Investing valuable finances and extensive time in developing an effective law firm marketing strategy is an excellent tool for growing the success of a law firm. The Internet serves as an easy way to access countless potential clients and build a reputation as a knowledgeable practitioner. Unfortunately, that ease of access can also be utilized to paint a negative picture of an attorney or law firm.
How do damaging online statements about a law firm harm its attorney marketing presence?
- Negatively impacts the lawyer’s reputation
- Decreases the goodwill of the law firm
- Harms the emotional well-being of the lawyers due to stress
Where does the online damage take place?
- Posts on YouTube
- Statements on Twitter
- Posts on Facebook or MySpace
- False or misleading reviews on websites such as Avvo.com
How do anonymous postings cause harm?
- Some people use anonymous email addresses or screen names when posting damaging content online
- Many people believe that web anonymity is a free speech right that makes them immune from prosecution
- Anonymity is easy because public Internet is available in restaurants, hotels, airports, and libraries
- Unfortunately, many websites with defamatory comments appear higher in Google rankings than law firm websites or publications
What can a lawyer do to protect his or her reputation from online attacks?
- Most jurisdictions allow victims to take legal action against defamation and retaliate against criticism
- Send a cease and desist letter requesting that the website owner or poster remove the defamatory content
- File a John Doe lawsuit and use the subpoena power granted by it to force the Internet service provider to provide any information they have about the anonymous poster
Lawyers rely on their reputation to drive their business, and legal web marketing tools are often used to improve public perception of the firm. Therefore, law firms are especially susceptible to Internet reputation attacks. It is essential that attorneys protect their investment in a law firm marketing strategy by preventing and addressing negative Internet content. For more information, contact the experts at Great Legal Marketing. Fill out our online form or call our office at 703-591-9829 for more information.