Lawyers should wake up to social media, urges PR agency

Solicitors have yet to wake up to the value of social networking, with firms tending to prefer “traditional” to web 2.0 approaches.

A study carried out among top 50 firms on their relationship with the online professional networking tool LinkedIn has identified low levels of usage, typographical errors on corporate profile pages and “bland and uninformative descriptions”.

Becky Ashall, an account executive at the PR consultants Kelso Consulting, which carried out the research commented: “I think that in some cases with marketing law firms tend to go through the traditional route. [But] as the online world grows it’s increasingly important for law firms [to engage] with it.”

The research suggests that usage among magic circle firms is highest, but that outside the top 20 lawyers are less interested. However, it singles out Travers Smith, which came in at 41 in this year’s Lawyer UK 200, for “bucking the trend” with a “rare example of a profile that was distinctive and nicely phrased.”

Ashall claimed that anecdotal evidence “proved” that LinkedIn was a useful tool and encouraged more firms to use it.

She said that the consultancy, which advises law firms on their PR strategy, was not paid by LinkedIn to conduct the study, but instead chose to do it “out of interest”.

The study recommends firms to communicate the benefits of LinkedIn internally, track its usage and to “re-write the corporate description so it is interesting and specific.”