Welcome
to Ajax Strategies

Ajax Strategies’ business consulting, public relations and strategic marketing services provide Forward-Thinking Solutions® to professional services firms that are keen on continually challenging the status quo not only to provide exceptional and unparalleled service, but also to expand their business while enhancing profitability and efficiency.

Our Services

Client Feedback

Listening and learning
from your clients.

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Sports Event Optimization

Turning sporting events into
business opportunities.

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Crisis Communications

Protecting your reputation
during the unexpected.

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1:1 Coaching

Customized, practical and
focused to get results.

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Perception Studies

Gaining perspective from
myriad sources.

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Merger Integration

Initiatives directly
impacting the top-line.

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Client Feedback

Implementing an effective and ongoing client feedback program is an important strategy to maintaining and increasing business from a law firm’s best clients. Too often lawyers will say they ‘know’ what their clients want or need from their legal service providers despite not asking them directly. Ajax Strategies works with firms to develop tailored client feedback and satisfaction programs that obtain both candid and constructive insights from clients about myriad issues, including service delivery, potential opportunities, budgets and fees, technology and firm selection to name a few. Ajax Strategies then analyzes and presents its findings with action initiatives to capitalize on potential opportunities, improve on disconnects and implement appropriate client follow-up plans.

Crisis Communications

Like all businesses, law firms may face an unexpected crisis that plays out in public. In the era of social media and short news cycles, preparing for the worst is a firm’s best strategy to protect and manage its reputation. Ajax Strategies helps law firms assemble and identify a crisis communications team as well as develop a crisis communications plan that includes protocols and a clearly defined media policy. Ajax Strategies also works with firms to create preapproved key messages about the firm in a variety of crisis scenarios.

Perception Studies

Ajax Strategies works with law firms to establish, build and protect a firm’s reputation and relationships. A strong brand is as important for a law firm as it is for its clients. A firm must deliver consistent messages about its strengths to differentiate itself from its competitors. Ajax Strategies believes in obtaining frank, direct and relevant internal and external feedback to help firms determine their current marketplace position as well as potential opportunities. In addition to conducting internal focus groups and interviewing key clients, Ajax Strategies expands the universe to obtain feedback from lost clients, referral sources, competitors and prospects. This broader spectrum of voices provides a more accurate view of the marketplace. Ajax Strategies analyzes that feedback and develops clear and concise action plans and strategies that enables firms to capitalize on those opportunities.

Sports Event Optimization

Firms invest thousands of dollars annually in professional and college sports suites, season tickets and specialty events. Additionally, professionals spend hundreds of hours attending these events under the guise of client relations or prospecting. For many firms, sports-related expenses rank in the top five of all business development and marketing outlays.

How well does your firm strategize, manage and evaluate the ROI from these events? Are the tickets given out to the most senior members of the firm? Maybe they are handed out to those who simply ask? Who are the guests that receive the tickets? Your best clients, prospects or just good friends of the partner asking?

Ajax Strategies works with firms to create a system that will not only help better manage who attends your sports-related events, but also effective methods that track the revenue generated from those invitees.

1:1 Coaching

Dean Harakas has coached more than 250 lawyers in various practice groups and markets during his career. Whether you are a senior or new partner, lateral or an associate, he will work with you to identify practical methods to achieve and exceed your business development goals. As a lawyer and a seasoned law-firm strategist, Dean understands the unique challenges of obtaining, retaining and maximizing business development opportunities in legal services.

Dean works with lawyers to create and achieve short-term objectives that support long-term goals. As the “counselor’s counselor,” he will help you clarify your professional objectives and create a personalized, practical action plan with realistic and measurable goals. Dean provides tailored support, direction and encouragement and serves as a sounding board and resource. He will work with you to identify and move past roadblocks that are preventing success, while ensuring you stay focused, on-track and accountable for achieving your goals.

Dean believes coaching is a one-on-one, not a “one-size-fits-all,” solution that gives lawyers the chance to take control of the future. Hiring a coach is a personal decision that requires trust, chemistry and commitment. Because of this philosophy, Dean will meet with you face-to-face for an initial complimentary assessment and discussion.

