Login | May 21, 2018

Longtime OSBA PR Director Kenneth Brown retires

RICHARD WEINER
Legal News Reporter

Published: February 12, 2018

After 17 years as the head of public and media relations and at the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA), Kenneth Brown is stepping down. But at the age of 66, Brown is already charting his next adventure.

“This is quite different from going to work every day,” said Brown. “But the hunger to contribute and to accomplish something is still there.”

To that end, Brown has announced the founding of KBROWNCOMMUNICATORS (https://prguy2024.wixsite.com/website).

Brown’s new company will work with clients—mostly law firms, he said, but anyone interested, in applying his many years of experience to small firms looking for ways to expand their market presence, he said.

In what has been an influential life in the Ohio legal community, Brown’s journey has led him through multiple paths in the public relations and legal worlds.

“The OSBA is forever grateful for the service and friendship of Ken Brown,” said Mary Amos Augsburg, OSBA executive director. “Through 17 years of dedicated commitment to the legal profession, Ken played a critical role in expanding public understanding of the law and access to justice, defending the independence of the judiciary, as well as helping our member attorneys to put their best foot forward. Though we will no longer see him day to day, his positive influence lives on through the initiatives on which he worked and the staff and members he touched.”

Margaret (Maggie) Ostrowski has taken Brown’s position at OSBA. She said she knows that she has big, if not legendary, shoes to fill.

“Ken is a tough act to follow,” she said. “As an attorney and veteran communicator, he brought both perspectives to his role at the OSBA and I know firsthand how much our members have benefitted from his expertise. In addition, he has been a great mentor and sounding board for me and many others on staff. Ken retired just a few weeks ago and we already miss his counsel and positive presence.”  

Brown returns to the public relations world where he got his start decades ago. In his own words, he has had “a very long and colorful career in the communications area.”

His first position after college was with the Transportation Institute in Washington, D.C. But the University/Cleveland Heights native returned to Ohio after a brief time in the nation’s capital, taking jobs first with the Department of Mental Health and then the Ohio Attorney General’s office under William Brown.

After leaving the employ of the state, he worked for a PR firm, ran his own business, worked for Nationwide Insurance Company, ran the PR department for Ohio Dominican University, and worked for the Ohio Department of Insurance. That kind of job movement “is not uncommon in the communications field,” said Brown.

Over that time, Brown earned a law degree in the night school of Capital University while also working his day job. But he said that he knew that he was never going to practice law. “It was a great educational opportunity” for him, he said, one that allowed him to work for OSBA using his combination of communication skills and legal knowledge.

During his time at OSBA, Brown was an integral part of the legal industry’s entry into the uses of technology in the law office—particularly in the use of social media, websites and the other reaches of the internet.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to organize the OSBA website and social media,” he said. “To take technology and turn it into publicity.”

When it finally came time for him to retire from the OSBA, Brown said that he “wasn’t ready to stop being a contributing member of the legal or the consultancy worlds. I have a particular expertise.”

His solution was to start a company to bring his skills and connections to smaller firms who, he said, do not necessarily have either the resources or technological or market savvy to expand their footprints in the legal business as fast or as far as they may want to.

“The legal world is tough, particularly with niche practices and younger lawyers,” he said. “It is very competitive and hard to get noticed. My proposals involve coming into a firm, doing an analysis and talking with them about where they are and where they want to be, and then help them to get there.”

Brown is currently in the early stages of meeting with potential clients and providers. He said that he is getting good feedback from these initial meetings. “I’m really excited about this new venture,” he said.

Brown can be contacted through his website.


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