From his incredible skill to his entertainingly ruthless trash-talk, Larry Bird was one of the best. Jared shares some of his favorite stories about the Hick from French Lick, and points out that the L.A. Lakers were, and still are, a steaming pile of, well… you know. (1:50)
Jared then welcomes guest Shawn Hill to chat about online reviews and their potential to help you grow your business. Shawn shares how effective management and response to reviews builds your reputation and draws in new clients. (8:49)
This time on the Rump Roast, Jared asks Shawn about his involvement with the Philadelphia Flyers Mascot, Gritty, and how the initial fan reaction went from loathing to devotion in less than 24 hours! (25:37)
Shawn Hill is community marketing director at NiceJob Inc, a review management platform, and is host of The NiceJob Podcast.
Since we talked about online reviews, this week’s playlist explores albums that were not well-received upon release, but that underwent critical rehabilitation later.
Our theme song is Two Cigarettes by Major Label Interest.
The Legal Trends Report Minute song is I See You by Sounds Like Sander
Our closing song is Hey Yo Rocco! by Dresden, The Flamingo.
Special thanks to our sponsors Scorpion, TimeSolv, Alert Communications and Clio.
Larry Bird Stories; Getting the Reputation You Deserve; and the Rump Roast: The Gritty Origin Story
Jared Correia: I’d like to take a moment to thank my mom for listening to every episode. Now, my mom is the real reason you’re listening to this show right now but the sponsors have a little something to do with it as well so I’d like to thank our sponsors too. Cleo, time solve, alert communications and Scorpion. Now more than ever, an effective marketing strategy is one of the most important things your law firm can have and Scorpion can help. With nearly 20 years of experience serving legal industry, Scorpion has proven methods to help you get the high value cases you deserve. Join thousands of attorneys across the country who have turned to Scorpion for effective marketing and technology solutions. For a better way to grow your practice, visit scorpionlegal.com.
Intro: It’s the legal tool kit with Jared Correia. With guest Sean Hill, a look back at the early days of the Philadelphia Flyers Mascot Gritty and a demonstrations by the Harlem Globetrotters. But first, your host, Jared Correia.
Jared Correia: The Legal Toolkit Podcast is right now. Yes, I’m your host, Jared Correia, Bob Eubanks was unavailable so you’re stuck with me. I’m the CEO of Red Cave Law Firm Consulting. A business management consulting service for attorneys, find us online at www.redcavelegal.com. I’m the COO of Gideon’s Software, Inc. We build chat bots so law firms can convert more leads. You can find out more about Gideon at www.gideon.legal.
Before we get to our interview today with Sean Hill, I wanted to discuss something that is vitally important to me but probably in essential to your own life. Let’s talk about Adam McKay’s new show on HBO, about the, Showtime Lakers. Now, don’t rush to your local streaming service, it’s not out yet but if you don’t follow basketball already this is going to be a series about the Lakers Teams from the 1980s that won five championships. It’s got some A-listers in the cast already. You’re looking at John C. Reilly who’s going to be playing Jerry Buss, the Lakers owner. And Adrian Brody is going to be Pat Riley who is the coach of the team, he replaced Paul Westhead. It’s just too bad that Pat Riley is a sniveling weasel and that Jerry Buss’s stupid mustache is probably the most impressive thing about him.
I’m sorry, it’s true. I fucking hate the Lakers. I still have an “I hate L.A.” t-shirt from the 1984 playoffs hanging around here somewhere. And if you’re from the LA area, I apologize you have to follow such a shitbag team. What may surprise you is that is a middle-aged white man from Boston. I really love the Boston Celtics. Particularly, Larry Bird. In fact, he’s my favorite all-time basketball player.
Now, don’t get twisted. I’m not saying that Larry Bird is the best basketball player ever. Take a look at Bill Russell’s track record sometime. He makes Tom Brady look like a chump. You could argue that Magic Johnson was a better player in their shared era of the 80s and Michael Jordan had more titles and was probably more skilled. Now, what I’m saying is that Larry Bird is my personal favorite basketball player. I love the work ethic he’s out there shooting hoops dramatically in the Indiana Dusk. I love the hard luck story. His dad committed suicide when he was really young and his family was very poor. I loved that he didn’t care all about the press or recognition when. He left Indiana University on a scholarship; he became a garbage man before he went back to college to play for Indiana State. I just love everything about Larry Bird and as I deliver this monologue, I’m looking at a signed Larry Bird Indiana State Jersey that hangs in my office. So, this is the real deal.
