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Securing Your Next Client—Digital Footprint, Digital Dossier, Digital Tracks

The nuances of attracting and securing a new client as a lawyer haven’t received much written commentary. With the economic crisis still affecting our business interactions it is becoming much more difficult to attract and secure corporate clients. How does a lawyer deal with increasing pressure to deliver the corporate client? Here’s a thought that may not be particularly groundbreaking but certainly timely in our technological society: digital footprints.

What are digital footprints? They are the tracks, data and information left by any corporation on the internet through either their own manipulation (postings, blogs, etc.) or through the manipulation of others.

In your due diligence of a potential corporate client, how often do you “Google” the corporation and its key management? How often do you go beyond the articles written about the entity and read the actual comments posted to the particular article? Further, how often do you consider the source and readership of the article? If Huffington Post writes the article then you’re generally apt to find more liberal readers reacting to the article and can make some assumptions about potential juror bias based on that fact. If Fox News posts the article then chances are your responders will be more conservative.

It’s really shocking to know how many companies still operate in the dark ages when it comes to self-assessment of their digital footprint and the manner in which it impacts public perception. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to hypothesize that the more you research the digital tracks of a corporation the better prepared you will be to highlight their strengths and weaknesses when you’re in that “Beauty Contest” in front of the client. This synthesized knowledge will aide in the presentation and persuasion process as it relates to potential litigation.

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