New Media Adoption Growing Among Corporate Counsel, Signaling New Opportunities to 'Engage'

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Industry Survey Finds Blogs Have Arrived; Usage of the "Big 3" Social Networking Platforms is on the Rise; Corporate Counsel Expect their Use of New Media Tools to Increase

Using new media to engage with outside counsel

Business-to-business marketers have been watching the trends taking shape with regard to social media and its consumer applications for quite some time. For legal marketers, the question has been: Are buyers of legal services influenced by these tools?

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A new survey reveals that sophisticated purchasers of legal services in major corporations increasingly are influenced by attorney-authored blogs in forming opinions that influence law firm hiring decisions. Additionally, nearly 70 percent of respondents aged 30 to 39 expect their consumption of business and legal industry news through social media platforms to increase within the next six months.

The survey of the social media habits of 164 in-house counsel was conducted by Greentarget Strategic Communications , ALM Legal Intelligence and Zeughauser Group and is believed to be the first of its kind to analyze new media adoption among sophisticated buyers of legal services.

"Business-to-business marketers have been watching the trends taking shape with regard to social media and its consumer applications with a keen eye for quite some time,” said John Corey , who as President and Founding Partner of Greentarget, led the survey. "For legal marketers, the key question has been to what extent are buyers of legal services influenced by these tools. This research sheds new light on this fundamental question and illustrates that if law firms take time to develop engaging, relevant content via social media platforms, their buyers are ready to tune in.”

Key Highlights from the Corporate Counsel New Media Engagement Survey:

Blogs Have Arrived: Blogs are widely recognized and used by in-house counsel across age groups and company size as increasingly credible sources of news and information.

  •     43 percent of in-house counsel identified blogs as among their leading sources of news and information.
  •     50 percent of in-house counsel envision a future in which a high-profile blog will influence a client's decision to hire a law firm.

Overall New Media Consumption Is on the Rise: 53 percent of in-house counsel expect their consumption of industry news and information via new media platforms will increase over the next six months to a year.

Social Media Platform Adoption Is Growing, Albeit a Generational Trend: In-house counsel usage of the big three new media platforms – LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter – is growing for both professional and personal reasons.

  •     Not surprisingly, younger counsel are leading the movement. 53 percent of counsel aged 30-39 cited social media Web sites among their leading sources of news and information compared to 25 percent of counsel aged 40-49, 24 percent aged 50-59, and 13 percent aged 60+ years.    

Blurring of Lines Between Personal and Professional Usage: The intersection of one's personal and professional on-line personae is most prevalent among younger counsel.

  •     Nearly half of counsel aged 30-39 have used Facebook for professional reasons in the past week.

Younger Counsel Increasingly Prefer to Access News on their PDAs: 74 percent of counsel aged 30-39 prefer or somewhat prefer to access news via their smart phones, compared to 47 percent of counsel aged 40-49, 37 percent of counsel aged 50-59, and 26 percent of counsel aged 60+ years.

Corporate Counsel Prefer Online (62 percent) to Print Sources (42 percent)    

Law Firm-to-Client Communications: If the Content is Relevant, They Will Come: 51 percent of in-house counsel said they would receive content from their law firms via new media platforms provided the content is relevant to their businesses.

  •     100 percent of counsel aged 30-39 said they would use these tools to access information compared to about half of counsel in the older age groups.

Martindale-Hubbell Connected, LinkedIn and Wikipedia the Most Credible Platforms:

Added Kevin Iredell, Vice President of ALM Legal Intelligence: "It will be interesting to watch how the perceptions and usage patterns of the in-house legal community unfold over time. There's no question that law firm marketers are anxious to leverage these emerging channels at the enterprise level to advance their reputations, brands and business development goals. As we continue to use the survey to track new media adoption among corporate purchasers, we will keep a close eye on how both firms and clients alike engage and interact more frequently through these platforms.

"In the corporate and consumer marketing worlds, the most sophisticated and measureable uses of social media stem from brands having direct insight into where their customers are congregating online -- and on what terms -- so that they can listen to conversations about the brand, and then engage accordingly,” said Norm Rubenstein, partner of Zeughauser Group. "Up until now, we haven't had a comparable level of insight into new media usage and behaviors among corporate counsel. We believe this data will provide law firms a much-needed baseline from which to reshape and focus their new media strategies.”

About Greentarget
Greentarget is a public relations, marketing communications and consulting firm focused on corporate, financial, professional services and B2B organizations. The company is based in Chicago with additional offices in London, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

About ALM Legal Intelligence
ALM Legal Intelligence offers detailed business information for and about the legal industry, focused on the top U.S. and international law firms. The division's online research Web service, http://www.almlegalintelligence.com ], provides subscribers with direct, on-demand access to ALM LI's extensive database of surveys, rankings and lists related to law firms and the legal industry. The site also includes an online store where non-subscribers can, on an individual basis, purchase and download preformatted individual law firm reports, research reports and selected current-year survey data. ALM Legal Intelligence is a division of ALM, an integrated media company.

About Zeughauser Group
Zeughauser Group is the firm of choice for legal industry leaders seeking to increase their competitive advantage and profitability, enhance market position, and strengthen organizational culture.

For a complete copy of the Corporate Counsel New Media Engagement Survey results, please visit http://bit.ly/cLPrJL or contact:

John Corey, Greentarget, at 312-252-4102 or jcorey(at)greentarget(dot)net,
Kevin Iredell, ALM Legal Intelligence, at 212-457-9500 or kiredell(at)alm(dot)com
Norm Rubenstein, Zeughauser Group, at 202-483-7089 or rubenstein(at)zeughausergroup(dot)com

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John Corey
Greentarget
312-252-4102
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Kevin Iredell
ALM Legal Intelligence
212-457-9500
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