A legal PR and communications specialist for more than a decade, Kevin Aschenbrenner advises law firms of all sizes in North America and Europe regarding strategic media relations, crisis communications and PR 2.0.
Believing that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to law firm marketing, Kevin encourages clients to use a blend of public relations strategies: placing bylined articles in key legal and industry trade publications; giving media interviews; working with bloggers and other Web 2.0 influencers; and leveraging social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter. He helps law firms implement all of these in the context of a comprehensive public relations strategic plan that will support a firm’s overall branding and positioning in even the most competitive markets.
Kevin has found that the key to public relations success is telling the right story, at the right time, in the right way. Before coming to Jaffe, he was managing editor at ProfNet, a service of PR Newswire that matches reporters looking for sources with experts from colleges and universities, government agencies, nonprofits, and corporations. During his time at ProfNet, Kevin worked closely with reporters to help them craft their source requests to pin down the kinds of experts that would work for their stories. He also advised PR people on how best to pitch their expert sources to reporters. As a result, Kevin developed keen instincts regarding how reporters think, what they need and how to work with them. At Jaffe, he puts this knowledge to work every day on behalf of his law firm clients.
A self-confessed news junkie, Kevin monitors many media daily for issues that his clients can use as springboards for press coverage. He uses this knowledge to help his clients develop story ideas for pitching that tap into what is going on, right now, in their respective areas of practice. By being so in touch with the news, Kevin is able to position his clients as thought leaders just as trends and issues are developing – getting them in front of reporters and editors as sources well before other firms. He knows that the key to media coverage lies in being the first to approach a reporter or blogger with news in a way that offers as much help as possible. Being second, or working with the media in ways that make their jobs tougher, will not secure coverage. Kevin understands this, and works with both clients and the media to develop long-standing, mutually beneficial relationships.
Kevin holds a B.A. (honors) from Simon Fraser University (1995).
It’s no accident that Kevin has spent his career working as a communicator: At his heart, he is a storyteller. As a child, he talked early, read early and, at age 5, won a poetry contest he wasn’t even old enough to enter.
For Kevin, storytelling is at the heart of the human experience. From a quick chat with the barista at Starbucks when your day starts, to regaling family around the evening dinner table with your day’s exploits, our lives revolve around stories. When Kevin wants to get to know someone better – a friend, acquaintance, client – he engages in their stories. Our stories are where we live, and Kevin knows that.
Kevin is an avid reader, and he doesn’t discriminate when it comes to genres. Literary novels, creative non-fiction, mysteries, thrillers – he devours them all. What’s important is the quality of the story; the genre is secondary. (OK, he might draw the line at bodice-ripping romance novels).
Kevin does not just read books, he studies them. He loves to figure out what makes a piece of writing tick, and how the author handled particular challenges in terms of plot, character, theme, etc. … In particular, Kevin always admires an author who can seamlessly integrate volumes of research into an interesting narrative. Poor writers make a big deal of pointing out how much research they have done; good writers know what to include, and how.
This love of language, storytelling and the mechanics of communicating ideas comes in handy in Kevin’s work with attorney clients. PR, of course, is just another form of storytelling. Kevin thrives on the challenge of distilling the interesting – yet sometimes complex – experience of attorneys at the top of their fields into stories that resonate with key audiences. Kevin does this without sacrificing the details that make these stories about his clients so important and worthy of broader awareness.
By telling the right story at the right time and in the right way, Kevin persuades reporters and editors to trust our clients as thought leaders and highlight their work as relevant to the audiences that matter.