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I’m airing a dirty little secret today.

Around the water coolers of law firms across this country, and most likely around the world, lawyers and other professional people are talking about Kim Kardashian.

I am amazed at how many professional women watch the show and follow this family’s follies.

The sports dude and I watched an episode a few months back to see what everyone was talking about (no games on that day), and that was enough for me. I came away with an impression of this family that is constantly reinforced by their very public actions.

However, as I watch the debacle of the 72-day marriage dissolve this week, I can’t help but get caught up by the train wreck, and I find myself way too conversant in the details of the marriage and break-up for my comfort level.

To redeem myself, I did take notice of a couple things that apply to law firms, lawyers and legal marketing:

BRAND MANAGEMENT: The Kardashian family are OBSESSED with following their brand on Twitter, blogs, Facebook posts, etc. They are reading what the fans, and better yet, the “anti-fans” are saying about them.

This is something law firms and lawyers should emulate.

First of all, you must recognize that you and your firm are not only a business, you are brands.

You, as an attorney, have a personal brand, plus you work for a brand.

Secondly, you have to track and manage your brands.

Marketers need to follow and track the press, blogs, Twitter streams, etc. of the brands they manage (firm and key attorneys). Lawyers should make it a point to follow their personal brand as well. Social listening is the new black.

CLIENT FEEDBACK: When viewing the comments section of any story on the breakup, there is rich fan feedback there. The family, however, is in complete denial about the messages they are being sent, and are ignoring the negative comments/feedback from the “haters.”

This is a missed opportunity in my opinion.

The family has become so ensconced in their world that they no longer see themselves answerable to their fans.

When you get client feedback, what do you do with it? Many attorneys and law firms, from what I am told, ignore it, especially the negative comments.

But the negative comments are the best. Those to me are more honest than the positive ones, and they give you something to work with. Hence, firms spending lots of money on their client feedback programs.

For a client to say something negative to you directly, or indirectly, it has to REALLY bother them. Otherwise they just talk with their wallets. They quietly start moving their files somewhere else, and, if you are not “listening” to this feedback, it might be years before you realize that your client has moved on to someone else.

So what can we take away from Kim Kardashian’s follies this week?

  • A charitable donation does not replace good manners or bad press.
  • Listen to your fans, but pay attention to your critics.
  • Don’t become so enamored by your press, or the sycophants that surround you, that you actually believe it all.
  • Everyone likes to watch the train wreck when the mighty (and egotistical) fall. The key being broken off in the door of Tower Snow’s Brobeck office, anyone??
  • There’s always another younger, hotter, better, smarter, rising-star attorney ready to pick up where you have fallen.
  • When the bad press hits the fan, a crisis team is in order, but don’t go to your go-to people. Hire someone new and fresh who know that they are there for the ONE important project. A crisis is not the time to hire someone seeking an institutional client.