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In Undefined Media, a Note on Vanguard’s Approach

With a blend of new and old models, we seek the truth

Richard Edelman, CEO and president of the world’s largest private PR firm, Edelman, issued a letter in mid-November (2016) that resonated with Vanguard staff.

Referencing a Buzzfeed story, he noted that false election articles posted on Facebook vastly outperformed real news articles by prominent news organizations (such as The New York Times and The Washington Post) in the final months before the presidential elections, getting much more widely read and distributed by readers.

He wrote: “The false stories ranged from the ridiculous to the scandalous, including an endorsement of President-elect Donald Trump by Pope Francis. One site alone had four stories that were shared 3 million times on Facebook, including one about Hillary Clinton selling arms to ISIS.”

I came across this letter preparing for a story in this edition about Edelman’s senior attorneys, Shan Bhati and Peter Petros. The letter resonated not because of concerns about false news, or being perceived this way, but because Vanguard is a young magazine just in its fourth quarterly edition.

Even though Vanguard has the backing of an established company, TrueLine Publishing, it’s entering the publishing world during uncertain times. Newspapers are experimenting; digital publications are popping up and disappearing like restaurants; readers are uncertain where to turn.

When they do turn to Vanguard, they will find an approach that’s not typical of trade magazines, law reviews or newspapers, but rather a combination of these approaches.

The story on Bhati and Petros overviews the baptism-by-fire building of Edelman’s legal department by the attorneys and their path to earning a place at the business roundtable. “When we started, it was sink or swim and we swam like hell,” Bhati said in that story.

In another story on John Scheib, vice president of the legal division at Norfolk Southern—the eastern Virginia-headquartered railway that, on over 21,000 miles of track, operates in 22 states and the District of Columbia—Scheib jokes, “I couldn’t even spell railroad when I got out of law school.”

Today, his experiences have grown to include serving as counsel to the railroad subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives and being chief of staff and counsel to the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, which has broad economic oversight over the railroads.

In stories such as these, amidst media change that’s pulling the rug of reality from beneath us, Vanguard provides an anchor of truth: clearly written stories that are double-checked with all sources for accuracy.

View these stories and more in our latest edition, Winter II 2017.

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The piece highlighting my company, Bob Baker Enterprises, Inc., came out fabulous. Our company is in the new and used car sales and service industry. Everyone was great to work with and extremely professional. They produced a high-quality product and have provided expert assistance and guidance post-production of the article.
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As promised in advance, my feature in Vanguard has increased my visibility within the profession and prompted more than a few people I have not communicated with recently to reconnect. One of the Italian law firms I have used in the past is now in the process of interviewing me for an article on their website and tweeting out the feature story. Activity and the number of people connecting with me on LinkedIn has soared, which is great. The Vanguard writers and editorial staff were great to work with—highly professional and made the effort to make the experience both fun and rewarding (they were also respectful of the time pressures and demands all lawyers face). I was very pleased with the experience and the final outcome. Needless to say, I have been very pleased. All in all working with Vanguard has been a very positive experience which generated good publicity for both Shawcor and myself. My sincere thanks.
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LATEST EDITION

Summer III 2018

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