Leveraging Your reputation: Show appreciation

Tom Ciesielka is President of TC Public Relations (www.tcpr.net). Tom has over 25 years of marketing and public relations experience, working with individual lawyers and midsize law firms. He is also a former board member of the Legal Marketing Association in Chicago and has spoken at Chicago Bar Associations CLE programs. Reach him at tc@tcpr.net.

The big February holiday is coming up: Valentine’s Day. The images usually associated with it are candy, flowers and cute presents. But Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be just a romantic concept, especially when you think about how you treat people within and outside your firm. Treating people well helps your reputation, which can also affect other areas of your professional life.

And it’s simple to do. Here are a few ways to show your appreciation for others right now, without even leaving your desk:

1 Congratulate someone. A lot of people are too busy to notice what their colleagues and clients are doing, but you can write an e-mail right now to congratulate someone if he or she has gotten a promotion, has won a case, or has gotten new clients. If you see an article or website that has mentioned someone you know, tell him or her that you’ve noticed it. You can also congratulate someone on a speaking engagement that he or she has secured. Any kind of positive feedback is a simple and quick way to boost your publicity and help your reputation.

2 Share helpful information. Think about which of your contacts could benefit from a helpful article, website, or information. Then e-mail them to let them know. Even though your contacts may have a lot of experience, there still could be things they’ve overlooked, and could use the tips to help their work. By sharing information, this shows that you’re considerate and want to help others, which also helps your reputation.

3 Give music. People assume that gifts in the office have to be edible, but some people prefer to not eat candy or other treats. A good alternative to food which everyone would appreciate is a song. The average price of an iTunes song is $1, and you can get a gift card for someone that he or she can easily use online.

Try doing one of these things, and you’ll see how much positive feedback you will get from the people you contact. It is also a good way to reconnect with people you haven’t contacted in a while, which can lead to developments that maybe you haven’t previously considered.

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