I moderated a San Diego North County Bar Association dinner program this last week on attorneys and the rise of social media. Thanks to the North County Bar Association (www.bansdc.org) and President Larry Campitiello (@LarryCampi) for the opportunity. Thanks to panel members Leah Swearingen of Swearingen Communications (@LeahSwearingen), Rosalie Kramm of Kramm Court Reporting (@rosaliekramm) and Heather Rosing of Klinedinst PC (www.klinedinst.com) for a great presentation and lively discussion.
Pre-program conversations with three seasoned (read, older) attorneys struck me. All are fine, well-respected, highly-capable attorneys in the prime of their professional careers handling significant cases.
Attorney #1 described social media as, paraphrasing, Facebook dribble for teenage girls.
Attorney #2 – “This stuff is scary”.
Attorney #3 – “I don’t understand it and don’t have time for it.”
That about says it all for many attorneys and social media. It’s below me. It’s risky. I don’t understand it. It’s not important to my practice.
But, these common impressions are being re-examined, quickly, by smart attorneys. The interconnected world of social media is here to stay and, if approached wisely, presents huge potential for servicing clients, marketing practices and building reputations. Put it this way, when your clients started using emails and cell-phones, didn’t you get an email address and buy a Blackberry? This is, in my view, a no-brainer. And if those attorneys noted above don’t at least make an effort to understand social media, they may soon find those significant cases going to somebody who does.
Bob Dylan wrote “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”
By the way, Dylan is on Twitter and Facebook.