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June 27, 2011


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Bradley H Smith

THIS is pervasive in my niche of working with public companies on shareholder communications / investor relations. VERY VERY few pub co are involved yet.

My blog last week: TRYING to give tactical "jump-start" http://muncmedia.typepad.com/retail_investor_targeting/2011/06/social-media-advice-for-investor-relations-install-tweetdeck-and-lurk-listen-and-learn-.html

Article in Reuters today in fact > http://blogs.reuters.com/reuters-wealth/2011/06/27/how-investors-can-use-twitter/


Thanks for sharing the post... It will really help me a lot... I find your post very interesting and very informative... Thanks for sharing it... I hope to hear more from you soon...


Alternatively, quit the bad old corporate world, set up on your own and write what you darn well like on your blog...

Hang on, you did that already...


David Meerman Scott

Bradley -- thanks for being a pioneer. There are so many scaredy cats out there. And it takes people like you to educate public companies.

Ian - exactly. I was nearly 18 years working for big companies. Now 8 years on my own.

Bill Royce

I have been fortunate on several occasions in my career to be allowed into the legal den to turn their drafts into plain speaking English and to scrutine their text from an issues perspective, especially where vulnerable customers were involved. The fact I have some legal training helped establish the working relationship and earn credibility. If communicators want to be equals and partners with legal (or other corporate functions), we need to know their space well enough to add value.

Tim Penning, PhD, APR

PR is about the court of public opinion and is fostered through relationships, which are aided by technology as well as transparency and two-way open communication. Lawyers are trained to control communication, to know the answers before they ask questions, to make one-way statements in a court of law.

What is often not discussed is the legal liability prevention of enlightened public relations with ALL publics (not just customers) that creates an organizational environment of trust and mutual respect. There are case studies of issues management preventing crises (which may have involved litigation) that lawyers should be made aware of.

David Meerman Scott

Bill - you're right. Communicators do need to know a bit about the legal sides of things to be effective. Thanks for the reminder.

Tim - Many thanks for the succinct descriptions. I appreciate you jumping in.

Gary Chow

Great article! Could not agree more. In a previous life I worked as a marketing bod for a funds management firm and often found large swathes of my advertisements, marketing collateral etc nixed by the legal team, which irked me no end. In many cases the disclaimers they forced me to include took up more of the page than the ads! These were the days before the Internet and social media, so I can imagine how difficult it would be for marketers now. A book called 'Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom' covers this topic well.


I learned first from running "Web 2.0" campaigns when I was at HP and then helping clients across Tech, Consumer and Health Care when I crossed over to the agency side that you should never ask a lawyer *can* you do something, ask them *how can* you do something. Make them part of the outcome not a barrier to the outcome.

Barbara Lemaire

I agree, the best defense to Lawyers taking over communications is to produce a solid Social Media Policy. Lawyers are paid to worry about the what if...a very good Social Media Policy spells out the what ifs and the consequences. To make sure everyone is on the same page the organization should provide education to everyone on the policy and on how to interact online. No only will the lawyers worry a lot less but you may create a number of employee brand advocates.

wites and kapetan

Some companies can actually use this an advantage, especially if you're into daring marketing strategies. You'll never know when legal advice becomes priceless, because a lot of companies have been drowned in lawsuits for their "boldness."

sacramento attorney

Saying NO too often can end up in loss rather safety.

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