How well does your law firm manage its reputation on social media platforms?
I recently had occasion to ask this question in the context of two meetings I happened to attend this autumn. In October, I was at a panel discussion in which a lawyer from another firm described an innovative new system his firm had developed to handle an enormous amount of a particular kind of litigation on behalf of a major corporate client. The firm used a smart combination of technology, improved work flow and lower-cost lawyers to provide its services on a fixed fee basis. Behaving completely appropriately, this lawyer used generic terms to describe the system and was scrupulous in not mentioning the client’s name. During the discussion that followed, I commended the lawyer on his discretion, but told him that the cat was already out of the bag. As I explained to him, I had attended another panel discussion in September in which this lawyer’s client spoke in glowing terms about the new system and gave props to the law firm that had designed the system. The client went so far as to say that it was quite possible that the firm might choose to package this system and sell it to other clients — it was that good.
Since we don’t often hear about firms that have risen to the fixed fee challenge through real innovation, I took advantage of the fact that the September meeting was not confidential to broadcast over the Twitter the good news that this firm had made this particular client very happy though its innovation. Literally within minutes, I received a private message on Twitter from a knowledge management lawyer (not a member of the marketing department) at the firm in question asking how I had obtained information about the project and the identity of the client. I was very impressed by the speed with which this KM lawyer noticed the tweet and followed up.
If this had been your firm, how many minutes, hours or days would have gone by before it noticed a disclosure like this? In this case, the disclosure was by the client and the message was positive. However, it isn’t hard to imagine any number of scenarios in which the disclosure might not be authorized and the impact might be negative. Is your firm equipped to deal with it?