully solved problems for clients like them industries like theirs.

Focus conversation on the potential client. Ask specific questions about the potential client, its market, administrative structure, operations, business and legal challenges. Then, use the answers to generate follow-up questions. Make sure you understand their problems first and then switch gears and talk about your solution and “leave it all on the table.” Act as if the potential client has already hired you and provide advice of value that demonstrates exactly how you and your colleagues function as trusted advisers.

Follow up with the potential client. Do not wait around passively for the potential client to contact you. Try to leave the meeting with a specific next step and follow up with a schedule of regular contact to continue to build the relationship. Asking questions like “Can I call you in a week to see if you have any additional questions?” and sending thank you letters are both great follow-up strategies.

In other words, a business development meeting is not about you. Successful law-firm business developers know how to turn the spotlight away from themselves and shine it on the potential client.

Why is Advertising so important to business?

In the business world, sellers compete with one another all the time for the attention of buyers. It doesn’t matter if the goods and services provided by your company are a necessity or luxury; relying on a one-time announcement or word-of-mouth chatter is not the best way to keep a steady stream of customers. Read the reasons why a strong commitment to advertising is critical to make this competition effective:

  • Promotion

Whether it is an upcoming event, a new product line, a political campaign or an expansion of an existing platform of services, the primary objective of advertising is always to get the word out that you have something exciting to offer. Start off your content by identifying who, what, when and why and then choose what form your promotion will take. It can be anything from print ads, commercials, billboards, handbills or brochures. Learn about your audience and promote your brand in the most effective way.

  • Awareness

Advertising is not only about promoting your brand. It can also raise your target audience’s awareness of issues and educate them on how your products and services can be beneficial to that issue.

  • Comparisons

The competitive world provides your target audience with a lot of different options for the same type of product. Naturally, they will compare your brand to your competitors and advertising invites them to evaluate how your service measures up against others. Use your advertising campaign to inform your audience about your qualifications and advantages.

  • Retention

Remind your customers that you are still around and maintain a strong presence through regular ads, fliers, postcards, events and a dynamic website. This serves not only to attract new customers but also to create valuable long-term relationships.

  • Morale

Give your workers a sense of pride and emotional ownership when they tell people where they are working! An effective investment in an advertising plan keeps your business an active part of the conversational vocabulary and community buzz. In turn, it generates positive feelings and name recognition.

What is Legal Marketing Anyway?

It can refer to everything from public relation to cross-selling and advertising. It is a way to make your law firm brand more recognizable and to reach out to people who might potentially use your services.

Overall, legal marketing is tailored towards the specific clientele that a law firm is likely to work with. However, some attorneys hesitate to invest on it and they ask the following questions:

Is Marketing Worth the Hassle?

Since the legal marketing in the United States is huge, legal marketing will make you stand out. Thousands of new lawyers are entering the market every year so the field is really competitive. Therefore, the answer is: it is worth it!!

What are the latest and greatest legal marketing techniques?

Law firms used to be able to effectively advertise their services through local newspapers and fliers but now the legal marketing is changing. In order to establish brand recognition, firms across the United States are using innovative and new techniques such as:

Social Media Marketing: LinkedIn is currently the most popular social media platform for lawyers, with 57% of all law firms maintaining a presence on the platform. 35% of firms also use Facebook while 21% use Twitter. New customers can easily be reached through these social media platforms since they use them to discover new pages and engage with friends.

Maintaining a Web Presence: 70% of companies who maintain a web presence have generated new customers and cases through their website. By using content marketing, legal websites can drive traffic to their web page through search engines, attracting people who are looking for a very specific service in a specific area. Furthermore, social media can be complementary to the website, driving potential new customers to it. Studies have shown that 74% of people who visit a law firm`s website plan to contact the site and take action.

Local Commentary Through Social Media: For smaller legal firms, providing web content and social media posts that relate to important local issues are great ways to raise your profile. Social media users will be happy to follow a law firm`s page if they are providing information about local efforts. These pages will make people familiar with your brand, and they will remember you when they require legal services.

Paid Advertising: it means having your branding and messages shown on websites related to legal services. If a person is researching the process of filing for divorce, advertisements relating to divorce lawyers in their local area will automatically appear. This is an extremely powerful and efficient tool for both national and regional law firms. Also, social media platforms also provide advertising services. For example, Facebook advertising allows companies to pay for advertisements to appear on the timelines of people of a certain demographic. Choose the age, location, profession and interests of the people you want to target and your image or video will appear on relevant timelines. It is an effective form of advertising that requires no middle man!

Where to invest your marketing budget?

Studies have shown that by 2018, most law firms will be allocating around 35% of their overall marketing budget to online advertising methods. Search engine marketing is also taking up most of the online marketing budget with videos and banner ads being the most popular form of advertising for law firms. Social media takes up around 15% of online marketing spending, though this is also expected to rise. Overall, it is safe to say that legal marketing is largely turning to the internet to get results.

How PR Pros Can Use Google Analytics’ Newest Feature: Intelligence

Google Analytics, a vital tool for any PR professional, has featured a new tool: Intelligence. Found in the upper-right hand corner, the new feature allows users to ask a question for GA to answer with a variety of answers.

