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Aus firms seek clarity on social media

Aus firms seek clarity on social media

Law firms came together this morning to delete a common question mark over social media.

LAW firms and other professional services firms must have a policy in place before they enter the social media pool of Twitter and the like, said legal and social media experts in Sydney this morning. 


The suggestion was made at an Asia Pacific Professional Services Marketing Association (APSMA) event, held at law firm Sparke Helmore this morning, which brought together marketing and other senior professionals from within law firms. 


Robert Beerworth, the managing director of web design and development company Willam, said firms need to develop a policy around social media in order to benefit from the full extent of its possibilities, as well as lessen risk. 


He said Telstra's social media policy, which comprehensively outlines how social media can benefit the company and how it can be used, is a good basis for law firms to also follow. 


The APSMA event aimed to highlight what social media is, it's pros and cons for business, and what business intelligence can be gained from social media. 


Australian law firms are increasingly engaging in social media. Deacons now has the most followers of any Australian firm on Twitter, but is successful also in engaging other users in dialogue about the legal profession, new laws, comments made by the firm's partners in the media, and current editorial that affects the profession and law firms. 


Other firms, Allens Arthur Robinson and Blake Dawson among them, use Twitter primarily as a means to push legal updates and firm news through a different medium. At the APSMA event this morning, members of the audience asked panel members how they could take Twitter and sites like it a step further. 


Panel members, including Nick Holmes a Court from Buzz Numbers and Suresh Sood from UTS, as well as Kate Gibbs, the editor of The New Lawyer, agreed firms should attempt to point the Twitter community to online articles in which the firm has been mentioned. 


The various panel members also suggested professional services firms point to new legislation that may affect their clients, republish "tweets", or "retweet", relevant business-related comments made elsewhere on Twitter. 


Deacons also notifies its Twitter population of followers when it is appointed to a new legal panel. 


The panel discussion was moderated by Boardroom Radio's David Bushby, who said many law firms have dipped their toes into the social media world. Others have dived in, he said, but many more could take further steps and even become knee deep in their waters. 


The author of this article was a panel member on the APSMA event this morning. 



Who to watch and follow on Twitter... Compiled by our journalists.  


AUSTRALIAN LAW FIRMS/ PROFESSIONAL SERVICES


Allens Arthur Robinson @allenslegal


Blake Dawson @blakedawson


Corrs Chambers Westgarth @corrslawyers


DLA Phillips Fox @DLAphillipsfox


Deacons @deacons


Ernst & Young @ernst_and_young


Maddocks @maddockslawyers


Minter Ellison (technology, media and telecommunications) @mintersTMT


Tresscox @tresscox



OTHER RECOMMENDED FOLLOWS


Fool Kit Legal 

Online legal resource

@foolkitlegal


Green Grads

Community for Australian law students

@green_grads


APSMA (Asia Pacific Professional Services Marketing Association)

@APSMA



INDIVIDUALS


Stephen Estcourt 

"Queens Counsel and food tragic" Tasmania

@stephenestcourt


Paul McKeon

Personal Tweets from Paul at Deacons

@paulmckeon


Nick Abrahams

Sydney chairman, Deacons

@nickabrahams


Tony Earls

Lawyer in Sydney

@macinearla


Shannon Saxby

Student at QUT studying law and IT

@shannonsaxby


Legal Research Rescue blog

@laurenLRR


Peter Black

@peterblackQUT


Michael Tooma (Deacons partner)

@michaeltooma



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Aus firms seek clarity on social media
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