National magazine, published by the Canadian Bar Association, has commended the efforts of Hull and Hull LLP as being amongst the best in digital marketing. In its biennial survey, starting at p. 38 of the July/August 2011 issue, the National panel recognized Hull and Hull LLP as standing out in the area of “Use of Video” and “Solo/Small Firm Websites”.
On the use of video, National noted Hull and Hull’s “Media Centre”, where “prospective clients and staff can glean expertise and, in the process, get to know Hull & Hull lawyers.”
On the topic of solo/small firm websites, National said: “Hull & Hull’s website … is bright, interactive, and client friendly,” says [panellist Jordan] Furlong. “Visitors are immediately introduced to the firm’s blogs, videos, newsletters, and other resources. The firm also asks precisely the right question on its from page: ‘Can we help you?’”
We take great pride in our social media presence, and sincerely appreciate the recognition.
Thanks for reading.
Paul E. Trudelle – Click here for more information on Paul Trudelle.
This is the first time I have ever contributed to a blog, legal or otherwise, so you can imagine my delight when I noticed an article in the June 11, 2010 issue of Lawyers Weekly entitled "Legal blogs that work”.
The article, written by Geoff Kirbyson, discusses the benefits of legal blogging and includes helpful hints on running effective law-blogs.
Mr. Kirbyson points out that legal-blogging has become more common amongst law firms. This assertion comes as no surprise to me. My colleague, Sharon Davis, recently discussed the growing popularity of blogging amongst members of our profession. She noted that blogging is not an alien concept for lawyers as writing has always been a large part of our professional lives. You can find her blog here.
The increased attention given to on-line media makes sense when you consider the number of individuals who rely on social media for their information. A 2009 study by CNW Group and Ledger Marketing found that 50% of those surveyed accessed social media tools once per day.
So, what makes a legal blog effective? A managing partner of a Winnipeg-based firm opined that an effective blog showcases activity at a law firm, highlights developments in particular legal areas, demonstrates a firm’s knowledge and expertise, and enables a firm to engage in client service through social media. This is certainly true.
In my opinion, however, there is one more necessary component to effective legal blogging. In addition to being accurate, relevant, and current, a legal blog should be FUN.
Happy blogging everyone! I know that we’ll talk again soon.
Kathryn Pilkington – Click here for more information on Kathryn Pilkington.
Yesterday I blogged about the usefulness of blogs for lawyers. Today I will provide some specifics and recommend a few blogs to you.
The advantage of blogs as a publishing vehicle is the access to information in real time. The latest news and topics are always available and you can get your own information out to the legal community and to potential clients without having to wait for the printing press. The pressure is a bit less as well because on some level blogs are meant to entertain, and no one expects them to be perfect – blogging is, after all, immediate media.
One well-respected Canadian law blog that has been around since 2005 and has many regular contributors is Slaw.ca. Slaw provides a variety of high-quality information relevant to the legal profession and editors make sure that content is appropriate for its intended audience, comprised mostly of lawyers, law librarians, legal academics and students – i.e. a general level of legal information is assumed. Note that you will still see this caveat, which illustrates exactly why lawyers are often hesitant to blog: “But please note: we do not offer legal advice, even in the most vague terms.”
Another great blog you should check out is practicePRO’s avoid a claim blog with a tagline of “Where claims happen, Why claims happen, And what you can do to avoid a claim happening to you”. Now that is a blog we should all be reading on a regular basis!
Enough about information and risk – what about good old fashioned business? Sometimes lawyers can use a little advice in this area also. Check out this Canadian legal marketing blog to pick up a few hints and tips so you can not only be smart, connected and well-informed, but be able to pay to pay the bills while doing so.
Now you are ready to go out there and blog!
Sharon Davis – Click here for more information on Sharon Davis.
Blogging has certainly become popular in the last several years as an important source of information and communication. So much so that even lawyers have jumped on the bandwagon. And who would have thought? Being the risk-averse creatures we are, you would not expect publishing our musings for the world to read to be a natural fit; after all, law school is spent teaching you how to avoid risk or, perhaps, how to remedy the consequences of risks taken by your clients. And so, lawyers were slow to wade into the vast sea of bloggers.
But is blogging so different from anything else we do? Writing is a large part of a lawyer’s profession. Like any profession, education and the sharing of information with colleagues and the public in general are required not only to ensure you keep on the cutting edge of the law but also for marketing purposes.
Today, the World Wide Web is as acceptable as the golf course for legitimate networking and collegial interaction. You’ll also find that lawyers are now increasingly found on LinkedIn (the professional’s version of Facebook or an electronic rolodex if you will). You can find me on there along with many of my Hull & Hull LLP colleagues. It is nice to know that whether you like to wear golf shoes or slippers while networking, the choice is yours.
There are some excellent law blogs out there and if you’d like to see just how many lawyers are blogging as proof of my claim, check out this website where you will find blogs on almost every legal topic imaginable (that was a challenge to think up one that isn’t covered yet)!
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog when I will point you to some interesting blogs you may find of use including a blog specifically designed to help lawyers avoid risk. Very clever…..
Sharon Davis – Click here for more information on Sharon Davis.
Listen to The Formal Passing of Accounts.
This week on Hull on Estate and Succession Planning, Ian and Suzana talk about the specifics of what happens when you have to go to court to formally pass accounts.
During Duct Tape Marketing’s August 16 2006 podcast, the host, John Jantsch, interviewed Seth Godin, who has just published a new book, Small is the New Big, which is essentially a compliation of Seth’s popular blogs.
The theme of this book is that big used to matter. Working for big companies used to be enviable, as big companies could defeat small companies with large marketing and advertising budgets. People were obsessed over the economies of scale and no one ever talked about economies of little.
