Opening up prevents demonization, Seth Godin quickly wrote in his blog today.
Think about how difficult it is to get mad at the Bank Teller for waiting if you have had previous conversations. Imagine the last time you heard about a company on the news for doing something wrong. You probably easily believed the news story. Now remember the last time your heard about a friend’s company involved in some scandal, minor or major. Most likely you said to yourself “I need to hear both sides of the story” Leaning toward the side of the accused.
Open conversation brings people to our way of thinking. Many law firms believe they are in an ivory tower and do not need to explain what they do to the common man. Then you end up with PR problems. If you don’t think the legal industry still has an Underlying PR problem, pick up “The Devil’s Advocate”.
I am not saying a web presence is going to repair the entire legal industry’s image. However, websites, blogs and other forms of social media allow a conversation with more people than you can ever have hoped to contact before. This proactive PR gets your name out but also sympathizes many former strangers. to the cause of your law firm.
You might say you don’t have the time, or it costs too much. How much is one extra client that continues to spread your good word worth? Beyond a client, one extra person who says “I’ve heard of them, they are good people.”?
Or would you rather keep the word in and allow everyone to make their own assumptions, grouping your firm with every other firm out there?