Archive for the ‘ Social Media ’ Category

Trends in Media/Pr for Law Firms: What’s Valuable and Effective Today

Denise NixThank you to guest blogger Denise Nix, Marketing and Business Development Manager at Glaser Weil, for providing her insights into “Trends in Media/Pr for Law Firms: What’s Valuable and Effective Today” from the recent Legal Marketing Association annual conference.”


Really the only LMA session this year to focus exclusively on the PR side of marketing, the panel broke down the topics into The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and The Future.

Panelists:

Moderator:

THE GOOD – sharing good news (new hires, successful outcomes, office moves, etc.)

  • “Content is queen” because it is used to create relationships and connections, and build awareness. Scoring (measuring and weighing reach of content and what it leads to in terms of hires, matters and other opportunities – or engagement) is key. Engagement is what we create from that content. (Eleanor)
  • All firms should have media policies, written and circulated to all staff and attorneys regularly. (Kathy) Make them a part of the staff handbook. (Paul)
  • PR can be used to influence litigation (Eleanor) or create the right visuals on the courthouse steps (Lisa). Attorneys are being, and should be, proactive in how they write court documents on cases that are, or might, be followed by the media. While the attorney may not be able to comment on the case, key message points in the filing intro will get the point into the press. (Kathy)

THE BAD – handling bad news about the firm or its client

  • Have a crisis communications plan in place (Jaffe has downloadable templates on its website. ) Identify a spokesperson and practice the key message points with him or her. Keep internal staff informed – a well-written memo with your key messages is a good strategy, especially if there is a chance it may be leaked. (Kathy)
  • “Killing” a story is difficult, but can happen. Get partners involved if need-be (Lisa) or ask for a delay to at least get your message together (Kathy).

THE UGLY – surveys, directories and submissions

  • The audience groaned at this topic, but a few indicated they have received business from these.
  • Think about how to use the content in a new way once the information is published.
  • Use the information gathering step to really mine the attorneys for information about themselves and their practices to be re-purposed for other uses. Turn it into “marketing gold.” (Kathy)
  • Be strategic when dealing with the politics of who is being submitted and who is not (Susan). Be transparent with the reasons why and use as incentive for work/communication in the future (Paul).

THE FUTURE – social media

  • “Social media is the megaphone” for your content. (Kathy)
  • Social media is like winning the PR lottery – use these platforms to drive traffic to blogs, website, etc. (Eleanor)

Justin Bieber. Really?? Think before you link bait.

Swiping through my reader this morning on the train, and I was just shaking my head over the legal blog after legal blog after legal blog going on and on about Justin Bieber’s deposition.

It’s just link bait.

link·bait
ˈliNGkˌbāt/
noun
noun: link bait
  1. (on a website) content designed to attract attention and encourage those viewing it to create hyperlinks to the site, with the aim of improving the site’s position on the list of results returned by a search engine.
    “at first, he tried creating linkbait to get his site noticed”

 

Sure, I expect to see it on TMZ or Above the Law. But some of the bloggers blogging on JB are legitimate legal bloggers, not a legal gossip site (which I read, along with TMZ, every day, so not a slam at the ATL folks at all).

Other than link bait, I cannot see the connection.

I’m not bashing link baiting. I do it all the time. I have one post that many years later still gets hits because of the link bait.

I also have no regrets about link baiting to a story to gain the attention of the author or publication.

However, when I do link bait, I do so with a purpose, but hopefully with some integrity. I am usually linking to a:

  • legitimate story of the day.
  • story that fits within the theme of my blog.
  • topic that my readers will actually want to read.

I will admit, that when I am link baiting, I try to be honest about it with my readers (unlike Ellen’s product placement selfie during the Oscars). I figure I owe all of you reading this just that.

And, there are times, that I want to link to a popular story of the day, but I have to find the perfect story angle so that I can do so with integrity. I need to make the story part of my voice and the voice of this blog, my brand, so to speak. And, thereby, not insult my readers.

So, yeah. This post is a prime example of how I use link bait so that I can bring myself and my blog into a story of the day, without compromising myself, or you.