So, I thought this might be a perfect opportunity to tell some Larry Bird stories because it’s my podcast and not yours and that’s what I’m going to do. As it turns out, Larry Bird’s greatest game may have happened in college in the 1979 final four. In the semifinal game against DePaul University where he was triple teamed the entire time, Larry scored 35 points, 16 rebounds and 9 assists. Almost triple doubling while shooting by the way over 80 percent from the field in the Indiana State Sycamores, yes, that was their team name. They’ve never done anything since. I can’t imagine why you would know that. They won by two. And that Indiana State team had one other player that made the NBA and he was a journeyman for five years. That team was bum sauce outside of Larry Bird. He carried them all season and they were undefeated up into the final game in the NCAA Tournament when they lost to Magic Johnson to Michigan State, but in the process, Johnson and Bird saved college basketball and then just went ahead and saved the NBA too for good measure. In 1985 against the Atlanta Hawks, Larry Bird scored a Celtics record 60 points and was lighting up the Hawks so badly that the end of the Hawks’ bench started cheering for him, they were fined.
In a 1985 game against the Portland Trailblazers, Larry loved to torture the Blazers by the way. He put up a triple-double with his left hand, he was right-handed, when after the game he was asked about it, he said that he was saving his right hand for the lakers.
During the 1986 all-star game, the league held its inaugural three-point contest, Larry comes into the locker room and asks everybody who’s going to be finishing second. In a final round, he had already won before he got halfway around the court and raised one crooked finger in the air after nailing his last shot. In the 1988 event, by the way he won the first three three-point contests at the All-Star Game. He didn’t even bother to take off his warm-up jacket. Larry Bird would also tell other teams the play that was coming, daring them to stop him. On a west coast trip in 1986, Bird told the entire Dallas Mavericks bench that after the timeout, Danny Ainge was going to inbound the pass to Dennis Johnson who would then hit Bird in the corner where he would step back and take a three and he went over to the Dallas bench and he said, “you got that”. I’m going to stand right here, I’m not going to move, they’ll pass me the ball and the next sound you’ll hear will be the ball hitting the bottom of the net and that’s exactly what happened. Larry Bird hits the shot, winks at the Mavericks bench before heading back down to the other end of the court.
After the Pacers Chuck Person suggested he was going “bird hunting” for a game against the Celtics the day after Christmas and the Pacers subsequently lost by 20 because Chuck Person was an ass hole. Bird had a holiday greeting ready, Merry “fucking” Christmas. When he was on the dream team in 1992, when he could hardly even play because his back was so bad they were signing balls for autographs in a hotel room in Barcelona and the equipment manager came in and rolled the balls over to Larry and he said, “what’s the quickest anybody’s done this?” and the trainer said, “oh, you know, 8 minutes to 20 minutes.
And then, Bird said I’m going to be the fastest. So he signs the balls, throws the last one over and he said, “how long did it take?” And the guy said four and a half minutes.
Now, do yourself a favor this weekend, watch the documentary “Larry Bird, A Basketball Legend”. It’s from 1991. It’s narrated by Daniel Stern, who played Marv in Home Alone. And the whole thing is available on YouTube for free. You won’t be sorry. Well, you won’t be as sorry as Xavier McDaniel. Stay tuned, because we’re about to bring out our next guest on the sports show with Sean Hill from NiceJob who was also on the marketing team when the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team launched their mascot Gritty whose initial reviews were poor to mid link, that’s next. But first, let’s take a moment to listen to the Clio Legal Trends Report in a minute.
Joshua Lennon: Did you know that in 2020, over 50% of legal professionals worried about the success of their law firm. To think that over half of the legal service industry has experienced such duress should be raising alarms. I’m Joshua Lennon, lawyer in residence at Clio. The good news is that industry data shows law firms are as busy as ever with new casework. The bad news for most lawyers is that billable earnings continue to be down by 6% to 8%. Clio’s Legal Trends Report based on data from tens of thousands of legal professionals shows some lawyers have managed to earn $37,000 more than others. What are they doing differently? They’ve been using three key technologies. Online payments, client portals and client intake solutions. To learn more about these technologies, and much more, for free, download clio’[email protected]/trends that’s Cliom spelled, C-L-I-O.
Jared Correia: Okay, it’s about time to get to the extra spread on our animal style burger from In and Out. Let’s interview our guest. My guest today is Sean Hill, who’s the Community Marketing Director at NiceJob. A review management platform NiceJob is located in Vancouver, which is not a surprise, because that’s the most Canadian sounding company name you could ever want. Nice Job, eh. And Sean, welcome, how are you?
