Mark Mansfield, the president of William J. Mansfield Inc., sat down with Attorney at Law Magazine Philadelphia Publisher Thomas Ryales to discuss his business and how he works with local attorneys to better their practices.
AALM: What attracted you to the business of legal advertising?
Mansfield: Family. Luckily my father’s guidance and friendship led me back home aft er four years of college at Randolph Macon. The rest is history. We have a relationship that is both familial and also business like. Family business can be challenging, but we make it work. I am very proud to be working with him and to carry on the family legacy.
AALM: Tell us about the founding of William J. Mansfield Inc.
Mansfield: William J. Mansfield Inc. originally started in Philadelphia City Hall by my great great grandfather. While he was clerking for a judge, he started doing favors for local attorneys with their legal advertising needs. He then left his clerkship and started William J. Mansfield Inc. The company moved to 1420 Walnut Street in Philadelphia, then out to the Wayne area in 1985 where we currently operate today.
AALM: How is William J. Mansfield Inc. different than other legal advertising firms?
Mansfield: Customer service, customer service, customer service! We pride ourselves as always being a phone call or email away. When I started in 1999, email was just becoming important in the everyday work place. Now it’s about 99 percent of how we communicate with our clients. In today’s world you must be “HYPER REACTIVE” with your clients. We pride ourselves in getting back to our clientele as soon as possible.
AALM: How would you describe the culture or the brand of the company?
Mansfield: Since we are a family run organization, our belief is that our small business is a “family” we also try to work as one.
AALM: How has the company evolved since its founding?
Mansfield: Technology has driven our evolvement, driving up our speed and turnaround time. Also now, we are able to digitally deliver notarized affidavits to our clients which has become crucial.
AALM: How do you balance your time between aiding clients and running a business?
Mansfield: The hardest part of a small business that anytime spent “taking care of business” is time spent away from clients. I try to do a little bit of business needs each day, so that way I do not miss a whole day without aiding or assisting clients or bringing new business in.
AALM: What changes do you see developing in the industry? How are you preparing your company to stay ahead of the curve?
Mansfield: The internet has its challenges, but also its advantages. It’s hard to believe, but 60 million people in the United States still do not have access to the internet. Newspapers continue to be the best place for legal notices.
AALM: What do you enjoy most about working with attorneys?
Mansfield: They challenge me every day. One of my favorite things is to personally drop their work back to them. It gives me a chance to meet them face to face and also to thank them for using our services.
AALM: How is William J. Mansfield Inc. involved in the community?
Mansfield: Everyone in our office loves dogs. Luckily, we are allowed to bring them to work, so the SPCA is where we concentrate our community involvement.
AALM: Tell me about how you spend your time when you are off the clock.
Mansfield: My wife Mary Sue and I keep busy with our three kids, Carter, 8, and twin girls, Brooke and Blair, 5. Our free time is spent at the beach or watching the World Champion Philadelphia Eagles.