Monday, September 17, 2007

Ghostwriter (II)

I was glad to see Mark Bennett posting about law practice management blogs. Not because I think Mark needs to improve his practice management skills, but because these blogs have great ideas for making criminal defense lawyers better business people. These blogs explore ideas that help us provide better service to our clients.

However, Mark challenges Ed Poll of the LawBiz Blog about using anonymous "ghostwriters" to write one's law practice blog. I agree with Mark's recent point. The idea behind blogging is to develop trust and credibility. Over time, the blog reader learns to trust the opinion and communications skills of the writer. Mark notes:
"Blogging is done to raise one's credibility. The credibility to be raised is the lawyer's. The expertise being sold is the lawyer's. The communications skills being sold are the lawyer's."
There is a difference between paid media and earned media. (credit Hugh Hewitt) Paid media is what you buy and control the content of like television commercials and print advertising. Earned media is the attention of the media you earn by doing what you do and doing it well. One can earn the attention of the blogosphere, but it requires hard work. The lawyer who is using the "ghostwriter" to earn credibility with the buying public is deceiving them.

Whether it is credibility in the courtroom or credibility among the buying public, it is the responsibility of the lawyer to develop the credibility with perseverance. If you are a criminal defense lawyer and a "ghostwriter" is writing your blog, you need to reconsider the ethics of doing so. Thanks again Mark for bringing this issue to light.

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