Thursday, February 23, 2006

Use Editorial Calendars

Many of our clients are, as they should be, conservative and cautious in their marketing endeavors. Writing articles is one professional and legal-appropriate marketing technique some expert witnesses underutilize.

Articles can help you establish credibility and visibility in the minds of your attorney prospects more effectively (and less expensively!) than advertising. Some legal publications will accept articles from non-attorneys and some will not. Just call the managing editor of any publication and ask. Offer to write an article "of interest to their members."

Large publications publish an editorial calendar, that is, a schedule listing each issue's focus. These emphases can be particularly beneficial as you can select a particular issue centered on your area of expertise, for which to offer an article. Be accomodating, of course, to the editor for any other issue he might suggest.

These calendars are also helpful in determining the few times in which it might be cost-effective to run display (one-time) advertising -- when the attorney prospects in your particular specialty are likely to pay special attention to the publication. In fact, the display advertising sales representative at each publication is the person most likely to supply you with the editorial calendar.

As an added benefit, articles you write for legal publications can also be used as direct mail pieces to attorneys, provided the articles are brief.

One important reminder: All written work and presentations are fair game in for opposing counsel.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Think Before Choosing an Email Address

I will refrain from giving real examples to protect the offenders but I must address the subject of email addresses.

In the last few weeks, we have received quite a few emails in reference to our March seminar From seeing some of these emails, I feel compelled to issue this warning -- please think hard and long when composing the email address at which you will receive business communication from prospects, clients, etc. This is the email address you put on all of your materials, including your business card and website (and yes, in 2006, as a business person you must have and make available a working email address).

I have seen all kinds of email addresses, from to and even as bad as (these are made-up, but I assure you, the real ones are just as bad).

Avoid referring to your hobbies, being silly or using an email address that is obviously shared with your spouse, roommate, etc. This may seem overly nit-picky to some, but,believe me, it matters. When an attorney is deciding on an expert to contact or is choosing among several experts for a specific case, your email address could be a turn-off. If your email address indicates your penchant for the Steelers and large quantities of ale, does that provide the credibility you want him or her to see? Everything 'legal' has a confidential component; if you share an email address with your spouse it, one, indicates a lack of sophistication that you don't understand the nature of this kind of work and, two, it is a risk for an unknown entity to know anything about the case.

Email addresses are easy to obtain through your regular Internet service provider or the many free email services such as Hotmail and Yahoo. If you feel you must have an email address declaring your allegiance to competitive frog racing, get a separate email address to use for business purposes only.

As you know by now, one must tread carefully through the legal labyrinth -- everything you say, do or write can and will be cussed and discussed by opposing counsel. Your email address can signal a lack of professionalism, injure your credibility or just make you look silly.

So, please, create a dedicated email address to use for your expert consultant practice and/or other business and choose your identification with care to project the image that will prompt your prospects to call.