Anyone who knows him will tell you that Brian Tannebaum is an acquired taste, like red wine or strong cheese or being hit with leather implements by expensive strangers in the basements of brownstones. Or so I've heard.
One of the things that makes Brian an acquired taste is that he enjoys telling people what he thinks, as opposed to telling them things he thinks they'd like to hear or things that might make people like him, or at least not back away from him nervously. He's particularly frank about legal marketing, which tends to raise some hackles. Ever since Above the Law chose him instead of me to write a column, which is fine because I'm very busy with important things and it would have sucked anyway, Brian's been doing his best to bring religiosity to the fuzzy-wuzzies. He's been explaining to the law students and young lawyers that it's all fine and good that someone showed up at your firm because you popped up third in a Google search for LAWER STABBING INOCENT TAMPA, but you've got to be competent and serve clients to be anything but a well-SEOed hack.
This message is not always universally appreciated.
The other day Brian wrote what is, for him, a rather restrained piece exploring the vapidity of modern legal marketing blather. This annoyed an actual marketeer, Marc Romano of Ignyte, Inc., who wrote Brian a perfectly hilarious angry-entitled-marketeer letter. Brian has posted it here. Go read it.
It would be difficult to say what part is my favorite. It's like choosing a favorite child. But if forced, I'd probably choose this part . . .
I have limited time here. I have seven law firms that we're rebranding and several holiday parties to attend in the evening by past clients who simply want to thank us for putting them on a positive path. They are all thriving and focused on the future of their firms as opposed to Brian who is desperately defending the past.
. . . perhaps because it reminds me so much of the infamous John Fitzgerald Page, online dater extraordinaire:
I am a trainer on the side, in fact, I am heading to the gym in 26 minutes!
Why is Marc Romano so angry? I'm not sure. But I think it might be because his profession — modern legal marketing — depends upon a certain suspension of disbelief. It requires us not to laugh and point at the idea that the way to build a worthwhile successful practice is to embed key words and tweet on a consultant-approved schedule, as opposed to performing responsive, competent, dedicated work for clients we're capable of serving.
Brian laughs and points.
Secure people — people who don't have anything to be embarrassed about — generally don't get really upset when someone laughs and points and them. Just sayin'.
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