Photo courtesy of Flickr | Anita Pratanti

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

Lessons from the Sports Dude: Drive the Conversation

There’s a story breaking in Los Angeles. Our L.A. Rams might be coming home after wandering through the mid-west for the past 20-years.

And the Sports Dude is in there.

Eric Geller LA Rams

As background, the Sports Dude got really, really sick some years ago. It almost took his life, and it definitely impacted his career. He went from Sportscaster of the Year, to hospital patient barely able to make it back to Los Angeles for his life-saving surgeries.

But he’s back. He’s cured. He’s healthy. He reclaimed his life, including marrying his high school sweetheart, and he is claiming his spot in L.A. sports. And my Baby Boomer husband is using social media to pave his way.

We set up his blog, On Any Given Sports Day, several years ago so he could be a part of the conversation. Then his Twitter. And Facebook page. And YouTube channel. And LinkedIn accounts.

By doing so, he is able to be in the middle of any sports story, any where. Connect to people he needs to know, and where THEY are using social media.

Did you know he was the only reporter invited to cover Deacon Jones’ funeral outside the NFL channel?

And it is working.

It is opening the doors to the stadiums and arenas. He has his credentials to most games. He’s back in the press box. He’s freelancing for a couple outfits, and has his eyes on the big prize: The Los Angeles Rams.

He is in the middle of the Bring Back the Los Angeles Rams campaign. He’s active with the booster club, with their more than 25,000 Facebook Fans, and he’s building a sports fan base there.

When on the field covering one story, he makes sure to get video of iconic L.A. sports heroes talking about bringing the team home.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCOfrIBkWZ0

While at a school fundraiser last night the news broke that Rams owner “Silent Stan” Kroenke finally raise[d] his voice has purchased more than 60 acres of prime real estate next to The Fabulous Forum. Big enough to build a stadium. And, as they say: “If you build it, they will come.”

Sport Dude rushed us home, threw on the Clippers game, and fired up his laptop.

He stayed up late writing a story. Posted it to Examiner.com (owned by AEG, by the way), his blog, sent out Twitter links, and then got to sleep around 2:30 am.

He’s back awake, and following the story. He’ll spend the day tweeting, connecting, pushing and nudging the story.

And there’s the lesson: No matter what is going on, stop what you are doing and get in the middle of the story. The story will not wait for you, and the conversations definitely won’t either.

You don’t have to spend the day in front of your laptop doing it. Use your tablet or smart phone while waiting in line for coffee at Starbucks, or waiting for the elevator. But make sure to get your voice in there.

Blog, comment, connect, retweet, follow.

Blog, comment, connect, retweet, follow.

Social media allows all any one of us to jump in the story, and help drive it. All you have to do is:

Blog, comment, connect, retweet, follow.

How to avoid random acts of hashtags

Hopefully by now everyone knows what a hashtag is beyond an annoying way that kids talk today.

Or a scroll at the bottom of a TV show.

Hashtags began randomly enough in 2007 and became popularized during the San Diego wildfires of that year.

They allow users of Twitter (and now every other social media) to search and find topics. They are now hyperlinked in the status, so all you have to do is click to get your search results.

Which brings me to random acts of hashtags.

There is a marketing conference taking place right now. I have several friends attending the conference, and they are all using a different hashtag.

Rather than be able to follow one conversation, there are several conversations taking place.

Since I am fortunate to follow many people in my industry, I was able to catch on pretty quick to what was going on with the three separate hashtags.

Unfortunately, I am not that invested that I will build out a multiple hashtag search result into one stream.

You lost me. And you lost me in several places: Continue reading

Gen Y, Meet Milbank.

An era-appropriate reference.

Nothing like an Above the Law post to get the LME going.

Today’s late-breaking post, Biglaw Firm Holds Associates To Strict Social Media Policy, is brought to you by the good folks at Milbank.

Where to begin? Where to begin?

A four page memo that can be boiled down to: “Don’t be an idiot.” Or, the more professional, “Conduct yourself professionally on social media and networking sites as you would in any professional setting.”

ATL goes into detail of everything wrong with this policy, and I agree with it all.

But what they miss is the generational implications of such a policy.

