Just last month, Johnson County’s own Firesign: Enlightened Legal Marketing celebrated its second anniversary. The legal marketing agency created by law firm veteran Katherine Hollar Barnard continues to build brands that connect and business plans that deliver from its headquarters in Prairie Village.
Two years in, Firesign has served law firms and legal tech companies coast to coast and on two continents. As the company’s reach expands, so has its roster of skilled marketers; Firesign has grown from a one-woman team to welcoming Katie McNeil, graphic designer; Erin Curtis-Dierks, marketing project manager; and Amy Nouri, vice president of public relations and programming.
Along the way, Firesign’s work has been recognized for excellence in communications. The agency has received Gold PRISM awards from the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America in the categories of newsletters, video and editorial writing; and a Gold AMPS Award from Social Media Club of Kansas City for Email Campaign: Brand.
And last fall, the agency achieved the entrepreneurial milestone of graduating from coworking space and moving into a permanent office. Firesign relocated from Fairway’s Enterprise Center of Johnson County to the Executive Building at 4121 W. 83rd St. in Prairie Village. The new office space allows for continued growth in services and personnel – “and to play whatever music we want,” Barnard laughed.
Heading into its third year, Firesign will expand its service offerings with Ellesquire, a new online training program for women attorneys. Currently, half of women leave the practice of law before the age of 50 – leading to a severe lack of female leadership and mentors for future generations.
“Business development can be a solution to this critical problem,” Barnard said. “If women control their own books of business, they can control their schedules, workload and income. But the old-school advice doesn’t always apply when you’re the pickup parent; we created Ellesquire to help women get and grow business with a system that works for them.”
Ellesquire provides six weeks of structured lessons, along with personalized coaching. Participants can complete lessons online, on their own schedule, and they graduate with a practical and comprehensive business development plan.
As the agency grows and evolves, Firesign stands true to its core beliefs: the best legal marketing is built on trust, empathy and respect; and legal marketing should be ethical, appropriate and professional – but that shouldn’t stop it from being beautiful.
“And no stock images of gavels or law books,” Barnard said. “Not ever.”
Patrick Fanning, a co-founder of PEAK Litigation LLP, called upon Firesign to help his group launch their new firm last year.
“Firesign was an exceptional partner for us,” Fanning said. “They provided clarity on our messaging, and they got us exactly the kind of press coverage we needed. They did it all using a practical and highly efficient business-minded approach.”