Sean Hill: I am great. I will say that the company is Canadian but I am American. So, if you’re looking for me to say words like process, it’s not going to happen in this one.
Jared Correia: Well, just one, we’ll just get one process out of you. All right, you’re officially Canadian now. So, review management software, let’s talk about that. That is something that I think is significantly underutilized in the legal industry. But for folks who are listening I just want to make sure they understand what that is in the first place. So, could you give us like a brief rundown on what review management software is and does.
Sean Hill: Yeah, so, first thing I’ll say that review management software is a key component of NiceJob, which we are actually now reputation marketing software and I’ll go over the key differential but —
Jared Correia: Yes, go ahead.
Sean Hill: Review management, uh you know, when it comes down to is collecting reviews, getting feedback for your business, your firm, your entity whatever you want to say and gathering those reviews and what NiceJob does, it’s automated software that helps eliminate a lot of the barriers.
So, smart features like making sure that someone has a gmail or google account before asking them to leave a review on google my business. You know, making sure they have a Facebook account. Things that when they’re at the moment of peak happiness or they’re ready to give you that honest genuine review that you can make it as quickly as possible and the reputation marketing element comes in by giving you tools to share those on your social media channels. You know, get deeper insights you’ll find out what exactly your reviews are saying about you, if you’re doing it through team members, you know other people within your firm, you know who is actually collecting these reviews and getting this great feedback so it takes it well beyond but reputation management or reputation collection review collection, it just comes down to getting the reputation you deserve and we like to say we help great companies get the reputation they deserve because you’re a bad company NiceJob can make it pretty easy for you to get reviews as well. So, we want to make sure that you’re great first.
Jared Correia: Right, now, that’s a good way to look at it. And I found that like for law firms in particular like the two things they have a really tough time where there is one setting up a review process. So, I think if you’re not automating this in some way, it’s a total nightmare. And then, the other thing is like law firms are very bad at checking the reviews they have online. Like, I can’t tell you how many consulting clients I have, who are law firms and I’m like, “oh you know, you have like five reviews online and four of them are one star”. They’re like, no, that’s news to me.
So, I think a couple items there that you talked about, one is understanding what your review position looks like online in the first place and then creating a process that probably doesn’t exist from scratch.
Sean Hill: Yeah, and NiceJob have an integration with software, say like Clio, where it’s fully automated. So, you’re working within Clio and it’ll trigger you know NiceJobs review campaign and then the dashboard with a NiceJob itself, if someone leaves a review they don’t go through a NiceJob link, they don’t respond to the text or email that we kind of sent out, they just go leave it organically on their own.
NiceJob pulls that in and allows you to use that for marketing assets and like you said, kind of monitor it along. So, you have, you know your review collection, your reputation monitoring and then ultimately the marketing element but the biggest thing that we hear when people are like well, I don’t want to beg for reviews. You know, like I feel like I want to like earn it and the counter argument or the response that is like well this is the process to leave it.
Again, like you’re still doing the work if you want to get really good detailed reviews is you kind of need to prepare the client throughout the process to set them up to let them know and often I would say especially in the legal community is that we did hear a bit of you know all right is it down to case one case loss. You know, when we talk about home service professionals which is a big part of our market it’s about like setting the right expectations. But again, you can get a review on any part of the process so you could ask for a review and if you’ve been telling them like hey, we’re going to try our best on this case, we want to get this settled for you, when you get the best result possible but what we really want you is to feel comfortable throughout the whole process that we’re listening, we’re communicating. You plant that seed like, hey, this is the feeling I want to hear and it may not go their way in the decision but if the rest of that you met that expectation you’d be surprised having people leave a five-star review, saying you know what, I called them, they always answered the phone when I called and they always said that like they’ll spout off, they’ll explain what part was five stars even if you know, in the end, there might be something that they wish one a little bit better. So, it’s completely possible to build a reputation even in a complicated business.
Jared Correia: I know plenty of lawyers who have lost cases and got positive reviews. I think most lawyers would agree with you that it’s won or lost, but that’s not the case in practice. I mean, when I was practicing, I had a bunch of times where I lost a case and I remember I was doing social security disability for a while and I had this lady and like she lost a case and it was not going to be great for her and her family and they made cookies for me and brought them to the office like a week later. And I was like, wait, you don’t understand, we didn’t win. And they’re like, oh, we know. We know that you worked really hard on that and I think a lot of lawyers don’t see value in that. They just see value in did I have a positive result or not. But there’s much more to it in terms of your brand.
