Carolyn Elefant, who writes the Nolo’s Legal Marketing blog has an excellent post on how attorneys can handle negative posts on Avvo, Yelp etc. She points out the need to respond publicly but not defensively to criticism. Carolyn reassures attorneys that negative criticism is not the norm, only 17% of Yelp ratings are one or two stars. She also makes the point that there is no point in attempting to bury your head in the sand. If you are practicing law, you are subject to online criticism whether or not you are active online.
- I would add to her suggestions by encouraging attorneys to utilize social networking and providing content either from their website or blog and disseminate through LinkedIn, Twitter and the like because that give you control of your message and will help drown out the negative comments on Yelp etc.
- Also, I would recommend setting up a Google alert on your name and law firm. That way anytime your name or firm name are mentioned, you will know and then you can craft your response.
- Finally, if the criticism is downright abusive most of these sites allow you to report the abuse and you should do so.