Category Archives: demand media

dui

When a Lawyer’s Reputation Can be Damaged by Public Relations Consultants

This week, I had two meetings at a legal trade magazine where the reporter interviewed my clients from different law firms for two profile stories. I sat in the room quietly, listening as my clients shared their experiences as attorneys. I enjoy sitting in on these meetings because I often learn something new about my clients. I also make a point to keep my mouth shut and avoid trying to control the conversation. However, there’s a situation when meetings among a client, reporter and publicist can backfire in a big way.

The Seattle Times reported that a high-profile trial attorney, Anne Bremner, wants a court injunction to block the sheriff’s office from releasing investigative reports and video from her arrest two months ago on suspicion of drunken driving. The story goes on to say that the interview with the paper took place in the office a public relations specialist. The article also said:

Bremner is a well-known defense attorney who has often appeared on cable and national television stations to offer legal analysis. According to her website, she covered the Michael Jackson child-molestation trial in 2005 for CNN and has appeared on TruTV, “Good Morning America” and Fox News. Over the course of her 26-year career, she’s represented numerous police agencies, officers and sheriff’s deputies.

Clearly, Bremner is media-savvy. However, having this meeting in a publicist’s office was a strange move. If she’s as innocent as she says, why not meet the reporter at her offices or at a coffee shop? Why have a publicist in the room if you’re telling the truth about what happened? A publicist should not be seen or heard in these circumstances. Rather, a good prep session with the publicist and client before the meeting is the way to go.

It raises some suspicion that she needed to have the protection of a publicist and is trying not to allow the media to see her public records. This creates a “loop hole” for the media and citizen journalists to exploit, which opens up a new can of cats.

entr-journalism

Demand Your Media …NOW!!!

I recently heard the term “entrepreneurial journalism,” which is the concept that online writers and reporters get paid based on the number of clicks on their stories. When I was a kid, I remember television and radio shows asking audiences to send in cards and letters for contests and audience feedback. I supposed that if Bozo the Clown got more mail than Chuckles, Bozo got a raise and Chuckles got the boot.

Now has come along a more formalized version of entrepreneurial journalism known as Demand Media. They measure on-line traffic and select keywords that become story ideas that an army of freelance writers and editors transform into articles and then post online. The big idea is that the content is “guaranteed” to appeal to readers because of online research. The total cost for the content from a network of freelance writers and editors is less than $20 per article. That’s an amazing business model compared to the day when someone got about $1/word for an original article. Just a 200 word article using the old model would yield a writer’s fee of $200 or 10 times more than Demand Media’s model. No wonder journalists are dropping like flies.

So once again, Google wins. At 4:35 pm Central on Monday, April 5, these are their most popular news stories:

- A Revealing and Guarded Tiger Woods

- Jesse James Leaves Rehab

- Apple to Reveal iPhone 4.0

Let me run this through Tom Ciesielka’s algorithm to come up with a headline:

Tiger Woods Reveals Through His 4.0 iPhone that Jesse James is Free and Will Be Stalking Sandra Bullock.

There you have it. The top story at 4:35 pm Central on Monday, April 5, 2010, no charge