Sean Hill: That’s what I’m saying. It’s a self-limiting behavior. So, you know, it’s not you begging for a review and it’s not you know making sure that you’re always kind of buttering him up enough. Like it’s getting honest feedback. Even negative reviews you said the example if you have five reviews and four are negative, you know, within NiceJob, you have the ability to reply to something like a google review right in the app. So you don’t they go you know a billion places to leave a review. Sometimes those bad reviews, now is putting the microphone in front of you, how do you respond to those sort of things. What can you kind of explain and sometimes it’s putting out there but you know obviously you’re not sharing exact information about the case or things like that but saying like you know like you know we we’re sorry they kind of feel this way. We’d love to hear any feedback regarding you know A B and C. Or even just saying you know what, thank you for this. We’re always constantly striving to be better. But also, if you’re asking everybody, I doubt that firm just had five clients. But if you’re asking everybody, chances are you’re still going to get those four one stars they might still sneak through.
But now, when it’s 300, Jared, I’m sure you’re familiar with the uncanny valley when it comes to CGI. When things start looking it too real, people don’t — they don’t like it, makes them uncomfortable. Well, it’s the same thing, if you have only five reviews with other five stars or the one five star, the one four star, is people think it’s such a small segment, they don’t kind of believe it. And if you have a hundred reviews and they’re all five star and you’re a 5.0, the data actually kind of shows that that becomes a little bit unbelievable as well. The ideal number is to constantly every time they check back to have that number go up because if you’re a 5.0 and I check and you have 120 reviews and I go back the next day and you have 123 reviews and you’re still a 5.0 or even if one of those goes in that shows you’re relevant for the search engine optimization, all that element of it, but from the human element, the social proof element, it shows that, yeah, people really are talking about you and they really do like what you’re doing.
Jared Correia: Yeah, I like this other notion that you brought up which is like looking at specific aspects of a case. Right? So, I think we talked a little bit about this when I was on your podcast, which is like if you’re an attorney, there are certain expectations that consumers are going to have. Maybe that you’re expensive. Maybe that you’re difficult to work with. Maybe you don’t communicate with them. So, you can angle a review to say, hey, I thought it was going to be really expensive to work with an attorney. It wasn’t as much as I thought. I thought the attorney was never going to get back to me. They were really responsive. That type of thing works across industries, probably, right?
Sean Hill: Oh, for certain. We talk about preparing someone to leave a five-star review and part of it, as I mentioned, is the easy process through NiceJob and the way NightJob works just functionally is it starts with a text message that’s instantly set as soon as you ask for a review and it’ll follow up with up to three emails if necessary. So, once someone leaves a review, it takes them out of that campaign, they don’t get any follow-ups but if they need to and we change the tone of each of those messages. So, the first one’s the moment you know peak excitement, hey, our business is done, this is great, I hope you would leave us a review.
The second one is like, hey hope you’re still feeling good about what we did. The third one is we know life gets in the way. And the fourth one is like this follow up, right? This personal message we call it. That really says like, hey, we always strive to go forward. The exact tone in there and what we found is that what we see in the first review is always the over-excited. Oh my god, and sometimes we see like the like excellent, love it, with nine exclamation points.
But around the third and the fourth, sometimes we see a little bit more detail in the review. Other people that have gone that say like hey from second one, like I mentioned earlier, we want you to feel comfortable, we want you to feel that we are attentive to your needs. It’s almost like setting up going back to the wins and losses thing is tell them what’s important to you and that’s what they’ll respond with. But then, it also gives you a good idea that if you’re talking about promptness, promptness, promptness and you ask for a review and they don’t talk about that at all, maybe that’s not important to your clients.
It’s not saying like, all right, well now, it can be late. But it’s saying like okay well maybe your marketing or maybe your initial pitch, maybe your consultations need to focus a little bit more on some of these other elements. But throughout the stage, there’s plenty of opportunity to say hey, we want to know how we’re doing as a whole not just a win or loss but tell them what’s important to you, listen to sort of feedback and you’ll be able to kind of guide them along and you’ll be surprised of how you know just five stars with no detail does help you. But four stars with a ton of detail might actually be a bit more helpful. So, let them know what’s important to you and they’ll tell you back and the fact that you’re making the process easy just naturally will give them more time to write more.
Jared Correia: Yeah, and I like this idea of taking data and information you gain from reviews and actually using it to influence your business practices. Like I’m a big believer in data analytics for law firms that didn’t use data enough to make decisions, but this is just one of those buckets where you can gather useful data and run your law firm more effectively than you have before. And I probably shouldn’t say this live on this podcast but you can get away with a lot even if you’re a bad attorney, if people like you, that’s true.
