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Individual lawyer or law firm blog, which is trusted more?


Reviewing the findings and accompanying commentary of the recent UK survey conducted by affilinet on who consumers trust for information I couldn’t help but think that an individual lawyer’s blog, even including a law firm’s brand,mmay be more trusted than law firm group blogs.

The survey found that consumers trusted only family and friends more than blogs. Corporate brands, which could arguably include law firm branded group blogs, were at the bottom of the list when it comes to trust — beating out only politicians.

UK Managing Director of affilinet, Helen Southgate sees a shift away from mass digital one-to-many marketing strategies to more targeted strategies driven by niche specialist bloggers using content tailored to their audience.

57% of consumers trusted the opinions of independent bloggers while only 43% trusted the opinions of mainstream media outlets (magazines, newspapers, and online titles tied to a publisher).

Though law firm group blogs are not the media, those surveyed felt they had more of connection with individual bloggers. Consumers also felt independent bloggers were more genuine and authentic and did not have to conform to another’s editorial policy.

I asked a friend of mine and LexBlog Network blogger, Attorney Phil Mann who he was apt to trust, an individual lawyer’s blog or a group blog. Mann, publisher of the the IP Litigation Blog, immediately said an individual blog. He also said it would be the same for a blogger versus the main stream media, he’d trust an individual blogger.

Mann’s reasoning was much the same of the people surveyed. He felt he develops a connection with an individual blogger and that the individual is not conforming to someone else’s editorial policy.

I asked on Facebook what people thought. It was a mixed bag with people feeling it’s possible for a law firm blog to establish trust. Lawyers expressing personality and each having an independent voice and style were considered key.

There’s no question that many law firm group blogs have established trust with their audience of in-house counsel and business people.

LexBlog’s Am Law 200 Benchmark Blog Report lists a good number of blogs drawing significant traffic. The huge growth in group blogs among law firms is sign enough that law firms are finding such blogs work for business development.

What do you think? What kind of blog is more trusted, an individual lawyer’s blog or a law firm group blog?

Image courtesy of Flickr by Bill Strain

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