It isn’t law firm marketing vs. social media

Kevin O’Keefe is a great blogging and business development resource for the legal community.  However, I disagree with this statement:

“Law firm marketing departments seeking to protect their lawyers’ time by keeping them from learning what it means to blog and use social media are doing their lawyers and firms a disservice. They’re also costing their law firm a lot of business.”

This is an example of the classic “strawman” argument where you pose a position that is extreme and unrepresentative.

Law firm marketing departments are in the business of protecting their lawyer’s time but I doubt very many marketing departments are, “keeping them from learning” about blogs and LinkedIn etc.  What they are doing to protecting their firms’ larger interest in making sure that  how individual attorneys and practice groups are marketing themselves is coordinated with the firm’s as a whole

Example:

Say a law firm partner goes out and creates a blog on generic drugs when most of the firm’s pharmaceutical clients are branded pharmaceutical companies.  Maybe its a new partner in a small office and hasn’t had a chance to be educated on all that the firm does.  Its often the firm marketing department that is on the front lines in such cases and is in a position to educate the partner about best practices in reaching out to clients.  It’s too easy for a partner who knows how to blog or tweet to disregard “marketing” and step into a hornet’s nest.

Law firm marketing provides social media guidance

Allowing law firm attorneys to run amok on social networking and engage in rogue business development without proper guidance from marketing can also cost the law firm lots of money.  Signing up clients adverse to existing client can results in disgruntled and perhaps even litigious clients.

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