To: The Partners
From: Dr Erasmus Strangelove, Partner, Director of Psyops, Strategy and Education
RE: MONTHLY PSYOPS REPORT
1. “Many reasons for solicitors to start using social media”
There are many reasons why we would encourage other solicitors to use social media. I select but two:
(a) Tie up of competitor human capital on Twitter. It is now proven that lawyers can (and do) waste industrial amounts of time on Twitter. Some, obsessed with ‘engaging’, are now forming breakaway groups to share their broadcasts and knowledge with other solicitors on Linked-In and sundry other ‘networking’ sites. It would appear, from the reports of our ‘operatives’ on the ground, that these lawyers appear to be talking to each other, rather than fee-paying clients. This is a remarkable phenomenon.
An article in the Law Society Gazette dated 6 May by David Laud noted, inter alia: “But a word of caution – not all who speak with marketing tongue can walk the social media walk.”
David Laud notes, and I quote verbatim:
‘I just don’t get it, everyone talks about it, but no one has the time to do it. Even when I do spend time on it, I’m not really sure what I’m doing.’
Views that may well resonate; but what is the answer?
Put simply, law firms have five main options. First, if they have not started to use social media, they could opt to just not bother.
Second, if they have made an attempt by, say, opening a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn account, they could stop right now and do no more.
Third, they could hire someone to do their donkey work and outsource the firm’s social media activity.
The fourth option is for senior management to instruct all fee-earners to embrace social media and open a variety of accounts, throwing the firm headlong into all things ‘social’.
And fifth, firms could introduce a workable approach to using the most appropriate platforms for the firm by setting a plan and working to it.
I particularly enjoyed this statement from the article: “The statistics are impressive: with millions of ‘friends’, ‘followers’ and contacts to ‘link to’, we ignore social media at our peril and risk being left far behind.”
And this comment raised a smile at my meeting with my BlackOpsDEVGRU as we put together our latest free “Social Media for Law Firms in 2011” newswire – under a different ident; which we know is being widely read by our competitors:
What makes social media so appealing, but also introduces the element of risk, is that you can genuinely enter into a dialogue with your stakeholders.
(b) Needless to say, we are encouraging competitor lawyers to *engage* – a word for our times – on twitter et al and, using the #FF hashtag our operatives have suggested quite a few serial tin foil hat wearers for our competitors to follow – with remarkable take up. The danger, of course, with engaging with ‘Followers’, is that one runs the risk of (a) wasting even more time and (b) being ridiculed for trying to uphold the system of justice we have in our country and the ‘Rule of Law’ by the aforementioned tin foil hat wearers.
This latter is, of course, not a problem Muttley Dastardly LLP will experience directly as we do not have a ‘direct’ presence on twitter. For security reasons, I have not provided The Partners with the tin foil hat wearer account details we have established on this medium to ‘engage’ with competitor law firms.
Mr Laud encourages readers of his article in The Law Society Gazette: “Please don’t worry about how you become a trusted, entertaining broadcaster. “ and then goes on to observe: “The vast majority of Twitter accounts are run by ordinary people, who have simply spent time understanding the language, tone and appropriateness of the medium. “
I suspect this latter observation will not sit well with the many on twitter who take a great deal of time to enjoy tweeting, do not like ‘broadcasters’ and would not consider themselves to be ‘ordinary people… blah blah..blah.” I do however, agree with his advice that competitor solicitors contemplating a twitter presence should not worry about becoming a trusted, entertaining broadcaster… they should just become a serial broadcaster and I shall be recommending an *App* to enable them to pump out tweets overnight as they sleep, which will go down well with their ‘followers’. As to the ‘Entertaining’ element of tweeting: It can, as the old saying goes, “be difficult to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”.
We are encouraged by Mr Laud’s Suggestion Three (supra) that law firms ‘hire someone to do their donkey work and outsource the firm’s social media activity’. This advice presents us with a number of commercial opportunities to ‘assist’ our competitors ‘understand’ social media and get paid for it. My team is setting up an agency as I write. Using the vernacular of a young trainee operating one of of our document shredders the other morning as he successfully disposed of some unprofitable client files… “Result!”
2. Competitor news
Taylor Wessing has introduced a new policy of disseminating details of its associates’ recorded hours internally.
With effect from March, associates have been told the hours recorded by each colleague in their team for the last month and for the year-to-date. So those at the top of the scale can smugly strut along the corridors and sneer at their humiliated, under-achieving friends as they desperately beg partners for work and the chance to put in an all-nighter.
Dr Erasmus Strangelove
Partner and Director of Education, Strategy and Psyops, Muttley Dastardly LLP
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