What a bunch of killjoys. Who under, oh, 60, would want to work there?

Seriously where do they plan to recruit new associates?

Harvard? You know, that school that brought us Facebook?

Stanford? Where Google’s co-founders (and your client), owner of YouTube, Blogger, and countless other social sites, met?

Nothing says “welcome” to the Gen Y crowd as Big Brother:

The Firm reserves the right to monitor the activities of lawyers and administrative employees on Social Media Sites and may at any time request or require the removal of any posting or content on a Social Media Site. If conduct is in violation of Firm policies and/or is seen as compromising the interests of the Firm, the Firm may take appropriate disciplinary action.

Yikes. And don’t update your Facebook status from work. That is prohibited at well.

Hello. Bueller?? Bueller? The world has changed. Social media is as much of our culture as cell phones and e-mail.

The genie is out of the social media bottle and is not going back. If you have honest concerns, deal with them, but by trying to lock down social media you have now identified yourself as the least cool law firm to work for on the planet.

Which might be fine with your over 60 partners … but wait until their grandchildren get them a new iPad or tablet for Christmas so they can connect and start communicating with the other folks in the fastest growth demographic for Facebook and Twitter.

On the bright side, per the above link, social media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the web. At least one HR problem has been solved.

How NOT to measure the value of a legal blog

I just read the following post SCOTUSblog Won Readers, Not Clients: Popular blog didn’t work as marketing tool for law firm but was a hit with readers, founders tell UGA audience.

I have to disagree.

In general, and in most cases, a corporate legal blogger might not be able to point to a particular piece of business and say, “I brought that in from writing this blog post on that date.”

However, if written correctly, the attorney can most likely point to their practice and see a correlation between their increased business and the launching of their blog.

I just don’t think the folks at SCOTUSblog are correctly measuring its value.

A corporate legal blog is NOT a business development (read SALES) tool in and of itself. It is there to provide what Nancy Myrland calls “digital breadcrumbs“:

Blogging, just as all other content scattered across the Internet, is what I always refer to as “digital breadcrumbs.” The words, thoughts and opinions we share in these spaces serve to help others find a path to us when they happen to need us, or at least when their interest in our areas of expertise is heightened.

A blog, done right, is an educational tool that will position the author and firm. Avvo‘s Josh King agrees:

Too many attorneys and firms treat them like outbound marketing vehicles, doing more overt sales pitches than information and thought leadership.

Blogs are about value, and education. They are about telling the story you want the general counsel to read as they are doing their due diligence on the attorney and the firm. They are about having the right results on page one when your name is Googled.

Getting back to the softer ROI that we’re talking about, Virtual Marketing Officer, Jayne Navarre, points out that the SCOTUSblog article contradicts itself: Continue reading

Florida Bar Rules That Make You Go Hmmmm

On August 29, 2013, the webinar “Overview of the New Florida Bar Rules with Florida Bar Ethics Counsel Elizabeth Clark Tarbert” was presented to the Legal Marketing Association Southeast Chapter members.

A fellow Coolerite wrote the following recap of one very important point of the presentation, asking that his/her name not be used:

As we all have read over the past few months, Florida Bar Rules of Advertising are quite challenging.  There are two rules discussed today that stood out from today’s presentation:

  • Seminars. Florida law firms are not permitted to pass out firm brochures or any other information at a firm hosted seminar. Instead, the Bar suggests firms just leave the information on a table in the back of the room and have the attendees pick it up, if they choose to do so.  But wait, there’s more. Remember our training and plain ole “good manners” to send a post-seminar thank you letter to attendees?  Not in Florida, the Bar prohibits such letters. Firms can only send a post seminar letter if the attendee asks for additional information. If a firm chooses to send a letter, they must follow the direct mail rule – for ease of reference, see the Bar’s five-page checklist for direct mail.
  • Social media.  Twitter and LinkedIn was discussed. The Bar is still discussing LinkedIn endorsements and will update their website once a ruling comes down.  The Bar rules state that:
    • Any communications that a lawyer makes on an unsolicited basis to prospective clients to obtain “followers” is subject to the lawyer advertising rules, as with any other social media as noted above. Because of Twitter’s 140 character limitation, lawyers may use commonly recognized abbreviations for the required geographic disclosure of a bona fide office location by city, town or county as required by Rule 4-7.12(a).

