Archive for the ‘ Reputation Management ’ Category

The best business advice I ever got, I got from Joan Rivers

Farewell Joan, from this "Joan Ranger"

Farewell Joan, from this “Joan Ranger”

I was so sad yesterday at the passing of Joan Rivers. I remember listening to her comedy albums (yeah, I’m that old) in high school and laughing at jokes that I could relate to — “slide down please” — because they were directed at me, a girl.

I’ve written before about the worst advice I ever got — “Do a good job, Heather, and they will notice you” — which resulted in me being overlooked for a promotion. Needless to say, this lead me to becoming very proactive marketing me in my career.

I read this essay by Ms. Rivers today, Joan Rivers: Why Johnny Carson “Never Ever Spoke to Me Again,” and I got it: Continue reading

Social media once again reveals the a**h***s

We all have our bad days. But when your bad day ends up in the social media viral loop, or on CNN’s website, your day just went from bad to f***ed-up.

Over in my Legal Marketers Extraordinaire group on Facebook* we’re discussing the LinkedIn rejection letter that has gone viral, as well as the founder of the latest pay-to-play on-line network for lawyers. She’s a peach. I’d link to a story about her, but, if you do your own Googling, you’ll understand why I won’t.

* message me via The Legal Watercooler page the email you use for Facebook for an invite

I suppose time will answer a new age-old question to rival the chicken and the egg:

Which came first, the a**h*** or social media?

Right now I have to go with a**h***s.

Continue reading

We are all Moore. We are all Boston.

I am beside myself tonight. The news is horrible coming out of Moore, Oklahoma. And it keeps getting worse.

But that is not what is upsetting me the most.

It’s the damn auto tweets and posts that seem so out of place between the devastating news.

Here I am. Sitting safe and sound in Los Angeles. Yet I feel like I am there.

Social media provided me a first hand account of what was happening to my friends and colleagues in and around Oklahoma City today.

  • Patrick picked up his kids at school while his wife was huddling in the stairwell of her work.
  • Stacy was with the kids in the middle of the house as the storm passed through Tulsa.
  • My friend Tim is a reporter in Norman. I sent him a note via Facebook. I cannot imagine what he has seen today.

When The Voice tweeted out asking who I was going to vote for, I replied:

@heather_morse: .@NBCTheVoice no voting. Too busy praying for the missing children in Moore, OK. #stopautotweets

A few if us are commenting on Twitter how the auto tweets need to stop. It was only a month ago I wrote this piece, When tragedy strikes pull your auto posts immediately.

And yet someone on my feed defended them. She’s from OK. She thinks it’s OK to tweet about other things.

I disagree.

When you have hundreds, if not thousands of followers, you don’t know who is going to be offended. Who is turning to Twitter or Facebook to try and find and connect with family since phone lines are down.

How hard is it to just stop for 24 hours? Give everyone a breather from what you are eating, or what seminar you have coming up? We don’t have to always have something witty or pithy to say.

What does the disregard for others who are personally impacted by a disaster like this say about your brand? About you?

And it’s not just in social media.

I had an “owner representative” from my timeshare call me tonight. I told her that I found her call to be highly ill timed due to what was going on in Oklahoma. She didn’t get it and, oops, we were disconnected. Normally I’d call back and complain, but I was too invested in the news to care.

All I know is that tonight my heart is breaking for people I do not know. For the children. For their families. For the young man who was crying that all he owned in the world were the clothes he was wearing and his shoes.

I don’t want to be sold anything right now.

I don’t want a robo-call or auto post to invade my space.

I am turning to my social streams for news. Updates. Hope.

To quote Woodsy Owl, “Give a hoot. Don’t pollute” my social streams.

The Legal Naughty & Nice List

06.10.11 christmas stockWell, tis the season and all.

I’m checking out BTI Consulting‘s latest survey where GCs name the most arrogant law firms, and there are no real surprises.

According to Law360’s article, GCs Name Most Arrogant Law Firms:

As the legal industry rebounds from the recession, cockiness is also on the rise, as the number of firms deemed arrogant in a new survey of corporate counsel has ticked upward since last year and doubled from what it was two years ago.

The 2013 BTI Client Services A-Team report, published by The BTI Consulting Group (Wellesley, Mass.), suggests that many of the nation’s legal powerhouses have returned to their smug old ways, no longer desperate for business and no longer willing to budge on fees or otherwise give ground to clients.

So who made the list??

