Religion, politics and social media

religon politics and social mediaWhen social media are done right, they allow people to connect on a human level. Talking about your vacations, your sports teams, the victories and triumphs of your children is fair game. Some Facebook and Twitter users like to keep it more professional, only sharing business-related stories and non-contentious discussions about the law.

But what about politics and religion? Are these topics that lawyers should openly discuss over social media? Jayne Navarre, a legal marketing consultant and author of Social Lawyers, posed this question to her Facebook followers and received some interesting responses.

“I was raised in an era when you didn’t discuss politics or religion without taking a major chance on the potential repercussions,” Jay Jaffe, one of the fathers of legal marketing, shared. “And, that was way before the Internet. In this day of instant global communications, I think that the same rules apply, only to the tenth power.”  Read more

Are you ready to scale that peak in 2012?

Originally posted in the National Law Journal on January 12, 2012

Last month, my father-in-law invited me to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with him next spring. The problem is, starting my own business and entering my third decade have left me out of shape and about 20 pounds overweight. I decided I needed to educate myself about how to get in shape and lose weight — two things I never had to worry about when I was younger.

At first I thought I could just go run on a treadmill for an hour each day, but a friend who specializes in helping people train for triathlons said that wouldn’t work.

“Your body gets used to the machines,” she explained.

“So what do I do?”

“You need interval training.”

The idea is simple — you need to keep your body guessing. Once your body knows what to expect, the exercise becomes much easier. Easy is nice, but the problem is that your body stops getting stronger. Interval training — alternating intensive and moderate exercise — is designed to get around this. We build muscles by breaking them down so the body can rebuild them, but the same exercises eventually become less and less productive. The best workout programs require frequent change. Our minds work in a similar way. New challenges help us grow.

So what does this have to do with lawyers? During the past year I have advised hundreds of lawyers on bringing in more business, and the vast majority of them start out stuck. They bring in a certain level of business, but it doesn’t vary much from year to year. They want to break out.

It may seem obvious, but to accomplish things you never have before, you need to do things you have never done before.

Here is how I respond to some of the most frequent complaints I hear from lawyers who are feeling stuck: Read more

Time to update your e-mail signature line

Originally published in The National Law Journal on January 2, 2012

In early 2009, Melanie Green, marketing director of Baker & Daniels (which combined with Faegre & Benson on Jan. 1 to form Faegre Baker Daniels) announced via Twitter that her firm had added social media icons to its website that would allow visitors to share information from their site with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

“Shortly after beginning communicating our information through these tools, it naturally made sense to use our website as a way to tell our visitors how to find us,” Green said. “We added call-out buttons on our news pages, telling visitors to follow us on Twitter, and then added links to professionals’ bios who were becoming active in the space. All of these steps were part of an integrated plan to utilize and leverage social media tools and have continued to develop over the past several years.”
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