Posts tagged ‘Social Media’

Pandemic Roiling Your Media, BD Plans? “Embrace the Suck”

We’re past Labor Day weekend and the “Hot Vax” summer has seamlessly transitioned into “Back to School/Back to the Office” life. We’re almost back to those 2019 school buses, cubicles and bridge-and-tunnel vibes!

Actually, no.

We are, instead somewhere in our fourth (or fifth?) COVID wave, with lots of office opening delays and ample school anxiety. And, while we may have been able to compartmentalize work and home in the before times, it just isn’t possible now. For us as individuals and as professional services providers, we are just going to have to “Embrace the Suck” as the military mantra goes.

The Wall Street Journal reporter Elizabeth Bernstein recently authored the piece, “How to Deal With Stress in Your Life: Embrace It,” where she broke down the expression:

My Uncle Sidney, a retired U.S. Navy physician and Vietnam veteran, has a military phrase he uses as advice for what to do when life is lousy: Embrace the Suck.

He’s dispensed this colorful guidance to me in several stressful situations—when I’ve been anxious on deadline, dealing with a difficult family member, and, most recently, struggling through the pandemic.

“The point is, when you’re stuck, surrounded or suffering, you need to assess where you are, learn to live with it, and try to advance,’’ Uncle Sidney says.

From a media relations standpoint, nearly every story is seen through COVID-tinted glasses. To break through, it’s crucial that thought leaders avoid trying to act as though a total “reset” button has been pressed. This massive elephant remains firmly in the room, despite our best efforts to move it along, and is spawning media-rich developments like vaccine mandates, health care surcharges and employee testing.

Individually, or as a firm, you may not want to talk about the pandemic; but, you really can’t not.

Collectively, we remain in a lousy situation. However, as the pandemic grinds on, there are emerging “winners” and maybe not “losers,” but definitely folks who missed their media rocket rides.

What are the consistent elements of success?

  1. Availability and willingness to express uncertainty.
  2. Being a quick study.
  3. Understanding that today’s media topic du jour can be displaced in minutes, with stories scrapped as new information becomes available.

COVID’s waves have had media topic counterparts: bankruptcy, tax, labor and employment, health care, more tax, more labor and employment, traditional labor, etc… As we continue to wind our way (hopefully soon!) toward the exit, opportunities will remain abundant.

Professional services thought leaders and practice and industry group heads also need to guard against the karmic drag of the pandemic sapping their creative spirit and entrepreneurial focus.

Later in the article Bernstein quotes Dr. Robyn D. Walser, an assistant clinical professor in psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, on the importance of staying focused, “‘Just because there are these super-wicked problems in the world does not mean you give up on what matters to you.”

What matters personally is paramount, but, what matters for your firm and your practice is also crucial. Business development plans inked in 2019, early 2020 or even last September need to be revised. New goals need to be set. And a willingness to ride the wave of a news cycle where you can’t always give definitive answers needs to be embraced to help for you and your brand to stand out – and, ultimately, advance.

Michael Bond

September 10, 2021 at 6:15 pm Leave a comment

Why You Should Consider Doing Some Pinning

It seems as though there is no limit to the number of social media sites that pop up on the Internet. One of the most popular newcomers is Pinterest, a site that allows one to “pin” as if to a bulletin board images and videos. I can just imagine the collective eye rolling in the executive offices of professional services firms. The thinking may very well go along the lines of, “What in the world would we have to pin?”

A large user base of Pinterest create scrapbooks for themselves – recipes, shoes they are looking to purchase and funny or particularly beautiful photos. However, for companies, Pinterest offers the opportunity to – in a very aesthetically pleasing way – leverage content. Corporate ads, photos and videos all work well on the site.

Here are a few of my favorite examples:

Oakland Athletics — http://pinterest.com/athletics/

Note how on their “Historic Moments” board they integrated some great vintage photos. If your organization has classic historic photos, consider pinning them.

Virgin America — http://pinterest.com/virginamerica/

There is great stuff on the “Airplane Geekery” board. This board is a fun way to engage really passionate employees and customers. Don’t be afraid to consider a board with less serious material – for instance a shot of a birthday cake or a video of an office softball game.

Personally, I jumped in the game with a board called “Ads I Love.” I pin up TV and print advertisements that I think are truly outstanding. As a professional who is always consuming media, this was a natural outlet for me. It may even spark a conversation with a client or potential client who likes an ad that I do or who has a similar passion. The goal in all of this is greater engagement. Consider doing some pinning. You may find real value in it.

Michael Bond

September 19, 2012 at 9:48 pm Leave a comment

Timeline = Time for Social Media Audit, Plan

Auditing what you and your company are revealing is critical to protecting privacy and minimizing potential PR issues.

Continue Reading December 16, 2011 at 11:16 pm 3 comments

Locking Down Key Online Real Estate

Online professional brands are incredibly important assets that you need to control. As the baseball playoffs continue today, fans will flock to www.MLB.com. However, many may now know that the website was once the property of law firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius.