This year’s naughty list includes: Skadden, Kirkland & EllisCravath, Hogan Lovells, Jones Day, King & Spalding, Latham, Quinn Emanuel, Sullivan & Cromwell, Wachtell and Weil Gotshal.

Lest one equates arrogance with service, only four of these firms made BTI’s Top 30 in client service.

As for the Nice List? Here’s the 2013 Client Service 30. The top 10 are:

  1. Jones Day
  2. Mayer Brown
  3. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
  4. McGuireWoods
  5. Seyfarth Shaw
  6. Thompson Hine
  7. Kirkland & Ellis
  8. Faegre Baker Daniels
  9. Baker & McKenzie
  10. Sullivan & Cromwell

And, yes, Virginia, it is possible to make the Client Service 30, while avoiding the Arrogance list entirely. Just ask nice guys Seyfarth Shaw, Thompson Hine, and Littler Mendelson.

So, what does this mean? Not too much, obviously. When it comes to “bet the farm” litigation, the “like” in “know, like and trust” can often times be thrown out the window. You need your team to win at any cost, and you’ll put up with that “arrogance,” along with the hourly rates of over $1000.

However, are you going to put up with that type of arrogance or behavior when the stakes are not as high? Or will you take your business elsewhere? Seeing the profits and revenues of the AmLaw 100 and 200, I’d say a lot of that work is being spread about the country. And, according to the Go-To Law Firms ® list, not one firm holds a lock on any one company.

As the recession did show us, corporate counsel are willing to take their business elsewhere, and that is not about to change any time soon.

So while making the arrogance list might lend a smile to the smuggest of the smug, it should also raise eyebrows of caution.

Number one on the client service list, Jones Day, is quite capable of handling any work that the other firms might have. Sure, they are on the arrogance list as well, but not so high as to make the news stories.


If you don’t know BTI, they slice and dice all the fun information on how general counsel see, view, and hire outside counsel; how and if they will spend money; what drives the purchasing decisions. Great pie charts. You can download (for a price) the full BTI survey here.

Mind your (techie) manners

Thank God the elections are over.

I survived my first camping (IN A TENT) trip with the Girl Scouts at Camporee!

Nuts & Magazine sales are on for Girl Scouts.

Not to mention the Mixed Bag Design fundraiser at our school, which ended on Monday; and the See’s Candy sale, which started on Tuesday.

Fall volleyball season is over for the girls; already signing them up for the Spring.

The Sports Dude is scheduled for his big surgery Thanksgiving week (no cooking for me this year).

Sadly, we are also dealing with a parent with terminal cancer.

Good new is, I can’t complain about having too much time on my hands.

But it is time to turn my focus back to legal marketing and The Legal Watercooler, and what better way than with Emily Post’s new rules of tech etiquette for the office.

For those of you who thought etiquette ended in the days of Downton Abbey, you are wrong.

Social norms, while in flux, still exist and we need to find our way through the haze (which is now legal in several states, I hear).

From the above linked article:

These days, employees seem to care more about connecting with their devices than with their fellow colleagues.

In fact, 4 in 10 HR managers have received a complaint about an employee’s improper use of mobile technology in the work force, according to a recent study by Intel. The most common complaints? A phone ringing during a meeting (60 percent) and using a laptop to check email or surf the Internet during a meeting (44 percent).

Does that mean you shouldn’t ever take helpful gadgets with you to meetings? No. But how we deal with these modern-day peccadilloes is constantly evolving.

Technology is here to stay, so deal with it.

I bring my iPad to meeting to take notes, read documents (have you seen what the LMA Board Book looks like??? Puts the Vogue September issue to SHAME), and, yes, keep tabs on the office. Discreetly.

I have to use my common sense, however, at all times.

When I attend a conference where I intend to live-Tweet or blog, I introduce myself to the speaker, letting him or her know that I am not tapping away to be rude, but am communicating their message to my followers.

When I am at a business event, or social functions, the iPhone is put away, unless there is an emergency that I am following (personal or professional).

To completely plagiarize from Miss Post, our smart phones are not additional utensils meant for the dinner table, and really should be kept out of sight.

Don’t get me wrong. Technology is a beautiful, beautiful thing. But it can also be more than a distraction.

At home, we are having to institute some rather strange rules, such as “no technology in bed after 10:00 p.m.”

Our punishments for the kids seem to revolve around technology: “If you hit your sister, you lose your iPod for the weekend,” and, “If you annoy your sister to the point that she hits you, no YouTube for the weekend.”