Merger Integration

Whether you’ve just completed a major merger, acquired a practice group or added lateral partners, integration implementation is the most vital, yet overlooked, aspect of the process. Prior to an acquisition, firms spend a great deal of time and energy conducting due diligence, analyzing books of business, determining compensation benchmarks, setting an effective date, and, even, bartering for office space. Once the agreement is signed, both sides leave the table believing the bulk of hard work and effort is complete. In fact, it’s only just begun, particularly on the business development side, which is the primary driver of most combinations.

Ajax Strategies works with firms to create effective and specific business development action plans that ensure firms capitalize on new synergies and maximize marketing opportunities post-integration, including identifying existing and prospective targets, analyzing cross-selling opportunities, leveraging existing relationships as well as developing media and public relations initiatives.

News

Virtually every business, including law firms and attorneys, are using digital and social media marketing as a strategy to reach clients and prospects. Now you can see if and how you’re outpacing your competitors by taking the 2017 Attorney Social Media & Digital Marketing Survey.

Ajax Strategies and Healy Consulting and Communications are conducting the annual study on a nationwide basis to understand the effectiveness and use of social media and digital marketing by attorneys and their firms. The full results will be published in an article on LawMarketing.com in early 2017, but we need YOUR INPUT now.

To participate in this brief online survey, simply click this link: 2017 Attorney Survey. It only takes 2 minutes to complete! Here are the results of the 2016 Attorney Social Media & Digital Marketing Survey.

Ajax Strategies is the exclusive sponsor of the 2016 DU Law Stars program e-book. The 24th annual Law Stars event will be held on Nov. 1, 2016.

Ajax Strategies is sponsoring the Legal Marketing Association’s St. Louis Chapter Meeting October 20, 2016. REGISTER NOW!

Dean Harakas is teaching “Law Firm Client Service & Satisfaction,” at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law. Summer 2016 semester begins May 31, 2016.

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Dean Harakas will discuss how to manage and evaluate the ROI from season tickets, sponsorships and specialty events at the Legal Marketing Association St. Louis meeting February 17, 2016. Dean also will present the findings from the St. Louis Social Media & Digital Marketing Survey. Register Now!

January 25, 2016 – Ajax Strategies and Healy Consulting & Communications conducted the first annual “Attorney Social Media & Digital Marketing Survey” to understand the effectiveness and use of social media marketing by attorneys. The findings were published in an article on LawMarketing.com2016 Social Media/Digital Marketing Survey Reveals Lack of Integration, Future Use on the Rise.”

Dean Harakas is teaching “Business Development: Marketing & Client Service,” at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law. Spring 2016 semester begins January 14, 2016.

Ajax Strategies is conducting the first annual “Attorney Social Media & Digital Marketing Survey” to understand the effectiveness and use of social media marketing by attorneys. If you are an attorney and would like to participate in this brief online survey, please send an email to info@AjaxStrategies.com. The results will be published in an upcoming article on LawMarketing.com.

Ajax Strategies sponsored the Legal Marketing Association’s St. Louis Chapter Meeting November 11, 2015.

Dean Harakas, Esq.
President

Dean is a pioneering and forward-thinking top executive who has worked with numerous professional services firms throughout the United States. With more than 20 years of experience in strategic planning, firm and lateral integration, relationship management, business development, brand/product development, team leading, media relations, and sales support, he has keen insight into the nuances and needs of sophisticated professional services firms. An energetic and dynamic leader, Dean inspires and drives organizations to set challenging goals and works to elevate and exceed those expectations.

Dean possesses a proven track record of successful market entry and business growth in key markets. He has demonstrated experience in providing excellent client service while working in several fast-paced environments. Dean is a results-oriented leader who delivers substantial contributions to the long-term success of a business.

University of Denver, Sturm College of Law (2008 – 2016)

  • Law Firm Client Service & Satisfaction, Summer 2016
  • Business Development: Marketing & Client Service, Spring 2016
  • Law Firm Client Service & Satisfaction, Summer 2009, Fall 2009, Summer 2011, Summer 2012, Summer 2014 and Summer 2015
  • Strategic Marketing & Business Development, Spring 2011
  • Servicing Clients, Customers & the Public, Fall 2008

Licensed attorney in Illinois and Missouri
Colorado Certified Peace Officer
Twin Cities Diversity in Practice, Marketing Committee 2011
Legal Marketing Association (LMA):