This is a pretty big deal considering how overwhelming Google Analytics can be to new users, GA uses a large amount of dimension of metrics to provide comprehensive statistics.

According to the Google analytics website, you can also ask Intelligence questions about your data in everyday language. If you don’t want to analyze data in the context of your reports, or write formulas and code to query the raw data, you can simply ask Intelligence things like:

  • What’s the bounce rate trend for mobile in the US?
  • How many new users did I acquire via email last week?
  • Which channel had the highest revenue?


Intelligence can also answer more specific questions, whether about a certain group of users, time period, or region.

Below are six other types of questions PR pros can ask Intelligence to get answers about their Google Analytics quick.


Ask basic questions: How many new users did we get this week? Where is my traffic coming from?


Check performance: Which channel converted the best for [Goal X]?  Which landing pages with over 500 sessions have the worst bounce rates?


Chart trends: Trend of new users this month? Graph of sessions from Chicago vs Seattle in December?


Compare data for different values or time ranges: Conversion rate for referrals vs organic search? Average time on page for mobile vs desktop?


Ask about shares or percentages to understand significance:  What percent of sessions in the U.S. are from social? What share of sessions are from women?


Ask complex questions combining multiple phrases: How did share of new users compare in January for Firefox vs Chrome? Trend of new users this year vs last year.


How to make agency-client relationship last longer?

PR agencies that have a long-term relationship with clients are becoming more and more of a rarity. Not a lot of professionals can manage to keep their relationships alive and thrive for too much time.

Here are 5 tips to be a long-standing agency of record relationships:

  • Be honest with each other

Although sometimes it can be a little harmful and surprising, the real truth will keep your agency on your client’s map and radar screen. Clear expectations should be set from the beginning and both the agency and the client should tell the truth about their capabilities, limitations and passions.

If you don’t believe your agency can get the desired results, don’t talk yourself into the job. It will set your agency up to fail, waste the client`s budget and time and kill your reputation.

The key takeaway here is: when a PR pro fundamentally and thoroughly understands what the client is trying to achieve, both parties are positioned for success and the relationship will last a lot longer.

  • Always take risks

Although a lot of people think PR practice doesn’t involve much risk, there is an element of risk in all public relations activity. The word risk can be defined as the chance of something happening that will have an impact on objectives and it is measured in terms of likelihood and impact. Think of the risks to the organization inherent in a bad reputation, in controversial public issues, corporate crises, sponsorships turning bad, poor counsel to senior management, use of celebrities in marketing and in corporate events that go wrong.

However, the duo need to take some risks together in order to build a brand and gain consumer awareness so knowing how to manage those risks is a valuable skill. If the PR agency and the client create a good and effective communication channel, the risk will pay off and result in some good outcomes.

  • Respect each other

Everyone has different opinions and that is fine. If this difference is well managed, it will actually be a major key to elaborate creative marketing ideas. Listening to each other and respecting the other person`s idea and vision is the best way to deal with those tough situations. In order to create a brand that communicates something to people, your agency and your client should be able to have frank conversations and maybe step back, debate, assess it and come up with a better solution.

  • Be open to new ideas

Sometimes clients have crazy creative idea or business idea and will ask you to do something that you are maybe not used to. Be open to it, listen to it and take it into consideration. Being open to new ideas also means that the agency should be thinking of news ways to solve a client’s problems before they even anticipate needing it. The collaboration between you and your clients will build a relationship of trust.

  • Have one another`s backs

At some point, something is going to go wrong and pointing fingers does not help! During times of difficulties, it is important that both sides stand together and strive to a solution

PR Firms and Law Firms Go Hand in Hand

Although a lot of attorneys think PR is unnecessary and requires too much money, it can be a credible and useful tool to enhance business development and hiring efforts even in the law industry. Here is some fact-based reasoning that justifies PR’s potential:

  • PR assists law firms in maintaining and improving their images, further business development.
  • PR positions attorneys as leaders in key markets.
  • Attorneys and firms who are represented across the media as quoted resources or subject matter experts are perceived as more credible

Overall, the law industry is really competitive and the challenge is not just securing clients, but also keeping them. Public relations helps attorneys rise above that competitive noise paramount, building and extending a firm`s reputation, differentiation and expert thought-leadership. In addition, PR can also assist with:

Business development/increasing client revenue

Before being legal counselors, law firms are a business and it must make money to pay for paralegals, office staff, supplies, technology and copy houses. Attorneys need to ensure a steady stream of clients and they often research ways to increase billings and hourly rates. Therefore, showcase your firm`s expertise outside a courtroom is an optimal method of justifying this.

Improving hiring results

If a law firm wants to attract the brightest legal minds and obtain the most sought-after positions, it needs to earn public reputation. People need to see your firm as successful and high-profile in order for you to hire attorneys from the top law school grads. For this reason, a PR investment is a law firm`s secret weapon and it will elevate the firm`s profile and ensure participation in the most optimal event to procure greater mindshare.

In actuality, public relations and law firms share a lot of similarities: both professionals have to read, listen, write and prepare clients. Furthermore, they are both considered experts in matters that follow established rules and regulations. A critical first step for a law firm is to be aware that a relationship with a public relations firm is worthwhile. Then, they will learn that properly chosen PR support will not only deliver solid recommendations, but it will also educate firm members about how to successfully address everything to the media.