Posts Tagged ‘attorney’

For PR Sake, GM Should Switch Law Firms

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Public Relations:  GM

The New York Times tells us the law firms GM hired to conduct an internal investigation related to ignition defects have worked before on the company’s behalf. This, in the public’s eye, can stall the internal investigation’s perception before it starts.

Internal investigations in general already face skepticism. The very concept would have us believe companies would allow their investigators to potentially publicly reveal information so damaging, it would further empower plaintiffs and send stock prices sinking. Will the public believe the same companies, when accused of villainous actions, would suddenly detail in good faith those actions in their entirety without sugar-coating? Imagine Bob the attorney telling Bill the executive, “I know we have enjoyed those steak dinners together, but I need to now tell the world you’re morally bankrupt. Have a nice day.”

So why employ law firms, which because of their previous working relationship, might erode to even the slightest degree the trust in an internal investigation? True, those law firms might have superb track records and a motivation to appear objective. But consider some Americans don’t even believe the news they read because they don’t trust the source. For example, even if Fox News delivered a fact-driven, well researched investigation, many liberals just wouldn’t buy it. And the same goes for those conservatives who disavow stories from The New York Times despite its historical record of strong journalism. The source of the information often holds more weight than the information itself.

For this reason, why risk using law firms the public might question even before the attorneys bill the first hour? Otherwise, we might just as well wait for what the Justice Department turns up.

Public Relations: 10 Ways To Prepare For A Protest

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Take It From A Reporter: Some PR Pros Are Stuck In 1960

I read in The New York Times about an upcoming one-day strike involving fast food employees wanting more money. If your business ever faces such a situation and you have a heads up, how do you prepare?

  1. Don’t always pass the buck and rely on a spokesperson from a trade association to talk on your behalf. This option is better than offering “no comment” but not significantly better. When I was a TV reporter, companies sometimes redirected me to a trade association. I considered that somewhat lame. If you can build a business, you can stand up for yourself. If you can pay a public relations firm, you can pay it to talk instead of simply not commenting and releasing a robotic statement.
  2. Identify someone who is comfortable talking to the media. Your CEO might excel at making money but struggle with social situations when people are not kissing his or her butt.
  3. If you plan to be brave enough to grant interviews, pick a location now. Do you consider your building a friendly location? Would you prefer to visit the media outlet itself? Is there a location that would strategically reinforce your key messages?
  4. If your business faces something such as a protest, realize the media will hear personal stories about why you suck. You better come to the table with personal stories of why you are successful. You must have people, clients or customers willing to sing your praises.
  5. Your critics will be plain spoken in explaining their concerns. Drop the lingo. Don’t act like a king who can’t speak like a regular person.
  6. Hopefully somebody went through media training. You’re about to get questions you never considered. You should know how to address the unexpected without looking like a fool or making matters worse.
  7. Don’t offer no comment. Why surrender the public debate? Why release a lame statement while your opponents tell emotional stories with passion? Sure, that’s the safe approach your attorney may relish, but what’s the longterm cost to your reputation and bottomline?
  8. I shook my head when major corporations claimed they had no one locally who could speak to me on camera. You know the story is coming. Are you really going to win the war by huddling over some speakerphone and talking to the media from a New York office? Have people trained in major cities and regions to handle the media. Hire a team of spokespeople you trust. Buy someone a plane ticket to the necessary city. If this is not practical, offer a web interview. What’s your excuse for not doing that? What, you don’t have a Skype account?
  9. Don’t act as if your fans don’t know your troubles or controversies. They know and would likely be your biggest defenders. So don’t forget about sharing your views on your website’s newsroom and across your social media channels. I love when companies are stuck in a brewing controversy and their Facebook posts only highlight their latest sales.
  10. What about communicating with your employees?  In fact, one of your first steps should be to communicate with them, whether they plan to protest or not. You might need to craft separate messages to various audiences. Do you have a social media policy? Are employees clear about using social media in times like this?

Social Media Attorney On Fired Alabama TV Reporter

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

The Flip Side interviews social media attorney Ruth Carter about the Alabama TV reporter who says she was fired for writing a blog.

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When Posting Video Can Reflect Poorly On Your Business

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

That Video Was So Bad And We Don't Mean Good

An organization hired us to re-edit a video. The group wanted to post the video ASAP. The video was shot poorly and edited even worse.

The organization does not sell cell phone covers. It offers an important service to society. Posting the video would have reflected poorly on the group and distracted significantly from the emotional message. The video needed a voiceover and visuals to match an interview. Someone needed to shorten the script. But no one had the time or resources.

Video is not an effective marketing tool simply because it is video. Do ugly and confusing websites work just because they’re websites? Does social media work without good content? We somehow landed on an attorney’s email list. She occasionally sends us emails with video. But the videos are so bad, we don’t bother to watch. The video thumbnails don’t persuade us she is improving.

No matter what method you choose to shoot and edit video, it will reflect upon your brand. Why do professionals who invest in reputations and slick websites and offices post videos that appear generated by a high school video production class?

Most rules have exceptions. If shaky video shows an amazing tug-of-war between an alligator, tigers and buffaloes, you likely will still receive a zillion hits. If video catches a delivery man casually tossing a new computer over a fence, few people will care about the video’s quality. But one reason those videos attract so much attention is because we don’t often catch such instances on camera.

If how you dress helps determine your success, find a good tailor or clothing store. If how you brand yourself helps determine the success of your business, find a way to post good video.

Media: Mall Security Story Without Typical Talking Head

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Attorney Steven A. Adelman is a client.

http://www.kpho.com/story/20262145/expert-shows-shoppers-how-to-stay-safe

Media:  Mall Security Story Without Typical Talking Head

Attorneys Can Lay Down The Law With Video

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Attorneys Can Lay Down The Law With Video

Video …

  • Is preferable than reading paragraphs of text on a website.
  • Makes you stand out from the competition.
  • Teaches potential clients more about you quickly. (Imagine a LinkedIn profile video.)
  • Helps grab a potential client’s attention.
  • Shares the stories or testimonials of past clients.
  • Keeps potential clients engaged and on your website longer.
  • Can deliver information about legal issues and FAQs.
  • Puts a face on your firm.
  • Helps build credibility and confidence in your firm.