(Photo [cc] Murilo Morais)

Whether you call them Social Media Consultants or Social Media Gurus, there are people out there that are more than ready to come in and work with you to set up a social media policy and explain the ropes of the social media world for lawyers and law firms. In my three years of serious social media exposure, some of these so-called (often self proclaimed) SM Gurus were uncovered as failed lawyers that were trying their hand at a different profession while trying to leverage a JD to get them in the door as both a Social Media and a Legal expert. It wouldn’t take long to find some of the arguments against hiring these experts (hint: go find a few defense attorneys on Twitter and search their tweets for “guru” to see what they think of these experts.)

I thought we’d get a good discussion here, but I’m thinking that perhaps it was either too easy, or perhaps too touchy a subject (perhaps you’ve been burned and didn’t want to admit it??) Or, maybe everyone just decided to take off early for the Fourth of July. We didn’t get a lot of perspectives, but that’s kind of the risk we take when we ask these Elephant Post question.

Luckily, we don’t let one down week discourage us around here! So, we’re going keep asking the questions to get your perspectives. Whenever I talk with people that read our blog, the Elephant Post is one of the primary things they say they like (although, we need to do a better job on branding the term “Elephant Post” because it seems to have taken on the street name of “elephant thingy” or “something elephant”.) So, read through this week’s perspectives, and then take a look at next week’s ELEPHANT POST question about how you are able to make sense of all that information that flies by you everyday… and are still able to do your day job.

Greg Lambert
Library/Records Guy

I’m reluctantly saying yes for the following reasons:

1. Law Firms move very slowly (if at all when it comes to new ideas)
2. Law Firms tend to not make a decisions unless:
    a. ever one of their peers have done so
    b. something goes terribly wrong and they are forced to make a decision
    c. someone comes in from the outside and says that if you don’t do this, your firm will be embarrassed or partners will leave for firms that are doing it

A lot of firms are “ignoring” the Social Media world (both blocking it from employees, and simply pretending the firm doesn’t have a social media footprint already… sometimes run by people not even related to the firm)

So, if a Social Media Consultant can come in and start the conversation. Then I say, bring ’em in! The sad thing is that it is very likely that firms already have employees that are just as good as these consultants are, but because they aren’t coming in from the outside, they get ignored. I guess it’s one of those classic situations where firms have more “dollars” than “sense”!

Toby Brown

Lisa and I served on our firm’s Social Media Committee.  After that experience, I highly recommend you use on outside consultant – even if you know more than they do.

It’s the old “You are not a prophet in your own land” story.  Whenever we suggested anything, it fell on deaf ears.  When some consultant’s blog would have a post saying the same thing, it was scripture.

Besides – when things go wrong (and they will since people have unrealistic expectations) it won’t be your fault.  It will be that crazy, outside, so-called social media guru.

Next Elephant Post

How Do You Make Sense of All That Information and Still Perform Your Day Job??

Whenever I am in a room that is discussing how to handle “information overload” there usually comes a point in the conversation when someone says “I just don’t know how people can monitor all that information – blogs, twitter, email, professional reading, etc. – and still handle all the demands of their day job.” Immediately after this statement, there is usually a pause in the conversation, then for some odd reason, everyone leans over the table and looks toward me to answer this issue. I usually smile and tell them that the answer is proprietary and they’d need to hire me as a consultant (Guru!) for me to disclose my secret process.

Well, the truth of the matter is that it has taken me a long time to figure out a way to balance the flood of information that comes in everyday and making sure that it doesn’t cause me to mess up at my day job, or miss sleeping at night. I thought this would be a good Elephant Post question for next week. Share with us a way that you manage that flow of information. Do you have a product… a process… a tip or trick… that helps you filter the information that comes in? Willing to share one or two of those with us?? I hope so! I know I would love to know how others handle this issue. So go ahead and contribute (you’ll feel better for doing sharing!!)