You are not a “professional.” You are a born loser trying to muddle by, a socially retarded 36-year-old man-child with a string of failures who is still trying to figure out why the world has stopped handing things to him on a silver platter.
That’s okay. Most people are more or less like that. People who smoke a lot of weed don’t mature; this is not a world that hands things to people on silver platters; most entrepreneurs fail serially.
You called to try to extort me with threats of frivolous grievances. You asked me if I was Greenfield’s friend, and I told you I was. I’d never deny that. I hung up on you, and you called back to continue making your threats. You claimed that you knew more free-speech law than me, and I told you not to threaten, but to do it. The rest—SEOing your client’s name for advertising—is but a product of your fevered imagination.
Greenfield wrote a blog post about you this morning. One post. The only time he has mentioned your name. He published two hours ago. When I google your name—just <Patrick Zarrelli>—Greenfield’s posts comes up in the #5 slot, after your carefully cultivated social-media pages. When I google <Patrick Zarrelli reputation management> it’s the first hit. Nobody had to do any SEO to make that happen; I hadn’t linked to it until just now. It’s just Scott’s blog, which Google absolutely loves.
Scott’s blog has Google Pagerank 6. You do not have anything that compares. His post about you will be at the top of Google search results by the end of the day, and it will stay there for as long as you want to keep playing.
Google loves Scott’s blog (and likes mine, but not in that way) because it isn’t marketing. Scott gets up early every morning and writes two or three blog posts about whatever the hell he wants to write about. People read him, and think, or laugh, or become outraged, and they comment and share. There is no call to action, no bragging about his legal talent or his latest win. Scott isn’t writing to get clients, he’s writing because writers gotta write.
Scott and I both wrote about your purported client Gary Ostrow because Ostrow did something that was in our respective wheelhouses: he put out a press release claiming to be taking high-profile cases. That press release is still there.
Why would that be interesting to us? Because not everybody thinks like you and Gary Ostrow do. Not everyone sees everything as marketing. Some of us think that educating and entertaining, being educated and entertained, are more important than attracting more money.
Anyway, there is no way in the world that pointing and laughing at Gary Ostrow’s foolishness (or yours) is going to bring Greenfield or me a single client.
So anyway, I guess that’s a digression. A little insight for you.
A man does not threaten to do things. If you’re going to do something, do it. If you’re not, don’t.
I don’t like being threatened. If you happen to threaten me, I will not respond with threats. I will brush it off, or I will strike.
I don’t like being grieved. I’ve been grieved before for the content of my blog. I’ve even been sued for the content of my blog. Nothing has ever taken. The inconvenience has ranged from piddly to moderate.
I don’t like having people tell me what I can and can’t say. I’d suffer major inconvenience rather than cave to a censor. There are blogging lawyers who would cower in the face of a grievance threat; I am not one of these lawyers. Defending free speech is what I do for a living; I’m not going to give up my own free speech for convenience’s sake.
So when you tried to extort me by threatening to file a grievance against me for the content of my blog, I have to admit that it pushed my buttons. I could have told you that it’d push Greenfield’s buttons as well.
As a result, your client’s reputation has suffered. You’ve made it about yourself, and your client’s reputation will suffer more because he is yoked to you.
It’s not my job to teach you anything, Patrick—that should have been your parents’ task—but I offer a pointer for the other aspiring reputation managers who might stumble across this post. Because criminal-defense lawyers are the OG reputation managers:
Know your audience. Before you make a run at a guy, figure out what is going to help your client most. You only get one chance to get it right, and if you get it wrong and try to threaten a guy who won’t be threatened, you’ve failed. When it comes to reputation management, success is fleeting, but failure is forever.