Sean Hill: Yeah, well, that’s a big part of it. You know, people will sign on to do business in any sort of entity for a variety of different reasons. We always talk about with social proof the psychology behind is if you’re hearing a lot about a law firm, a business, you’re hearing a lot about something the top two reactions are okay, they seem to be the best, I’m going to go with them. The other one is the oppositional defiant thing which is like all right I’m not. Everybody uses that person or whatever.
And so, how do you marry that or where you marry that is that people want to always feel safe and smart in their decision. And so, they want to make the decision knowing that at the very least they can go well, they had good reviews. I booked them because that’s why but they also want to go, you know what, I need to find out for myself.
But ultimately, when you talk about other people within your competitive market as competitive in some markets can be. It’s about having the true, honest look about who you are but people really don’t want to hear from you. It’s a very strange sort of deal. People are 12 times, there’s a reason that 12 times more likely to believe a review than written copy because of this one acknowledgement that there’s copywriters out there but secondly because that’s a real situation and real elements in there not something that’s hand-picked.
Now, with NiceJob, you get the ability to share these reviews out and go out so you can find these really Gemma reviews. We found if you put a review in an ad. You could see as high as like a 300% increase in click-through rate because it’s real words. If it’s you know the rest of it’s crafted correctly. All comes down to is that people want to see that sort of thing. And if you’re not in a position where you’re constantly getting it and showing the full picture and then being able to make adjustments, so hey people are talking about this but I want them to talk about that or they’re not talking about this and I would up that game, is it allows you to maybe hide your deficiencies and really accentuate your positives.
Like I said, you can — in the end, I think you do have to have a core of being great. It doesn’t mean you have to be the best one to ever to do it. You just have to be client focused, customer focused. You have to really kind of carry it, they’re really going to be in there. If you’re scheming in greasy that might catch up to you, however, if you feel like someone is —
Jared Correia: Not a great word choice for a review, right? If somebody’s like this guy is scheming and greasy people are probably out.
Sean Hill: Well, yeah, exactly. So, that’s better for you. But what I’m saying is that if you have someone that you know is that in your market and you can’t figure out why you’re not booking, getting more than they are, it’s probably because they have ruined the reputation for your entire market. So, you need to go out there and not only get the reputation you deserve but perhaps spread that out and say hey, there are good lawyers in this town and there are good people that are looking out for what you need.
Jared Correia: I get a common question from lawyers all the time, and that is lawyers are obsessed with bad reviews. And I think a lot of business owners are right. You get 705 star reviews, you want 701. So, what do you do with like a really bad review? How do you respond? Should you respond? I always get this question so somebody like you who deals with reviews all the time, what tactics do you see that are viable?
Sean Hill: So, two main things. One is learn from it. Right? The way to stop a bad review is to find out why it’s a bad review and it might doesn’t need to be a drastic change. I say that bad reviews 99% of the time come from failure to meet some sort of expectation. Now. that expectation could be unrealistic. I thought this lawyer was going to come in and buy me a suit and win me a million dollars and do all these other things. Like that didn’t happen, one star.
So, when you’re replying to review is you never want to really get defensive or kind of he said, she said, that sort of back and forth. What you want to do is explain your process, explain your methods and explain what you would do at a very high level if they gave you a second chance. Because people want to see the fact that: A. Maybe perhaps during the whole process that they can challenge what you’re saying. No one wants to hear like, hi, I’m the expert in this matter and I will hear nothing else. They want to connect with people who think they might be wrong.
So, you should reply to every review including the good ones. Keeps a personal touch shows that you’re engaged, shows that it’s not just something you’re putting out there for marketing elements is an actual feedback channel.
On the bad reviews you want to respond, you don’t want to get combative, you don’t want to try to take it offline as we generally sort of say, but you want to show everyone that’s looking for a future review that old tactic of why look at the top three good reviews and the top three bad reviews. So, people are going to see I. But guess what, they also understand that people have bad days. They also think about the fact that they themselves stormed out of something. It was like, I’m going to write a negative review. Like they know what that feels like and they understand that if you go and say hey, I’m not saying we did mess up or we didn’t mess up, what I’m saying is we fail to make expectations, if we want to improve, make sure the expectations are always set so you’ll understand what we can provide because we strive to do this and if you don’t think that we did, that does fall on us.
