There has been many a terse tweet regarding the ABA’s guidance on the use of the Internet for client relations, client development, and marketing initiatives. In response to this discourse, individuals (attorneys, marketers, and attorney-marketers alike) have seemed to divide themselves into two camps: (1) those so wary of the hazards of the “wild west” of the web that they shun any online participation, and (2) those cowboys who take pride in pushing the ethical boundaries of Internet marketing, claiming any rules are an infringement.
As with most things, when extremes develop on both ends of a spectrum, the truth lies somewhere in the middle—as is the case with ethics rules and online marketing. The truth of the matter is that good marketing and compliance with ethics standards are not like oil and water, but rather like peanut butter and jelly.
Let’s consider some practical examples, including effective online content, the integration of chat utilities, social media interactions, and web-marketing activities in general.