  • Chicago Chapter, Immediate Past President, 2001; President, 2000: Vice President, 1999.
  • Minnesota Chapter, Founding Member and First President, 1996-97.
  • 1997 NALFMA (LMA) Annual Conference Program Committee (New York).
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Marketing and Client Service Section, Council Member, 1996-97
  • 2016 Social Media/Digital Marketing Survey Reveals Lack of Integration, Future Use on the Rise,” LawMarketing.com, January 25, 2016.
  • “Firms Look Within to Generate More Business,” Minnesota Lawyer, July 1, 2011 (quoted).
  • “Getting Paid in a Challenging Economy,” Minnesota Lawyer, January 31, 2011 (quoted).
  • “Getting the Most out of Your Marketing Bucks,” Minnesota Lawyer, October 1, 2010 (quoted).
  • “Memorable Events – Measurable Returns,” Legal Sales & Service Organization News, October 2006 (Feature Interview).
  • “Innovative Approach Nets Award-Winning Law Firm Advertising,” PM Forum, August 2004.
  • Quoted extensively in “Learning How to Ad” and “To Market, To Market,” ABA Journal, September 2001.
  • “Big Deals of Washington.” Researched comprehensive annual list of Washington’s largest corporate and securities transactions.
    Washington CEO, June 1994; Puget Sound Business Journal, May 12, 1995 and March 8, 1996.
  • “Proposal Pageantry,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, January 25, 1994.
  • “How Survey Can Help Your Firm Become Client-Centered,” Illinois Legal Times, October 1993.
  • New Firm Logo, Second Place (Collateral Material), Legal Marketing Association – Minnesota Your Honor Awards (November 2011).
  • Nurturing Relationships Client Testimonial Brochure, Marketing Initiative of Year, Nominee, Marketing Partner Forum (2007).
  • Sachnoff & Weaver Annual Review selected to the “Chicago 50,” which recognizes design excellence in annual reports in the Chicago area, for four consecutive years (2003-2006).
  • 2005 Networking Series – Gold Tower Awards (Events), Business Marketing Association (BMA) – Chicago (2006).
  • 2005 Litigation Group National Advertising Campaign – Bronze Tower Award (B&W/Color Advertising Campaign), BMA – Chicago (2006).
  • Overall Excellence in Media Coverage – Finalist (Monthly Media Relations Campaign), PRNews – Legal Public Relations Awards (2004).
  • 2003 Business Services Group Advertising Campaign – Silver Tower Award (Advertising Campaign), BMA – Chicago (2004).
  • “ROI Strategies for Sports and Specialty Events and St. Louis Social Media Survey,” Legal Marketing Association, St. Louis, February 17, 2016.
  • “The Clients’ Perspective: Views from Local Corporate Counsel,” Moderator and Organizer, University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, Denver, November 19, 2008.
  • “How Administrators Can Help Serve Clients Better,” Moderator and Organizer, University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, Denver, October 22, 2008.
  • “Singing ‘Kumbaya’ in Law Firm Management,” Panelist, LMA Annual Conference, Atlanta, March 23, 2007.
  • “Achieving Diversity,” Panelist, Trends in Legal Marketing, New York, September 27, 2006.
  • “Knowledge Management Collaboration/Avoiding Civil War at Your Firm,” Panelist, Knowledge Management for the Modern Law Firm, New York, February 22, 2006.
  • “Innovative Ideas from Regional Law Firms: Successfully Competing in a Crowded Marketplace,” Presenter, Marketing Partner Forum, Miami,
    January 20, 2006.
  • “To Grow or Not to Grow: Is Bigger Always Better?,” Panelist, Best Practices In Law Firm Management, Miami, January 10, 2006.
  • “Branding Basics: Discovering a Point of Differentiation or Merely Communicating a Feeling?,” Panelist, Strategic Marketing for the Legal Profession, Chicago, November 1, 2005.
  • “Establishing Your Network,” Presenter, Valparaiso University School of Law, Valparaiso, Indiana, September 16, 1998.
  • “What I Wish I Knew When I Walked in the Door,” Panel Moderator, Summer Conference on Law Firm Marketing, Chicago, August 22, 1997.
  • “Exploding the Myths of Business Development for New Lawyers,” Presenter, University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, April 8, 1997.
  • “Winning Business from Law Firms,” Panelist, NALFMA (LMA) Annual Conference, New York, March 7, 1997.

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Chicago • Denver • St. Louis