So, it’s not saying you’re admitting fault and not saying you’re admitting anything like that, It’s purely just saying, yeah, we are open to hearing the negativity because what will happen is when people see that on negative reviews is during the process they will bring it up. They won’t let it fester and grow in their head and be so angry at the end of it. They’ll leave a one-star review. So, if you’re letting them come through and you’re responding to them, you’ll be surprised of how quickly they become a thing of the past.
Jared Correia: Sean, awesome, thank you. That’ll do it for our first segment. So, thanks so much. That’s Sean Hill from NiceJob. He’ll be back in a moment because we’ll take one final sponsor break so you can hear more about what our sponsors can do for your law practice then stay tuned for the rump roast. It’s even more supple than the roast beast.
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Welcome back everybody. Here we are at the rear end of The Legal Tool Kit. I like to call it The Rump Roast. It’s a grab bag of short form topics of my choosing. Today, we’re going to talk about the Philadelphia Flyers Mascot, Gritty. Philadelphia Flyers are a hockey team in case you weren’t aware. Sean, you know a little something about Gritty, right?
Sean Hill: Yes, I know a lot about Gritty more than anyone should know and some would say perhaps only slightly less than Gritty himself.
Jared Correia: All right. I want to get to the story of Gritty here but like let me start with the response. So, as you know, and as we talked about, when Gritty came out, some people were decidedly not into it. Now, I want to tell people, this will have a happy ending, but let me read to you some of the original impressions that people tweeted about Gritty.
Some of the stuff that came out about Gritty was like fairly nasty to start with. So, I just wanted to read you some of those just to get your sense of like how you were feeling when this came out and then how things turned around almost instantly. So, when the mascot was introduced, the Pittsburgh Penguins account tweeted, “LOL, okay” which is that’s rough man. Like, you got the team in the same state and then you guys responded back. Do you remember what your response was?
Sean Hill: Sleep with one eye open, bird.
Jared Correia: That’s correct, that was great. All right. So, I got two tweets about Gritty that I thought were just like really wild. So, one guy writes Gritty is part bear, part orangutan, part pissed soaked mop, part hill cannibal, part angel from the book of Ezekiel, part gas station attendant high on spray paint, part yeti, part leviathan, part behemoth, part the xenomorph baby from alien resurrection and part of you too. So it ends on a nice note there but this guy’s pulling in a lot of feels for Gritty.
Sean Hill: We actually went on Mari and it was determined that that wasn’t a lie. So, that’s good. It was an accurate tweet on that part.
Jared Correia: And then some other woman wrote, fire everyone in your marketing team and also anyone that thought Gritty was a good idea. This is no way makes anyone fear our team, this will give adults and children horrific night terrors. Thanks for making the Philadelphia Flyers the laughing stock of the NHL. Also, like really rough take there and I think a little over the top as well.
Sean Hill: All those tweets were expected. It’s exactly kind of what we need.
Jared Correia: Yeah, I was going to ask.
Sean Hill: And so, Penguins, when you bring up though, that’s the hinge point. But what exactly would you like to know about the response?
Jared Correia: Well, here’s the thing that I find really interesting like. Mascot comes out, right? Some really nasty responses out there on social media. A lot of people are probably thinking like what did we do and then, it almost instantaneously turns around. So, can you talk about how that happened?
Sean Hill: Yeah, so I will lead into that. I definitely want to answer that question because it’s a very interesting thing about the origin of Gritty.
Jared Correia: Yes.
Sean Hill: There is — I made a joke about Mari earlier. But, to really go with the Gritty story, to use that Mari perspective is the father not the father episodes, is the only part where the analogy falls through is a lot of people you considered the father, right?
Jared Correia: Yes.
Sean Hill: But what it is that everyone in there that was involved in the creation has a part of their story as you see in Amari episode where they’re claiming not to be the father or some people are like I want to be the father, and other people are like, I may be the father, I may not be proud of it but if it comes out Mari that I’m the father then I’ll be involved in this kid’s life.
So, I can tell you, I was one of those people that wanted to be the father, wanted to be a part of it and the night before we debuted Gritty. We took him to the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia. We had a bunch of kids out there ready to introduce mascot. The night before it was myself, maybe two other people that were like is this going to work? We all knew it was going to be bad at first but then we’re going to rocover —
Jared Correia: Oh, were other people like backing out, originally, and you were like, no, this is going to be fine.