While this particular situation was apparently resolved without any payout, it highlights the importance of locking down key online real estate, which no longer just includes domain names, but also involves Facebook pages and Twitter handles.

The dynamic nature of the Internet is such that even if you only post a simple website, you need to do some due diligence and anticipate both user behavior and future needs. Your website and online properties are increasingly the best conduits for conveying your company’s message.  Bear in mind, 65 percent of U.S. adults are now using social media, so surely someone is searching for your company.

Cybersquatting and Typosquatting

Cybersquatting is the practice of registering domain names with the intent of forcing a payout from a party whose intellectual property or brand are directly or indirectly associated with the url.  A related practice is typosquatting wherein a site is registered with a url address that is one or two letters off from another site in hopes of misdirecting users or again forcing an organization to purchase the domain.

Each and every business should register all potential deviations of their URL address. These are valuable properties that you need to control. You can then redirect users who make a typo or who guess an address that is not your company’s official url to the correct homepage.

For example, www.Coke.com redirects to www.Coca-Cola.com. As such, XXYlawyers.com or XYZlaw.com could redirect to XYZlawfirm.com. The cost in doing so is small and the process easy. Compare this to the cost of having a rogue individual redirecting clients to false or misleading information.

Suffixes!

While .com is the dominant suffix, .net and .org are the most prominent in a dizzying array of additional web suffixes.  You may want to consider snapping up.net and .org and redirect them to your main website. The White House, which is http://www.whitehouse.gov, once had to deal with the pesky issue of http://www.whitehouse.com ,which for a number of years was a pornographic website. Yikes!

Social Media Squatters

The practice of cybersquatting is also occurring on social media websites. As rapid adoption of social media continues, more companies are planting their virtual flags on Twitter and Facebook. Even if your organization is not ready to make the jump to an active Twitter feed or Facebook page, it should reserve spaces on these social media networks.

Reserving multiple Twitter handles is free and a sound defensive strategy for both future branding entrees and for public relations efforts. The fictional XYZ law Firm could reserve handles such as @xyzlaw, @xyzlawyers, @xzylawfirm and even @xyzsucks. (It is always a good idea to protect against potential disgruntled individuals.)

The firm could also register Facebook pages of different names so as to own that real estate. However, be aware that you need 25 “likes” to secure a Facebook URL that is shortened, such as facebook.com/xyzlawfirm.

Even if you don’t populate these pages, it is good to own the real estate and the brand extensions.

Checklist

  • Have you registered all website variations of your company’s name?
  • Have you investigated purchasing .org or .net suffixes?
  • Have you thought about and registered potential typos that could misdirect users?
  • Have you registered domain names that could damage your brand? (i.e. XYZlawsucks.com)
  • Have you registered Twitter handles for your company and brands?
  • Have you registered a YouTube handle for your company?
  • Have you considered creating a Facebook page and working to get a shortened URL?

Insurance

Insurance policies can’t cover everything, but they can provide you with peace of mind with respect to many potential disasters. Creating a well-thought out and strategic online plan, complete with strategic real estate buys, can help your business tremendously and provide you with similar peace of mind. Taking the time to be strategic in crafting branding and communications plans is critical.

–  Michael Bond

October 6, 2011 at 10:08 pm Leave a comment

Lessons from Netflix’s Summer of Discontent

It hasn’t been a blockbuster summer for Netflix. First, they raised prices, and now they are causing great ire by deciding to split their DVD business from their streaming business. Netflix’s moves have caused more than a million defections, tremendous scorn in social media channels and a slumping stock price. What can a professional services firm learn from Netflix’s miscues? Plenty.

Continue Reading September 23, 2011 at 8:38 pm 1 comment

Avoid “Situations” by Taking an Active Role in Brand Management

While for most companies there is not such an overt association with a questionable character, very real brand and reputational management — ahem — situations exists. Simply put, your reputation and brand are far too critical to not actively monitor and manage.

Continue Reading August 22, 2011 at 7:18 pm Leave a comment

Evolving from Yellow Pages to SEO

If you have good content, how do you “optimize” it for search engines? First, start with the end in mind. What terms might a client search for? Have you woven these into the content? Then consider your client base.

Continue Reading December 20, 2010 at 7:04 pm 1 comment

Twitter Influence on In-House Counsel Growing

As older attorneys retire, it’s predicted that Twitter’s influence could increase substantially in the coming years

Continue Reading October 14, 2010 at 10:18 pm 5 comments

Start with Social Media by Conducting an Audit

Most people are unaware of the amount of personal and professional data they are publishing. Educating employees also lets them know that you are aware of what they are publicly doing on these properties.

Continue Reading October 13, 2010 at 10:26 pm 3 comments

The Good, The Bad and The Avvo

As social media continues to grow (not in number of users but in potential for generating revenue), web sites are going to continue to crop up to take advantage of niche areas on the web, like attorney rankings.

Continue Reading June 8, 2010 at 7:38 pm Leave a comment

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