Lawyer Advertising — the Next Iteration
In the beginning, there were the print media. Criminal defense lawyers who wanted to tell potential clients about their practices would pay for space in the yellow pages, or send letters out to arrestees, or buy ads in weekly newspapers (in Houston, for example, the Greensheet and Houston Press). Space was costly, so ads were terse and attention-getting.
Then came the internet, and static webpages. Criminal defense attorneys who understood the medium realized that the consumers were looking for information rather than advertising. The lawyers could answer accuseds’ common questions about the process and the system. Provided with more information provided by the lawyers, clients had a better chance to get a feel for the lawyers’ beliefs and experience before even picking up the phone. But, as I wrote here, it is easy for any schmoe with a law license to make himself appear competent on a static website. On the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.
The trend toward advertising methods providing more truthful information continued with blogs. It is more difficult to maintain a facade when you are posting regularly. If you’re a blogging dog, people are going to figure it out.
Vlogging is the next logical step along this path, but it hasn’t caught on very well with criminal-defense lawyers. Fordham University’s criminal defense clinic has a vlog (link in a bit).
Here is a tax lawyer’s vlog. Knowledgeable guy, right? If I had IRS problems, I’d want to talk with him.
But now look at the Fordham U vlog. You’ll notice that it is conspicuously better produced — more than just a guy with a webcam. You’ll also notice that the speaker isn’t talking to the camera — she’s obviously being interviewed by someone off-camera — and that her comments are obviously unscripted and unrehearsed. You feel like she knows enough about what she’s talking about not to need a script. (If you don’t like the natural extemporaneous approach, this might be more up your alley.)
The Fordham vlog is an example of the next iteration of lawyer advertising — video that shows the lawyer in her element, talking with people without a script. A Cambridge, Massachusetts company called Faces Media reached this conclusion and built a business of interviewing lawyers on camera and turning the interviews into short topical videos.
I saw a video that Faces Media did for one of my colleagues, and I knew they were on to something. A week later someone from the company called me cold (at least he thought it was a cold call) and we were off and running. David Walsh came down to Houston and spent three hours in a studio chatting with me on camera. It was great fun. He took the footage back home to Massachusetts, and a few weeks later had six videos for my advertising.
I incorporated four into my static websites:
Criminal Defense Overview; Defense of Drug Cases; DWI Defense; and Federal Criminal Defense Overview.
(The other two are more political; once I figure out how I’ll post them here at Defending People.)
Let me know what you think. If you’re impressed, get in touch with the wizards at Faces Media — if they can make me look good, they can make anyone look good.
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