Saturday, August 28, 2010

St. Louis Family Lawyer Packs a Punch

A Taser stun gun is a unique form of alternative dispute resolution used by one family lawyer who's thinking a bit outside the box. She's actually taken aim at an arguing spouse three times (but never fired), according to an article on divorce and family law in today's Wall Street Journal titled "Breaking Up Without Breaking the Bank."

From a legal marketing perspective, this @RainmakingLady suggests that safer forms of stress relief might include a water pistol, nerf balls, feather pillows, or Silly String. Even a gavel, while not quite as humorous, would be in keeping with the legal setting.

What happens if one spouse grabs the gun and takes aim at their intended ex? Then the lawyer will need a lawyer.

Crisis management PR is in the news today as we watch endless reports on the BP oil spill and the salmonella egg outbreak, but why invite trouble. One of the questions to ask before instituting any business policy or action plan is, do you want to read about it on the cover of the Wall Street Journal? Having a weapon at the ready for client disputes does not necessarily attract new business as word gets around.

In this case, the common saying that "any PR is good PR" does not seem to apply.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Seth Godin Ditches Publisher for Fans

Digital and Internet marketing reaches a new milestone today with author Seth Godin's announcement that he will transition from his existing relationship with the Portfolio imprint of Pearson PLC's Penguin Group to a self-publishing platform.

Future titles by this popular author of "Purple Cow" and "Linchpin" will be made available as e-books, in audio format, PDFs, podcasts, and other formats.

Demonstrating the power of a blog and an online following, Mr. Godin now has 438,000 online blog readers according to an article in today's Wall Street Journal.

This type of evolution from print to electronic, and traditional to digital Internet marketing, has many implications for legal marketing and law firms:

1. The power of social media marketing for law firms becomes more important daily, as conversations shift to an electronic format.

2. Traditional ways of doing business are shifting, sometimes dramatically, and successful law firm marketers and attorneys will aim to stay ahead of the trend.

3. Direct client relationships are critical. The elimination of the middle man (i.e., the publisher in this case) continues the march toward greater one-to-one personal contact through technology.

4. Speed to market. As an author myself, I know that self- publishing takes months out of the publishing process while also providing direct contact with book purchasers.

5. Shorter business cycles. As works move more quickly into the market, the same is true for their natural fall from the spotlight. A focus on  "what's new" underscores the need for a continuous flow of fresh material to your clients, prospects, and followers.

Note: The 2nd edition of my legal marketing book, Courting Your Clients: The Essential Guide to Legal Marketing," will be available in mid-September. Contact this @RainmakingLady for details.

Monday, August 23, 2010

California "Tax Lady" Faces AG Charges

Successful legal marketing campaigns gave California tax lawyer Roni Deutch a high profile on TV and in the media. Today all that attention is unwelcome as California Attorney General Jerry Brown alleged that Ms. Deutch swindled thousands of clients by charging high up-front fees without lowering their tax bills.

Roni Deutch, A Professional Tax Corporation, is the nation’s "largest tax resolution law firm" according to the Tax Lady's website. The lawsuit seeks $34 million in damages.

According to a San Francisco Chronicle article titled "State sues TV's 'tax lady' for alleged swindles," the law firm employs 160 people and generates about $25 million a year in revenue while spending $3 million annually on TV and radio ads, the suit said.

Looks like the Tax Lady has some taxing matters to attend to at the moment.