Archive for March, 2010

Blog Live during Legal Conferences: Create Real-time Excitement

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Many lawyers blog.  But what about live blogging while at a conference?

One of the most exciting conferences for interactive (technology) as well as film and music is going on right now in Austin:  SXSW Social Media Today’s Lee Oden, blogging live from SXSW, posted some great tips for effective live blogging while at SXSW.

Lawyers could apply these same tips while blogging and posting live during legal or industry conferences.

For example, Lee suggests checking out the conference schedule in advance, and planning to arrive at key sessions early (so that you’re seated near a plug.) I’d also suggest examining all concurrent sessions and selecting ones that would be particularly interesting your blog readership.

Lee suggests typing the posts in an application like Notepad and then transferring them to your blog. This works well in case you lose your internet connection during a session.

Promoting your posts immediately is also key, Lee notes, via Facebook, LinkedIn and the like. To take advantage of the “real time” nature of your blogging efforts; you want to get the word out fast.

Live blogging has an excitement and sense of “urgency” that blogging after the fact doesn’t (much like live journalistic coverage is more thrilling than recap reporting). Of course, blogging during conferences is also a great way to reach readers across the globe who couldn’t ravel to attend the conference in person; even if they read your posts the next day rather than in real time, the coverage will still be fresher than the summaries printed in post-conference newsletters months later.

Social Media Abroad–Reaching Clients Globally

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

By now, many lawyers are using (or considering using) social media sources like Facebook and Twitter.  In her helpful article “Social Media 101” for a recent issue of the Texas Bar Journal, lawyer coach Debra Bruce sets forth the pros and cons of various professionally-focused networking sites for specifically for lawyers like Legal OnRamp, Martindale-Hubbell ConnectedJD Supra, and LawLink.

But what about lawyers who wants to start networking internationally?

Facebook is a good, general place to begin international social networking expansion, especially with the 2008 launch of Facebook en español (with French and German versions expected next). In South America, Orkut, Sónico, and Fotolog are also very popular, with 54% of Orkut’s users being Portuguese speakers from Brazil. (Americas Quarterly reports that asking a Brazilian for his/her “Orkut name” is as common as requesting a telephone number or email.)

The Google-owned Orkut remains popular in India, although Facebook recently unseated it as the most popular social networking site. Friendster continues to be popular in Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, although its influence in the region is slipping–coinciding with Facebook’s rollout of sites for Malaysia, the Phillipines and Vietnam. China boasts a number of popular social media sites. According to ReadWriteWeb, while China’s may have the most members, but claims to have more educated members.

Lawyers wanting to reach European clients should consider joining European social networking sites in addition to Facebook. According to Bas van den Beld, owner of, Facebook leads the way in 11 out of 17 European countries, but Skyrock (France), Tuenti (Spain), StudiVZ Group (Germany), Hyves (Netherlands), all have hold in their respective country. The social networking site  Xing (founded in Germany) markets to all European professionals.

Creating a social media presence abroad can be an effective and inexpensive way to start relationships globally. Why not extend your social media reach abroad into your prospective clients’ backyards?

How lawyers can become popular sources for reporters–domestic and foreign

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Want to become a popular source for the press?   Want to work well with the foreign press? Paramjit Mahli of the SCG Legal PR Network has some great tips for lawyers on both:

Becoming a popular press source:

Working well with the foreign press:

To the latter post I commented that  knowing how to communicate with reporters from foreign cultures can be invaluable. Americans tend to be very direct communicators, very individualistic, and comfortable with self promotion. As a result, many American lawyers are quoted with a string of sentences beginning with, “I think…”, “I know…” and “In my opinion…”. Although lawyers should make their opinions known, when communicating with a reporter from a less individualistic and more indirect culture, American lawyers should avoid starting every sentence with “I”.

Social Media Optimization: Eleven Free Tools

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

For lawyers who have jumped on the social media bandwagon, here are some free tools for maximizing your search engine optimization of your social media usage:

Payoff from understanding your client’s cultural outlook

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Some lawyers are notorious for emphasizing risks and potential downfalls–so much so that they turn off their clients.

So, while sitting in the Frankfurt airport’s business lounge yesterday, I was interested to happen on a story about just that–but in this case, the “negative spin” was caused by a cross-cultural discrepancy. As my  Knowing how another culture thinks = Payoff post in my Global Rainmaking blog notes, one culture’s concept of detailing business risks (British, in this case) may discourage potential clients in another culture (Americans, in this case).  Again, the potential American clients didn’t like the British proposal because it seemed too negative; this was caused by a basic difference in the the parties’ respective cultural attitudes about disclosing business risks and rewards.

As mentioned, one of the great things about yesterday’s article in the International Herald Tribune is that it shows how increased awareness of such cultural business differences improves the chance of global business success. So, before submitting your next client proposal, you might do a culture check; even if the language is the same, the cultural norms and attitudes might differ.