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‘A person like you’ is most trusted spokesperson for your law firm

Edelman, the largest independent PR firm, released its annual Trust Barometer. For 2007 ‘a person like me’ is the most trusted spokesperson in much of the developed world.

A person like me’ is the most trusted spokesperson across the European Union, North America, and Latin America. In Asia, it is second to physicians. For the second consecutive year, ‘a person like me’ or a peer is the most trusted spokesperson in the United States at 51%. A peer is tied with doctors as the most trusted messenger across the big three economies of Europe, at 45%.

CEOs are trusted by only 18% of opinion leaders in Europe’s three largest economies (the United Kingdom, France, and Germany), the lowest rating ever recorded in the survey within this group of nations. In the United States, 22% of respondents trust CEOs. In the United States, 36% trust an average employee, while in the three largest economies of Europe 28% trust these employees, making rank-and-file employees more trusted than CEOs in both the United States and Europe.

‘The growing trust in ‘people like me’ and average employees means that companies must design their communications as much on the horizontal or the peer-to-peer axis as on the vertical or top-down axis,’ said David Brain, CEO of Edelman Europe. ‘CEOs should continue to talk with elites, such as investors and regulators, but also provide critical information to employees and enthusiastic consumers who spur the peer-to-peer discussion. Third parties with credentials, like academics and physicians, are also critical.

CEO’s are trusted by only 22% of people. Anyone’s guess how far down law firms are on the ‘trust barometer.’ Think consumers of legal services, whether exec’s, in-house counsel, or consumers are going to trust what your law firm tells them as to the quality of your firm’s legal services? Not.

Law firm websites, brochures, and other efforts boasting of the law firm and its lawyers will not be trusted. Law firms need people just like those considering hiring the firm talking about the law firm and the expertise of the firm’s lawyers.

How’s it done? By publishing a blog so as to join in the ongoing discourse on the niche area of law a lawyer practices in. Learn to blog properly and you’ll have people citing the lawyer’s blog content. They’ll be citing the lawyer because the lawyer will have established themselves as a reliable and trusted authority.

Word of mouth marketing at its finest. A ‘person like me’ referencing the skills and services of your firm’s lawyers. Far higher on the ‘trust barometer’ than the law firm touting its own services.

Source for post: Angelo Racoma at The Blog Herald

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