The renowned founder of Jaffe PR, who died unexpectedly on November 21, 2012, would just laugh when people call him a visionary. But those familiar with this older, but not elder – let’s agree to say experienced – statesmen of law firm marketing know that Jay Jaffe was on the cutting edge for the past 30 years. It took complications from surgery to stop him in his tracks.
Although he rejected the moniker “father of legal marketing,” as some called him, there wasn’t much Jay hadn’t seen. And he continued to be amazed that the same questions still popped up three decades later: How much should law firms spend on marketing, how can firms get lawyers to take reputation management seriously and how do you measure ROI? The bottom line, Jay would say, is that many of these questions are only asked to delay action.
When he was not running the business he created, Jay was thinking about how to marry the latest technology with time-tested tactics to solve the problems facing lawyers and professionals everywhere. And, although he was in law marketing mode around the clock, he still had time to travel, collect art, play golf and keep in touch with almost everyone he encountered.
Jay’s father taught him the key to business success: You buy something for $2, sell it for $2 and are happy with your profit. This kind of uncommon common sense is what made Jay the leader of the Jaffe team, and is what will continue to fuel all of our efforts on behalf of the legal community and Jaffe PR. We think his perspectives on life, relationships, work and the world also continue to resonate.
“I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, ‘Where's the self-help section?’ She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.”
– George Carlin
What he’d have been doing if I weren’t at Jaffe PR:
Playing on the Senior Golf Tour or being a stand-up comic
Why he loved his job:
My job changed daily, almost hour-by-hour. It allowed me to do everything – everything – that I love to do. I should have been paying our clients for letting me do this. But not too much!
Traveling, looking at the sky out West, art, sports and people.
Edward R. Murrow.
Jay Bird, Jay Boy, Jaffe, Jaff, Stick.
What he thought about when he was in the shower:
I would be totally focused on getting in and out and onto the next “thing.” But every once in awhile, I’d get a brainstorm in the shower, and it was all I could do to get out of there fast enough to get it captured and expanded.
Where he did his best creative thinking:
Traveling, for sure. Getting out of my box helped me to think out of the box. Seeing all of the colors, smells, images, people and scenes of the world helped me expand my mind and look at my world through a different lens. Some people go to school and read books … I traveled and read books. I like my way.