Sean Hill: No, I can tell you right now is that there were some people that were begrudgingly part of this project that were — they were like they thought what that last tweet you read. Is they were like people are going to hate us, they’re going to hate what he did. It’s going to be a failure .We’re going to see this year after year on list of worst ideas. Those same people that are trying to distance themselves away from this have recently appeared in magazine articles about how they’re part of the creator, every single thing like that. It was so quickly how much it changed and I was told and not a name drop because I don’t think everybody knows them but it was Sean Telger[ph] who was you know one of the higher ups really part of this and he hold me aside at one point and said to me and another person, he said, whatever happens here it’s up to you guys to keep it going. You are going to have to keep executing this.
So, if everyone in the world hates it and it never turns around and never gets great just so you know we got 44 more games on the schedule and you got to figure out what we’re doing.
Jared Correia: And you’re like so great.
Sean Hill: Yeah, but because of that, that’s why I kind of had faith in it. So, we knew was going to happen is and to set a little bit more perspective for those that are not familiar with sports. In Philadelphia is also the Philly fanatic. The mascot of the Philadelphia Phillies. The original performer and not usually don’t talk about mascot performers. So, the original performer is a man named Dave Raymond. Dave Raymond was part of consulting with Gritty in that creation and things like that.
So, you already had the expert but one of the key things that came out is just like actors you never want to work with like Santa Claus or puppies because you’ll never get top billing with those two. It was the same sort of thing everyone’s going to compare it to the Philly fanatic. So, if we try to have something that’s like Philly fanatic light, it won’t work. If we try to go too obscure the other way it won’t work. You have to acknowledge the fact that in the City of Philadelphia, with that mascot there, that it’s almost this thought of like well that’s what mascots look like. So, a lot of people said — to me, it was like Gritty just looks like a cracked out Philly fanatic. And it’s kind of right, it’s kind of true. Is you needed something like — we’re almost there. But you needed something that matched that sort of like overpowering. His name is not Philly fanatic. He embodies the fanaticism.
So, with Gritty, is okay, so he embodies the grittiness of the city, but it should be large, should be great, he should like the fanatic looks great in every photo he takes. Gritty should look the opposite. The eye should be misdirection, things like that and we also went down to behavior. So whereas the Philly fanatic will always say, or try to find the positive spin and things like that. Gritty will kind of always go a little bit more extreme. So, it was always of like if every response was dialed up to 11 that’s gritty whereas fanatic kind of works up to it. And the funniest part is with the fanatic is people forget like he used to be all on tommy of the sword and things like that.
Like fanatic didn’t have an edge but he did kind of get after it, he didn’t push it and we just — we want to take credit that much further, but we knew everyone was going to hate him, we knew it and we knew — everyone in Philadelphia is going to hate him and all we needed was for one person to have the Cajones to come at us and if we nailed the response there, then we had it and it was that Pittsburgh tweet. We can make friends with Philadelphians but you can’t and that’s what it was.
And I don’t want to take credit for that tweet response, full credit to — it was Lauren Robbins and Christina Mina and a couple other people there, that was a perfectly crafted tweet with Bird in there everything like that but that was the hinge moment, but we knew. I knew it would work but I also knew that there was going to be — hopefully, I thought it would be like a little over 24 hours, it was much less than that but I thought it be 24 hours of everyone being like what did we do, this is terrible.
Jared Correia: But this thing has exploded even further. So, I think it was 2018, right? Early 2018 that Gritty was introduced.
Sean Hill: Yeah, fall of 2018 is when he came out.
Jared Correia: And you were the guy who walked him on stage, right? The first time? At the introduction, is that right?
Sean Hill: Yeah, so, at the introduction, like I said, the night before, we went and we rehearsed that we blocked it out. I worked with Gritty on — Gritty was concerned about how he should walk and how he should kind of act and things of that, we blocked it all out, we wrote this great bit. They had this this really goofy backstory prior which thankfully got lost in the whole explosion. But what came down is that I ran behind the stage, Gritty and I, we hopped in this thing called the ultimate souvenir vehicle which was like a lawn cart with a big t-shirt gatling gun on the back, and I drove him in, he comes through the smoke, he appears on stage and we introduce it and Dave Raymond said this and he’s right on.
It was doing an unveiling in front of a bunch of kids of something that looked like that. The kids were all on their feet. They were cheering. They loved it because we built it up in such a sort of way and that was another indication to me like hey this is going to work. We just have to get through this period where everyone hates on Philly but it happens all the time.
Jared Correia: You’re like this is like Tuesday from Philadelphia.
Sean Hill: I have a great picture standing next to Gritty on stage and one you see a lot of the similarities of build and personality per se and then, the other part of it you just see that like pure excitement in my face at least because Gritty is back turn of like yup like this was exactly where I was supposed to be. I’m so glad I was a part of it. I’m so glad I had an impactful part on it because it was going to be something that no matter how old I get, it’s a story I’ll be able to tell even if like I said, I don’t get the magazines, I don’t get a lot of the other stuff, I’m kind of under the radar in that sense but I know where my true impact is on that.
