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  • Writer's pictureTom Butler

Quality News Can Have Long Shelf Life & Build Client Brands

Butler Associates client Michael Barasch In-Studio with Lesley Stahl of CBS 60-Minutes

The feature was about the pros and cons of litigation financing. While there are certainly plenty of positives about the legal-finance sector, as the story explained, there are also downsides. Namely, unscrupulous lenders offering disabled 9/11 heroes – recipients of pending awards from the federal Zadroga 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund – short term loans at sky high interest rates. That’s the tale Mr. Barasch and one of his clients shared with 60-Minutes. But the story begins many years earlier.

In February 2017, we helped garner national media attention, for Mr. Barasch, who was spotlighted as the whistleblower about these lending firms to the Justice Department, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the NY Attorney General. These actions caused him to be personally sued by the lender seeking to make money off the 9/11 community. Speaking with the likes of the Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, USA Today and The Hill, he told journalists back then, “that being sued never felt so right and so good.”

Settled recently, the long running case represented a big win for his law firm and for 9/11 victims who had hundreds of thousands of dollars of interest payments returned to them. That set the CBS Network news team into action.

The 60-Minutes segment comes almost six years to the day (December 19, 2017) when Butler Associates arranged for Mr. Barasch and multiple of his clients to interview with PBS Broadcasting, along the Lower Manhattan waterfront, for what was to become a 10-minute news feature about his aggressive legal advocacy for sick members of the 9/11 community.

PBS Network news crew on location with Attorney Michael Barasch in late 2017.

Rebroadcast multiple times in 2018 and 2019 by PBS stations, that segment has also garnered hundreds of thousands of additional online views:

We often hear people question the reach and impact of traditional earned media in our digitally connected, and increasingly “pay to play,” world. Without a doubt, being the subject of the news, being in front of the camera and in the spotlight, is incredibly valuable to any client. But nothing compares to the impact of earned media for your client – for both their brand and their customers - when you have solid news to pitch.

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