What you should know about a woman who inspires Leslie Valenza
Leslie Valencia is a communications professional with 15 years of experience in legal marketing. As Vice President at Poston Communications, she manages the development of a range of knowledge-based content for law firms and other professional services clients, from award submissions, blog posts and by-titled articles to website copy and video scripts, as well as other digital media materials.
Prior to joining Poston Communications, she worked at an Am Law 100 law firm for nearly 10 years where she worked with senior executives to strengthen the firm’s brand in key markets and industries as Media Relations Manager.
Prior to this position, Leslie worked at a strategic communications company.
Leslie is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Region Newsletter Committee of the Legal Marketing Association. She has volunteered for a number of charitable organizations, including the American Cancer Society, RaiseACild, and the Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival, for which she hosted the organization’s first East Coast event.
She lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and daughters.
Find out more about Leslie in this Women Who Wow profile and Connect with her on LinkedIn.
Why did you choose your profession?
Growing up, I had no personal connection to public relations or legal marketing, but I was fortunate to have a journalism teacher who chose me to be our high school’s communications liaison.
In this capacity, I published a bi-weekly column in a local newspaper that featured school news and announcements. This experience sparked my interest in communications and paved the way for me to pursue a bachelor’s degree in public relations. After a series of internships, I landed my first job at a PR and crisis communications firm where I was introduced to legal marketing.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love telling stories and condensing complicated information into useful, digestible points that benefit an audience. A story is like a jigsaw puzzle, and we need to identify the pieces that might be most helpful to, for example, editors judging award submissions or corporate legal departments reading customer alerts.
Ultimately, great storytellers use concise messages to show why audiences should care about a topic. Whatever the project – be it a PR pitch or content – our goal is to make sure it’s useful. For example, if an attorney or law firm wants to raise their profile by writing an award submission, we locate elements of the story that would resonate best with the editors or judges.
At times, attorneys may feel uncomfortable discussing their accomplishments, or firms may have difficulty distinguishing their experiences from the practices of competitors. Uncovering the details that best demonstrate those strengths is an art, and this part of the process is particularly rewarding.
Any advice for young women on succeeding in the workplace?
Be teachable and open to helping with all kinds of projects. Gaining a range of experience – from handling administrative tasks to taking on a project management role – will enhance your skills early in your career. This is how you position yourself as a helpful, adaptable team player and discover what work you enjoy most.
At Poston we have a saying that “we live in a constant state of improvement” and that is a value any young woman in legal marketing could adopt.
What would you like to say to your younger self?
While no workplace is perfect, it’s important to find a supportive team that encourages you to try new things and embrace new experiences. If the pandemic has a silver lining, many employers will hire remote workers, creating new opportunities.
I am fortunate to have benefited from this evolution when I joined Poston after it became a distributed team in 2020. We can now recruit talent from across the United States, which has allowed us to diversify our clients and service offering.
Copyright © 2022, Stefanie M. Marrone. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 33