Lawyers Need to Join Gangs

Attorneys belong to everything from bar associations to industry organizations connected to their legal practice. However, I say they need to follow the lead of Los Angeles gangs. The Associated Press reported that law enforcement officials say that gangs use Facebook and Twitter to share information, including information that helps agents identify gang associates and get valuable details about their organizations.

For years, due to state regulations, lawyers have had their hands tied when it came to promoting their practices and firms. Advertising and marketing were “dirty” words that made every lawyer feel like they were “stalking” for new clients. However, that’s been changing over the last ten years. I just came off the board for the Midwest Chapter of the Legal Marketing Association, and I can assure you that lawyers are marketing more than ever.

Gangs used to operate in the shadows of society (well maybe not Al Capone). And in regards to self-promotion, so have lawyers. However, with Facebook and Twitter, lawyers can stay connected with clients, prospects, law schools they recruit from, and referring lawyers. The key is CONTENT.

While most states have strict rules on “sales” messages from lawyers, sharing information that shows a lawyer’s expertise or news written about one of their cases, in most instances, is fair game to share with the world. So it can be “legal” and “promotional” at the same time.

The PR laugh is the wide gap between “old school” and “new school” lawyers and law firms. If our agency was still pitching to traditional media and avoiding social media, we’d be dead.


Madonna, Lady Gaga and Tom Ciesielka

I never thought I would combine my name with these two performers; Madonna is someone I followed during my wild years (side note: My birthday is coming up and she will always be older than me). What made Madonna appealing was how she effectively combined genuine talent with publicity stunts with a constant mix of reinventing her image, while working hard to remain a top shelf entertainer.
So what’s my connection to Lady Gaga? None. All I know is that, like Madonna, she’s doing well with selling her music and seems to always reinvent herself with every dress she wears to an awards show. Lady Gaga has managed to break into my world even though I don’t read music magazines or closely follow trends and pop stars in contemporary music.

Our agency, like every public relations agency, has been reinventing itself constantly with public relations campaigns through social media. Whether it is blog relations, Facebook Fan relations or Tweets with followers who have proactively sought after a relationship with us, each day we’re breaking new ground in communications.

The PR laugh is that Madonna and Lady Gaga are role models for me, Mr. Conservative. While Madonna could update her image every few years, Lady Gaga does it with a new dress every week! It reminds me that our agency has needed to adapt to a news cycle that is measured in minutes, not days. So ultimately we’ve moved from Madonna’s business model to Lady Gaga’s! While staying strategic, we are learning to change as fast as needed.