Thursday, August 17, 2006

Blogs Are Not for Expert Witnesses

Every once in a while, an expert will approach me about creating a blog, having heard it was a great marketing tool and could increase traffic to their website, etc. And look at all the lawyers and firms that have blogs, right?

Well, No. As many of you know only too well, general marketing principles and guidelines for professional service providers simply don't apply to the expert witness. Fair or not, the rules ARE different for experts. You will quickly work yourself out of contention if you start to promise results or, in marketing speak, "benefits," in your correspondence, marketing materials, or website.

In a similar vein, you do not have the luxury of placing your thoughts and reactions to events or even your commentary online, unless you are VERY, VERY careful and even then I just don't recommend it. Statements can so easily be taken out of context, your opinion and industry methodology can change over time - anything and everything, especially on the Internet, can and will be found and used, either to exclude you from the list of experts to choose from, or by opposing counsel to discredit and possibly disqualify you.

The following, while written as regards writing articles and making presentations, can also be applied to blogs. This is one of my favorite passages from The Expert Witness Marketing Book:

"All of your writing and speaking is discoverable and can be cussed and discussed with you in deposition and in court. Be careful. Be consistent. Investigate, verify, and cross-examine your facts. Proofread, proofread, and proofread again."

And I say it just isn't worth the risk. There are too many other time-tested, proven and effective methods for getting on the radar screens of the attorneys who need your services.

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