Jared Correia: Well, I wanted to give you credit for it. I mean, look, like there are very few iconic mascots in sports, right?
Philly fanatic is one, San Diego chicken is another, maybe Yipiyap(ph) from the expos back in the day. I think he’s with the Canadians now. But like how many mascots are known as well as the Flyers Mascot and then it’s taken off even further than that. So, like, now, Gritty was like this thing that everybody hated, then this thing that everybody loved, then it was a meme, now it’s an avatar for leftist political leanings. Like it’s just all over the map. This is like exploded I’m sure beyond anything you could have imagined.
Sean Hill: Yeah, I mean, definitely more so than that. Smart play that I want to say and it might be intriguing to the legal community out there was there was the discussion and I wasn’t fully involved in this but I know where I kind of rank to give my input of. All right, when people start using the image of Gritty, how much should we crack down, right? Because he could end up in real situations. And kind of less affair with that because it made it that much more of a thing.
Gritty became the mascot of the people. Gritty represents the Philadelphia Flyers but I guarantee there’s a whole segment of the community that knows Gritty and has no idea, a single role of ice hockey. And part of that was is that we won it, when you looked at him amongst all their mascots that you’d be able to tell who Gritty is but we also want it when you thought of a mascot just like we in Philadelphia, we think of a mascot, we think of the Philly fanatic. We want people around the world when they think of a mascot, they think of something like Gritty and I’m surprised we haven’t seen more Gritty knockoffs you know and things that.
Jared Correia: Yeah, I’m actually surprised too.
Sean Hill: Yeah, but part of it is because that’s and I know what this is going to sound like but it is true, I’m sorry. Everybody but like it’s because it’s really a Philadelphia thing. To celebrate something that’s kind of like its own unique sort of deal. Its own little brand of weird. Like I know Portland is weird, knows pulling out of cities that have their weird identities but Philly just has this real authentic. You can only really explain it by being like that’s that and that was a spirit we tried to capture and that was something that we try to do and I can say at least from the debut through that first season, Gritty lived up to that.
Jared Correia: He’s like a hairy orange rocky, right? Or something like.
Sean Hill: You know what, it’s funny about the rocky comparison because it’s — we wanted Gritty — Joe Heller, who is one of the heads of marketing at that point said he’s like, we want you where you want to take a picture with Gritty but I don’t know if you want to hug him. And that was the mentality. But it was one of those things like you know when we had — like I had Gritty immediately like shooting t-shirts at the crew, like taking the t-shirt gun shooting it at us, I had him throwing stuff around, had him slipping on ice, like all these sorts of things. The slipping on ice is such a great thing because it was such an organic moment and the way we kind of played it but there’s the old thing in Philadelphia, the snowballs at Santa Claus. It’s such a tired terrible trope but the real story of that was the eagles were trying to send out Santa Claus, he couldn’t find one they literally pulled a drunk guy from the stands, they put him out there and it was a cheap organization at the time with cheap owner.
So, it nothing to do that was Santa and everything to do that it was a drunk guy in — a crappy Santa and so, that’s what we wanted. When Gritty kind of came out a little bit of that was like have it be like I can’t tell this is the best idea or the worst idea but they’re just going for it and that’s what people align with Philly. You can’t insult Philadelphians. You really can’t do it because we take insults as compliments or we take it as an invitation of fight which is the ultimate compliment.
Jared Correia: I love it. I love how you went with sketchy as your mascot avatar. Sean, thank you for spending so much time on this. I could talk more about this but I think we’re going to cut it off and people can find out more about Gritty by doing google search and checking out all these memes.
Thanks all of you out there for listening. This has been another episode of the Legal Toolkit Podcast. Especially, everybody in Banks Texas. I know you’re out there. Our Spotify playlist for this week’s show covers some of my favorite tunes from cult music. Well, not real cult music just songs from albums that were poorly reviewed when they came out but which have undergone a critical rehabilitation. So, listen up, it’ll be a fun one. Our guest today has been Sean Hill of NiceJob. For more information about NiceJob, go to nicejob.com. for reputation management. Unfortunately, we’ve run out of time for the Harlem Globetrotters Live Demonstration. So, now, I have to go tell women to go home. That’s not going to be fun. Now, that’ll do it for another episode of Legal Toolkit Podcast where my milkshake is better than yours.