I don’t think that the final book has been written about technology and etiquette, but as we all make our way through the maze of (tech) life, I have found a few articles that might be of help:

Or, when in doubt, follow my simple rule: “Don’t be an a**hole.”

 Illustration by Ross MacDonald/Photograph by Kang Kim via

The First Rule of Legal Marketing

TRUST. If you ask me, the first rule of our profession is trust.

Without trust we cannot do much in our firms. Without trust we cannot learn and share with one another. Without trust we cannot mentor, or be mentored, by the incredible leaders of our profession, who are still around. Which says a lot about who we are as a community.

We had a breach in trust yesterday.

I started a Facebook group for legal marketers a year or so ago. I had a question I needed to ask. I should have known the answer, but I didn’t. I didn’t want it posted in a public forum where it would live there forever. So I started a group with a dozen or so of my legal marketing friends. Not all LMA members.

I invited my friends to invite their friends, and the group has now grown to 257. I don’t even know a lot of these folks. But I still feel comfortable openly sharing. If I trust you, and you trust your friend, then I trust your friend.

Per Facebook rules, the group is “secret” so that our conversations remain completely private on our personal walls, but is open to all to join. (If you want to join the group, send me a message on Facebook).

But whether on Facebook, in an e-mail thread, at an LMA meeting, or a board meeting, we legal marketing professionals openly share with one another.

We don’t collude or plot, but we share our difficulties and frustrations that come with our jobs, and seek out solutions to our challenges from our peers.

This level of trust amongst us has allowed us to create something really, really special: friendships.

I count amongst my closest friends members of my profession and/or professional association. Some are service providers. Some are competitors. Some are true peers.

These close friendships allow me to not only do my job better, but allow me to be a better and more authentic Heather.

I trust you to see the vulnerable me. The real me.

When I am mentoring new members of our profession, I always start by telling them about this trust thingie we have going on. How you can pick up the phone and call anyone. How you can ask a stupid question.

In the past 14+ years that I have been doing this, I can honestly say that breaches in trust are few and far between, but the damage one breach can cause can be immense, and can do great harm.

However, I would caution all of us to not allow these rare breaches of trust to impair our culture of trust. It’s what makes us special. It’s what makes us a better community. It’s what makes us better legal marketers. And it’s what makes us better friends.

No More Excuses. Learn This S*** Already

Jonathan Fitzgerrald, CMO, Greenberg Glusker (Bad for the Brand and so much more) and I sat down yesterday to discuss our upcoming Webinar Best of the Web for Professional Development.

Of course, a Vente iced-coffee propelled us off topic now and again, and at one point we started ranting about legal marketers (none of whom are reading this, so we were not talking about you, in general or specifically) who REFUSE to learn or participate in social media, and are clueless about legal (business) technology in general:

  • I don’t get it.
  • I don’t have time.
  • I’m too private.
  • That doesn’t apply to me.
  • I like to keep my work and private life separate.

Get over it. You don’t have the luxury of remaining clueless much longer. If the lawyers need to know and understand this “stuff,” so do we.

An article in today’s, Are Proposed Changes to ABA Ethics Rules Too Little, Too Late? (free subscription),  includes a whole nifty section on how lawyers “must be technologically competent.”

The commission has proposed that “Comment 6″ be revised to read: “To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology, engage in continuing study and education and comply with all continuing legal education requirements to which the lawyer is subject.” (Changes noted with italics.)

These additional words are a game changer. In a surprising statement, the commission stated that “this obligation is not new. Rather, the proposed amendment emphasizes that a lawyer should remain aware of technology, including the benefits and risks associated with it, as part of a lawyer’s general ethical duty to remain competent in a digital age.” (emphasis added)

There you go folks. The pre-season for social media and technology is over and game is on.

If lawyers are operating in a cloud, using Dropbox on their iPads, opererating in a virtual environment, communciating and blogging digitally and remotely, than you must understand how this works. Period.

You don’t need to be fluent in tech and social media, but you need to be conversant and knowledgeable. This is not something you can downsource to a recent college grad sitting in a cubicle.

And it’s not just about doing a good job at your firm right now. It’s about your next job and your career in general.

Just like you need to know and understand how to use Word and Excel as a basic tool, you need to understand and know how to use Twitter and LinkedIn, at least in their simplest forms. Not to mention how groups, lists, and hashtags really make these applications soar.

How are blogs being used? And what is an RSS feed? And why do people care so much about keywords, tagging and hyperlinks?

I could go on and on, but I’m just preaching to the choir here.


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