However, Seth’s view is that when treat people with respect and as individuals, you have the flexibility to react to different changes and circumstances, in a sense you are acting small.
Seth points out that it doesn’t matter if you are a big or small businesses, rather he is saying that businesses must focus on how they act, and the way that they operate in their own economic environment. When you act small, you can eventually become big.
Therefore, Seth expresses that in his experience there does not seem to be any core relationship between the size of the business and how the business acts.
One of the significant changes over the past short while, in Seth’s view, is that people will now seek out information that they think is either important or interesting to them. As there are more alternatives, people are pickier about what they will participate in. He notes that the minute that you treat the client or consumer like a cog in the wheel, you will find your customer/client immediately looking at another competitive alternative.
Number Eight: Thou shalt Have a Monetization Strategy. This extends beyond the scope of Number Six, which discusses global strategies and focuses on the requirement to eventually truly monetize your podcasts. This monetization strategy could be something such as the book strategy, or simply ensure that your core audience is receiving helpful and relevant information and then throw out the possibility that you can be eventually retained to provide your services.
In our specific case, the obvious model is to assist estate lawyers in the process of their day-to-day practice with a view to being available to provide services beyond that which come naturally to the audience, such as litigation support.
Number Nine: Thou Shalt Consume the Best. The two speakers remind us that there is, of course, some prioritization that needs to happen in the context of podcast listening. You may listen to many hours of podcasting, you must ensure you are consuming the best of that podcast, and also ensure that you too are on top of the best in what is going on. We already follow this practice in our daily lives, as most of us naturally want to watch the Olympics not the local regional finalists, just as we watch Tiger Woods, and not the 100th place PGA Tour Leader.
Number Ten: Thou Shalt Live the Freedom Lifestyle. By following the Ten Commandments, you can ultimately end up in this last commandment.
We really hope that this series on business podcasting best practice has been helpful and as always please send us your comments and questions, we would love to get your feedback on both our blogposts and podcasts.
All the best,
Ian and Suzana
During the Marketing Online Live podcast #39, the hosts discussed the final five commandments of business podcasting.
Number Six: Thou shalt go in with a strategy. As we were told, strategy acts as the hinges that open the doors to great business opportunities. The hosts provided us with a four-part breakdown on the question of strategy: strategize, monetize, residualize, and capitalize.
Never Seven: Thou shalt teach consumption. As podcasters, we need to get better at teaching people how to access and use our new venue. Adding easy access to the podcasts by clicking on the play button on your webpage is an illustration of how to assist the non-techy users to embrace podcasting. A great example is Proctor & Gamble, one of the best consumer companies in the world. who doubled their sales in shampoo by simply adding the word "repeat" to the back of their shampoo bottles.
In our next blog, we will talk about the final three commandments.
All the best,
Suzana and Ian
In a recent blog, we wrote about some of C.C. Chapman’s thoughts as shared with his listeners in his podcast "Managing the Gray". In the podcast released on June 4, 2006, C.C. provided listeners with a few ways to help "push" new media and the whole social media agenda.
The first suggestion he made is that we need to be prepared to play the fool. In other words, if we are innovative and a discussion is moving down one direction, we need to be prepared to think "outside the box" and step in with what may seem to be a foolish suggestion.
C.C. reminds us that we need to make sure that we have plenty of ammunition and armour in such situations. That’s because people are going to come at you and attack you from many angles – from the finance through to technology issues, through to business and practical considerations such as moral and ethical issues. We need to be ready for those attacks and have a thick skin.
C.C. goes on to say that we need to be ready to answer all of the questions and to be prepared to address the concerns of the naysayers. This is our "armour" in such situations. In addition, we need to be ready, not only with the armour, but also with the ammunition, and be prepared to provide tangible examples to illustrate the real nature of the allegedly foolish suggestion. C.C. reminds us that we have to make sure that we have done our research and that we are ready in that situation.
That’s all for now … All the best, Ian and Suzana. ——–
Some of the great Podcasters note that, in the future, we will have more ear time than eye time.
Ian recently looked at an interesting book by Evan I. Schwartz entitled, "Digital Darwinism". In his book, Schwartz compares the competitive struggle to the battle between species that occurs in the natural environment. He concludes that, in order to succeed, companies must be better than their competitors, much like the survival of the fittest in nature. Whatever market niche they select, they have to be "smarter, faster, more innovative, and more adaptable" than ever, so that they do better than others.
After examining the successes and failures of many different e-commerce competitors, the author identifies key strategies to survive and thrive on the Web. In Digital Darwinism, we are presented with "7 Breakthrough Business Strategies for Surviviing in the Cuthroat Web Economy". They are:
1. Build a brand that stands for solving problems;
2. Allow your prices to fluctuate freely with supply and demand;
3. Let affiliate partners do your marketing for you;
4. Create valuable bundles of information and services;
5. Sell custom-made produces online, then manufacture them;
6. Add new value to transactions between buyers and sellers; and
7. Integrate digital commerce with absolutely everything.
Schwartz is also the author of "Webonomics", which talks about "9 Essential Principles for Growing Your Business on the World Wide Web". Blogging is one of those innovative marketing strategies that helps you survive in the Digital Darwinism world. Blogging uses the concept of social software in allowing for direct and indirect interaction from one individual to a group of individuals.
As a good examples of how big the social interaction has grown, the program "My Space", currently has approximately 40,000,000 dating participants. While this program has a wide variety of social interaction, including dating and teenager participants, from a business perspective, for example, the music business, My Space is an essential place to be. Just because a program appears to be on the surface simply something for consumers, such as a dating service, when you look deeper within the service you may find that it incorporates many niche market produces and services. Therefore, it may well be a business opportunity, given the numbers involved.