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Strategic Proposal Writer

Company: Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
Location: New York, Florham Park, Chicago, Washington D.C., Wilmington, or Philadelphia
Reports to: Business Development Marketing Manager

Responsibilities:

We are seeking a Strategic Proposal Writer to join our team. The Strategic Proposal Writer is responsible for the writing, coordination and execution of various business development tasks and projects including the creation/aggregation of content for requests for proposal (RFP, RFI, RFQ), client pitch materials, presentations, and competitive intelligence reports. The Proposal Writer will work with the attorneys, other competitive intelligence professional(s), the Business Development Marketing Manager(s) and Coordinator(s), the Business Development Director(s) and other department professionals in writing and developing tailored and compelling proposal and pitch responses for new business opportunities. The Strategic Proposal Writer also will provide assistance in the execution of long-term projects, including acquiring content and maintaining an attorney experience database. The Strategic Proposal Writer must be able to verbally communicate and coordinate with high-level executives and contacts, both internally and externally, in a professional and positive manner. In addition, s/he must be willing to accept ownership of projects and be successful in driving those projects, as well as daily tasks, to an effective conclusion.

The Strategic Proposal Writer must have the ability to prioritize workload and complete tasks under time pressure when necessary. They must have the flexibility and creativity to respond productively to individualized needs of attorneys. They will be computer proficient, with excellent technological skills including proficiency in all Microsoft Office applications. A dependable team player, the Strategic Proposal Writer will works collaboratively and cooperatively with others in a team-oriented environment. The successful candidate will also be able to work well independently, manage projects and maintain communications with various constituencies. Confidentiality and discretion are required consistently.

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:

  • Lead the proposal process from inception through submission. This includes requesting/conducting initial research, review of opportunity and strategic analysis, coordinating proposal schedules and deadlines, developing project plans/timelines, writing all content, and adhering to proposal guidelines and firm policies.
  • Regularly write, edit and proofread proposals and various pitch materials. Ensure materials are error free, visually appealing, and all aspects of the proposal/pitch materials are responsive to the client/prospective and reflective of the firm’s differentiators.
  • Establish and maintain strong relationships with partners, business development and marketing managers. Work with members of the marketing and business development team, attorneys and other departments to develop strategic, client-centric proposals, tailored pitch material, and track results.
  • Provide excellent internal client service, including responding promptly to client requests, meeting commitments and managing demanding attorney situations.
  • Oversee the firm's experience and opportunity databases, implementing best practices for entry and reporting. Conduct necessary follow-up and track ROI.
  • Coordinate the collection of representative work and maintain related databases.
  • Coordinate completion of required forms and collection of standard information (e.g., firm financial information) for inclusion in proposals.
  • Assist with the development of standard practice descriptions and capture custom content.
  • Conduct market research on prospective clients to ensure adequate attorney preparation when meeting with clients and prospects.
  • Assist with business development projects, including working with practice groups to research market trends, industries, particular clients or prospects.
  • Prepare monthly pitch/proposal progress report. Track and report metrics on firm-wide proposal and pitch activity.
  • Responsible for regularly auditing materials and working with business development and marketing practice group teams to maintain current versions of firm business development assets, such as industry and practice overviews, proposal components, templates and presentations.
  • Update InterAction as necessary according to pitch and proposal activity.
  • Maintain and support applicable technologies related to pitch and proposal development.
  • Perform analysis to support decision-making process in vetting RFPs, etc.
  • Contributing writer to other firm projects.
  • Other duties as assigned.

The above described job elements are intended to indicate the general nature and levels of work being performed by employees assigned to the job. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of duties, responsibilities and skills required of employees so classified.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, & ABILITIES:

  • A strong understanding of effective proposal and business development strategies, preferably in the legal and/or the professional services industry.
  • Ability to take legal subject matter – and write and present the material in a compelling way for the intended audience to help win new business.
  • Proven writing skills for a sophisticated business audience.
  • Possess critical thinking skills – able to write strategically with a full grasp of the subject matter and demonstrate an understanding of the stated objectives when externally presenting firm materials.
  • Exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Must be diplomatic and able to effectively coach and counsel attorneys to create desired results.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and proofreading skills, written and verbal, required to interact with firm attorneys and staff.
  • Detail oriented, proactive, self-directed and able to manage multiple projects simultaneously under tight deadlines in a fast-paced, deadline driven environment.
  • Strong customer/client service orientation and the ability to think creatively, prioritize, and multi-task.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to convey complex technical information in reader-friendly language.
  • Pragmatic, but creative, problem solver willing to bring ideas to the table.
  • Strong project coordination skills and the ability to handle stress in a business-like manner.
  • Ability to handle sensitive initiatives confidentially and maintain composure and quality under deadline pressure.
  • Ability to proactively contribute and project manage effectively in a team environment, as both team leader and team member.
  • High-energy level, poised and professional when interacting with internal clients.
  • Proficient with CRM system (e.g. Salesforce.com, InterAction, etc.) and MS Office Suite.
  • Flexible to manage demands outside of traditional business hours.
  • Demonstrated time management skills and ability to work independently in order to meet deadlines.
  • Ability to assess, adapt and reprioritize projects quickly when situations change.
  • Able to work with all levels of firm management and work well as part of a team.
  • General understanding of legal and business concepts, or the capacity to learn them quickly.
  • Ability to exercise good business judgment and diplomacy in complex situations.
  • Unbiased judgment, sound discretion and openness to the views of others.
  • Ability to interact with people in a manner that shows sensitivity, tact, and professionalism.
  • Able to quickly grasp the goals, service, culture and strategy of both the firm and the practice group(s) being supported.
  • Candidate must conduct him/herself professionally in appearance and actions; must set a positive example for all personnel and support a collegial and collaborative work environment.
  • Adhere to and serve as a role model for the firm’s Client Service Standards.
  • Willingness to be flexible and perform responsibilities not specifically identified in the job description and assume new responsibilities as the department's and firm's needs change.

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:

  • Bachelor's degree required.
  • English, journalism, communications, marketing or related field preferred.
  • APMP certification a plus
  • A minimum of seven years' related experience in a comparable RFP writer position developing and managing proposals and other written pitch materials in a legal or professional services environment desired.
  • Strong knowledge of Microsoft Windows and Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint Outlook) applications required.
  • Working experience using a CRM system (e.g. Salesforce.com, InterAction, etc.) required.
  • Strong knowledge of and experience in working with AP Style.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer offering a competitive salary and full benefits package, including medical/dental/vision, life/disability insurance, paid holidays and a 401(k) plan.

How To Apply:

Interested candidates should send a cover letter, including salary requirements, and resume to Human.Resources@dbr.com referencing Strategic Proposal Writer in the subject line. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Resources

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CultureShift®: A Whole Firm Approach for Driving Growth, Profitability and Revenue
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