Slick Attorneys

Working with both IP and PI attorneys has helped our agency get a complete view of legal marketing. And both now have a news hook to weigh in on, and possibly cash in on the BP oil crisis.

Intellectual property lawyers who specialize in green technology and alternative energy have a golden opportunity to help their clients capitalize on the U.S. government’s desire to more quickly advance energy innovations.

For personal injury attorneys the question becomes: Where does the harm and damage end with the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico?

What inspired this post was a story I read at ClickZ titled BP Oil Spill Fuels Legal Marketing Machines. While the article focuses on lawyers who are marketing to find aggrieved businesses and property owners seeking damages, it really opens up a whole new discussion on law firm marketing. Here are my thoughts:

  • Genuine opportunity to focus on helping others: There’s no question that relief efforts for the people, wild life and natural resources are a top priority. However, there are legal matters that need to be addressed almost as quickly. Attorneys who have a genuine interest and expertise should market to help the region recover and get what is fair and just from settlements with BP and the government. Lawyers might even get creative and help their reputation by finding ways to connect with non-profit organizations involved in the clean-up.
  • Moving Beyond the Disaster: While we know it will take months to fix the gushing oil leak and years to get the region somewhat back to normal, there is still something to consider beyond that. The attorneys that have been practicing in environmental law and alternative energy development stand ready to think through the legal implications of what can be done now in setting the agenda in the courts and in perhaps litigation that will set the stage for a greener environment.
  • There’s Nothing Wrong with Marketing Your Services When There’s A Need Due to a Disaster: People buy life insurance from trusted companies. The Red Cross mounts massive fundraising campaigns right after a tragic incident. Some people talk to a funeral director to make arrangements for after they’re gone. While people may not see how such services relate to attorneys, I would argue that attorneys who have the expertise to help, should get out there and make their services known in an ethical fashion.

Most law firms still take the slow conservative approach to marketing. What’s ironic is that attorneys, especially trial lawyers, aggressively go after the win in court without reservations. Why the dichotomy of lion and lamb when comparing legal practice to legal marketing?


Drunk on Twitter

Some time ago back in my wild youth, I found myself getting drunk three nights a week. What was the cause? Too much alcohol. A pretty simple cause and effect equation. Good news. I don’t drink anymore (and if you want to know the story of how that happened, drop me a line at Bad news, I’m finding some alcoholics on Twitter.

Recently, I’ve been looking at It’s amazing what it tells you about Twitter accounts and their followers. For example, as of this post, Lady Gaga has more followers than President Obama. Ellen DeGeneres is more popular than Oprah Winfrey. CNN is not even in the top 10 anymore after the well-publicized challenge that Ashton Kutcher against the news network.

I connected with someone who has one of the top 1,000 Twitter accounts in the world (based on followers). This person was asking me for public relations help. and was frustrated that this top Twitter account was not helping their business development efforts. While I’d love to help this person, I’m beginning to see a trend  with people involved in Twitter that somewhat resembles drunken behavior: Followers/following for the sake of followers/following.

I do understand the value of Twitter, especially for consumer products and services that want to get the word out about a special or limited time offer, but for the business-to-business community I see people getting “drunk” with following and being followed for no strategic reason. The fact is that unless you are giving away something free to consumers, it’s often a poor tactic for finding new business.

Look, I’ve read the blog posts of social media experts and I respect the value of Twitter for business to business client development. However, quality will always trump quantity. Why? Because relationships mean connections, not just some clever 140 character posts. How often does the average business have the type of breaking news like a plane going down in the Hudson River to justify their followers attention?

The laugh for me is that so many people are getting “drunk” on Twitter because they feel they have to join in. However, few people have more than a couple hundred contacts that they can stay in touch with in any meaningful way. Why do they need to keep signing up for platforms beyond Facebook or even a simple email group?

While I see the value of instant communications channels, I see much more of the garbage of businesses jumping on Twitter’s bus with a DUI driver.