Summer cleaning

Tom Ciesielka is President of TC Public Relations (www.tcpr.net). Tom has over 25 years of marketing and public relations experience, working with individual lawyers and mid-sized law firms. He is also a former board member of the Legal Marketing Association in Chicago and has spoken at Chicago Bar Associations CLE programs.  Reach him at tc@tcpr.net.

Over time, we all have joined numerous networks online, opened up various accounts, updated different profiles, added ourselves to groups and lists, and published content related to ourselves and our firms. But how often do we check on all of those accounts and all of that content?

“Cleaning” and updating your online information should happen at least three or four times a year – usually more, now that we create and share information in real time. This post will give you a checklist to make it an easy, painless process, free of Lysol-fume-induced headaches.

For your firm and/or personal website:

  • Homepage – Give your website visitors a reason to come back often. Have a news teaser on your homepage that links to your news page. Sync your blog to a section of the homepage so content is always changing – as long as you regularly “clean” and update your blog. Consider adding some personality to your site by incorporating a “sticky” idea that engages visitors (we use a Post-it note on our site).
  • News – The news page should be updated monthly at the minimum. This is where you can highlight recent media attention or your current activities as it relates to your practices or your geographic region. Letting this get two or three months out of date paints a sloppy picture to website visitors, who may include potential clients.
  • Bios – Often times, we write our own website biographies as soon as we are hired or as soon as the website goes live. Then we leave it stagnant for years. Just as the news changes, so do you! Update your bio at least once a year, highlighting new achievements and new interests.

For ALL your social media accounts:

  • Pictures – Most social media accounts allow you to upload a picture so that people can identify you. It is wise to use the same one or two pictures across all platforms to stay consistent, not to mention it helps friends and connections recognize you and reinforces that you are active across multiple platforms.
  • Profiles – With profiles, you need to decide which nuggets of information about you or your firm are the most important and make sure that information is readily available on EACH profile you have. This is an important part of maintaining your brand. As with a bio, this information changes over time, so be sure to revisit each profile at least once a year to make updates.
  • Alerts/Privacy – Every platform has different settings for privacy and notifications. Take 15 minutes to log in to the programs and applications you use and see which settings you may want to change. Do you want to know when someone starts following you on Twitter? Do you want all of your friends to know when you commented on something on Facebook? These are all easy to control, so make sure you know what power you have.
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