What does this mean? The lawyer or firm should carefully capture firm (or lawyer) name and geographic location in Twitter handle as all that information needs to appear in 140 characters in every tweet. The guidelines for law firm social networking sites can be found here.

You may also want to read a previous post by our LMA friend, Nancy Myrland, “Legal Advertising Rules – How About That Florida Bar.”

Bottom line:  While we understand the Bar is trying to protect consumers from the “bad guys,” some of these rules are quite challenging and make us scratch our heads and wonder.

My hat is off to all of my colleagues who take on the challenge of marketing in Florida.

My question to those in Florida would be from the first point:

If we host a client seminar in Florida, we cannot hand out our own brochures to the attendees upon arrival. They need to pick them up from a table in the back of the room. What happens when we are sponsoring a program via DRI or ACI, which host numerous legal programs in Florida. Can our brochures be placed in the conference bags? What about a squish ball? Or flash drive with materials?

Google Profiles + Google Author Ranks + Google In-Depth Articles = WAKE UP!!!

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

Wake up and smell the coffee people.

Wake up and smell the coffee: Google matters. Google counts. Copyblogger said so this morning (Seriously. Go get some coffee and click on the article. It’s a must read today):

A forewarning from Google’s Chairman

Just 19 days after my predictions for 2013, the Wall Street Journal published its comments on The New Digital Age, a book written by Google’s chairman, Eric Schmidt. These comments included this quote (bold is mine):

Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.

This is a powerful statement by one of the most powerful people in Google. Schmidt makes it clear that Authorship will be a very material factor in search ranking.

For those of us operating in the legal community this is REALLY good new. Why? Because lawyers have content. Lots of it. The job of the legal marketer is to help them get that content into digital, and connect with the Google game.

I’m not talking about gaming Google, but realizing that Google has a strategy to promote good content, and we legal marketers and lawyers need to stay awake and on top of it. Continue reading

Three great take aways from today’s GC Panel at LMA-LA

Kudos to the Legal Marketing Association – Los Angeles Chapter program team on today’s Corporate Counsel Panel.

I have to say, I always love me a GC panel. Sure we hear the same ol’ same ol’, but there are always a few new nuggets of information in there.

GC panel

Corporate Counsel Panel

Three things popped out at me:

  1. The importance of LinkedIn. I have never at a panel heard GC after GC rave about LinkedIn. Okay. Four out of six. But they were vocal in their enthusiasm. The connections.The groups. They are using it to vet outside counsel. Learn information. Stay informed of trends. I’ve hyper-linked the LinkedIn profiles below where found.
  2. ACC Daily Newsletter. For those who don’t know what this is, the Association of Corporate Counsel uses Lexology to feed a daily newsletter for ACC members. The members can customize it by industry, practice, region, etc. Where does Lexology get the content? Law firm blogs. Corporate counsel are reading with their eyes and clicking on things that are of importance.
  3. Headlines Count. Whether it’s coming from an e-newsletter, scrolling through a LinkedIn group’s latest postings, or the Lexology daily newsletter, corporate counsel are clicking on the headlines that resonate with them on the issues they are facing today. Harkening back to this post, Why, yes, Amy. I did learn two new things, it’s not WHAT they are about to read, but WHY they need to read it that counts.

I tweeted at #lmamkt some other little tidbits. But those are the biggies that I walked away with,

Oh, Yeah. One more:

4. It’s all about relationships. Don’t ever forget that.

In Photo: L-R. Deborah Greaves, Secretary & General Counsel, True Religion Brand Jeans; Camilla M. Eng, General Counsel, JM Eagle; Joanne E. Caruso, Vice President, Global Litigation, Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.; Jennifer Fisher, Senior Counsel, Intellectual Property, The Boeing Company, Boeing; Sheri Eisner, Associate General Counsel, JAMS; Tammy Brandt, Vice President and General Counsel, ServiceMesh, Inc.

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