Jana Schilder

Managing PartnerFirst Principles CommunicationWills, Trusts & Estates (British Columbia); Wills, Trusts & Estates (Ontario)

Jana has devoted the past 30 years to providing strategic communications advice, tactical implementation and assistance to businesses, professional partnerships, Crown Corporations and government. She has worked with law and other professional service firms, financial institutions, high-tech, manufacturing, businesses creating “green” products and services, transportation, energy and a range of start-ups.

Ms. Schilder has been a public relations professional for 30 years. She has been doing public relations and marketing specifically for law firms since 1993 when she was director of marketing and communication at McCarthy Tétrault, then the largest of Canada's national law firms.

She knows what attracts the news media's attention — she has a "nose for news". Equally important, she understands how media coverage contributes to a law firm's business success, helping to increase mindshare — or client share — and most importantly, profitable revenue.
 
Media Relations, a subset of public relations, is a popular service among Ms. Schilder's clients. Working with reporters, editors, and TV and radio producers, Media Relations aims to get editorial coverage for clients of newsworthy events. Media Relations for law firms is increasingly popular because law firms realize that no one reads newspapers and magazines for the advertising.
 
For one law firm client, a family law firm in Greater Toronto, she obtains 40+ media articles and interviews per year in major newspapers, law publications and TV networks. And she does this without issuing a single news release or fact sheet.
 
For another client, a business law firm in Mississauga, over a 7-year span, she re-established the firm's reputation  as the pre-eminent business law firm.
 
While at McCarthy Tétrault, Ms. Schilder used her extensive background in change management at some of Canada's leading organizations to set the firm on a new course where she established the firm's speaker training program; initiated the first media relations program;  started the firm's first regular advertising program; re-branded the firm;  overhauled all 20 of the firm's publications to fit within the new brand; started a monthly marketing newsletter for partners, lawyers, associates and support staff;  and launched the firm's first website in 1995.

Education

  • Algonquin College, Public Relations Certificate, 1984
  • Queen's University, LL.B., 1983

Experience

  • Represented Feldstein Family Law Group Professional Corporationas their public relations agency of record, 2011-
  • Represented Pallett Valo LLP as their public relations agency of record, 2005-2011
  • Writes on public relations and reputation issues for The Huffington Post and is a regular contributor to LawMarketing.com; occasionally writes for The Lawyers Weekly, The Law Times and Slaw.ca
  • Frequent speaker for organizations such as The Commons Institute, Insight, The Canadian Institute, Amicus Attorney and LawMarketing.com on public relations and reputation issues in North America