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Information for Lawyers, Ideas for Journalists: Week of May 28

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Legal newsOur weekly roundup of legal news links, legal PR client news and story ideas

By Geri L. Dreiling, Esq.

Awareness. Engagement. Conversion. When you’re adopting a social media strategy for your legal practice, measure your effort with these three goals in mind, advises writer Brian R. Hook in the article “Climbing the B2B Business Ladder.”

I use the same yardstick to evaluate my own online marketing and social media outreach.

In January, the new Legal Media Matters site was launched. Over the course of five months the number of unique monthly visitors has more than doubled. We’ve received feedback and comments on a variety of articles. Our article providing photo shoot tips generated the greatest number of comments.

Our network on LinkedIn has expanded as well. Not only has our social media outreach on the business sight brought in new legal PR and law firm website writing clients, but it has also resulted in great conversations with people such as Nils Montan, an IP lawyer who owns IPAlly.com and lawandsocialnetworking.com.

Initially a skeptic, I have a newfound respect for Twitter. I joined, tweeted for a few weeks and then ignored the site. Eventually I gave it a second chance and put more effort into it. I’m glad I did. I have thoroughly enjoyed my interactions and learned a lot from a variety of people, from @richardrusseth, a lawyer in Colorado and general counsel for a private company, to @MaxDolotov, a law practitioner in Ukraine, and @dfscot, a lawyer in Scotland.

Through the Legal Media Matters Facebook page I’ve been able to share interesting legal news items and tips with people I know and individuals I hope to get to know better in the future.

So, to our friends, followers, subscribers, readers and commenters:  Thank you!

I would also like to thank Kerry Bailey, a tireless copy editor who helps me dot my i’s and cross my t’s in my posts and in the writing work we perform for our clients. Enrique Serrano, a programmer and designer, helps me keep my site running with style, provides technical insights and conducts important keyword research on behalf of our clients.

We’re heading into a three-day holiday weekend in the United States. With Memorial Day just around the corner, I’d like to issue a final thank-you, this one to our service men and women.

I will not be posting an entry on Monday but will resume Wednesday. In the meantime, you can still find me on Twitter. (@legalmediamtrs)

LMM Client News

Consumer attorney John Campbell, of St. Louis-based The Simon Law Firm, was recently highlighted in Missouri Lawyers Media. Campbell appeared before the Missouri Supreme Court and argued that class action waivers contained in arbitration agreements are unenforceable. The case is Beverly Brewer v. Missouri Title Loans Inc.

St. Louis divorce lawyer and mediator Marta J. Papa is offering her 40-hour divorce mediation training course June 23-27. The training includes demonstrations, lectures, role-playing and coaching. I’m delighted to be a guest speaker during the training session in which I’ll discuss ways to market your mediation practice.

Notable Links for Lawyers

Victims Allege Man Posing as Attorney

A fugitive felon who is supposed to be serving a 10-year sentence for stealing sets up shop in downtown St. Louis as a bankruptcy legal representative. Fox 2 investigative reporter Chris Hayes confronts Richard O’Donnell, the man posing as attorney who opened up Bankruptcy n’ More, whose clients allege he took their money and provided less than nothing.

Do You Comply with the FTC’s Red Flag Rule?

On June 1, the federal government’s so-called Red Flag Rule that requires businesses to spot red flags to prevent identity theft, goes into effect. In this Inc. article, Courtney Rubin notes that small businesses, including law firms, may be subject to the law.

Majority of Adults Now Google Themselves

More online users are taking online reputation management seriously, according to a study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Mashable’s Jennifer Van Grove notes that young adults are becoming more aware of the information they post online and how it can affect their careers. As the article, “Do You Google Yourself,” explains, lawyers also need to monitor their virtual images.

Make Marketing a Habit

On Slaw.ca, Allison C. Shields reminds lawyers that marketing is a marathon, not a sprint, and offers five excellent marketing habits lawyers should consider establishing.  For more PR and marketing ideas, read “Is Your Marketing Resolve Slipping?”

Climbing the B2B Business Ladder

To survive and thrive, all businesses will eventually need to adopt a social media strategy, Brian R. Hook writes for E-Commerce Times. Hook explains the options available to businesses and discusses the three ways to measure efforts:  awareness, engagement and conversion.

Twitter Guide for Writers

Want to get the most from Twitter? Don’t be obsessed with the number of followers you accumulate, advises writer and cartoonist Debbie Ridpath Ohi, also known as Inkygirl. Instead, use it as a place to network and a source of support and encouragement. Although the tips are aimed at writers, the advice holds true for lawyers as well.

The Most Ridiculous News Typos Ever

If you’ve been reading my blog posts regularly, you know that I preach the gospel of a good copy edit. The reason? To avoid embarrassing mistakes like the ones the ones highlighted on the Huffington Post. (The menu item “honey mustard chicken diapers” is thoroughly unappetizing, and that’s just one of the tamer typos.) Want to ensure that your website doesn’t contain similar gaffes? Read “Editing Web Content for Law Firms.”

Story Ideas for Business, Consumer and Law

Reporters, Writers and Bloggers

Moral Turpitude Clauses

The latest issue of The Civil Litigator highlights a jury verdict for a football coach and social studies teacher at a Catholic high school in Iowa. When the teacher remarried without getting his first marriage annulled, he was fired for violating the moral turpitude clause in his contract. The teacher sued for breach of contract, and a jury awarded him more than $600,000.

How common are moral turpitude clauses? Can schools and businesses enforce them? If so, how can they do it without exposing themselves to liability?

Fireworks and the Fourth of July

We’re heading into the first U.S. holiday of the summer, and the second major American holiday, the Fourth of July, is just around the corner. That means we’ll soon be hearing the whistle of fireworks and the pop of firecrackers in our neighborhoods — even when they’re technically illegal.

A few possible story ideas:  If you set off fireworks and they end up damaging your neighbor’s property, are you liable? Does it make a difference from a liability standpoint if you shot them off legally or illegally? Are laws banning fireworks enforced? If you need legal experts to talk about these issues, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Have any links to suggest? Give them a mention in our comments section. And if you have any recommendations for next week, feel free to e-mail them to me. geri@legalmediamatters.com

Have a safe Memorial Day weekend!

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