March 23, 2012 nº 1,157 - Vol. 10


"
The more things change, the more they stay insane."

In today's Law Firm Marketing, Cargo cult marketing.

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  • Top News

Lawyers in China to swear allegiance to Communist Party

The Justice Ministry in China says lawyers are now required to swear allegiance to the ruling Communist Party for the first time. All lawyers obtaining or renewing their professional license will have to pledge their loyalty to the country and the leadership of the party. Critics see the move as lacking legal basis and ''inappropriate''. The oath was necessary to raise lawyers' political, professional and moral standards, said the ministry. It has also named institutions to organize the oath-taking ceremonies and specified that lawyers need to take the pledge within three months from the date on their certificates. "As a lawyer, you should only pay attention to the law and be faithful to your client," Mo Shaoping, a well-known rights lawyer, said. "The oath will hurt the development of the Chinese legal system."

ECB chief says worst of euro crisis over

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has said the worst of the eurozone crisis is over. He said the situation in Europe was "stabilizing". He also said that some economic data, including inflation and budget deficits, showed that Europe was doing better than the United States. But the latest surveys of purchasing managers suggest European economies could be flagging. "Last autumn, the situation was really critical. It could have come to a dangerous credit crunch for the banks. As a result, businesses could have gone bankrupt, because they would have been left high and dry. We had to prevent that." But he cautioned that eurozone leaders still had work to do.

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  • Crumbs

1 - Protesters see Tweets used against them - click here.

2 - Facebook buys 750 patents from IBM - click here.

3 - 'Million Hoodie' march takes Union Square in protest of fatal shooting - click here.

4 - Greece names new finance minister - click here.

5 - Zynga acquires OMGPOP, maker of 'Draw Something' - click here.

6 - Sambreel files antitrust lawsuit against Facebook - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

Asia's big three close in on deal

Japan, China and South Korea move closer to inking a trilateral investment agreement that may pave the way for a free-trade deal.

  • Law Firm Marketing

Cargo cult marketing

by Linda Julian

There remain widely held beliefs among partners and senior managers of many law and other professional service firms which are best described as "cargo cults".

Cargo-cult marketing is the belief that alliances, international firm associations, interstate tie-ups, memberships of referral networks, subscriptions to business interest groups, and sponsorships will deliver vast benefits in terms of new clients at premium fees.

Undoubtedly, well-conceived alliances, associations, networks, and connections can lead to worthwhile outcomes. The trouble is, too often, these are formed or pursued based on:

  • misconceptions
  • search for prestige and success-by-association
  • overselling by enthusiastic advocates
  • unrealistic estimation of likely benefits
  • overoptimism about timing
  • lack of any clear purpose
  • and even a cargo cult mentality.

Occasionally, it's a champion's own relief from day-to-day boredom, a quest for external fame and glory, a quick deflection from unwelcome realities, or downright selfish interests (such as lots of interesting overseas conference opportunities) which may drive otherwise level-headed professional firms to join the cargo cult.

Disappointment is palpable when the great new hope either doesn't deliver at all, or when returns are miniscule compared with energy and resources expended.

The biggest danger is that you and your firm invest so much expectation in these connections for work that scarce business development time and money is squandered while other more dependable avenues to source work wither through neglect.

There are many fine professional networks and associations with interests and value well beyond exchange of work and clients.

To make certain you're making the right connections, rather than getting involved in a cargo cult, apply these tests:

  • what is the reputation and standing of the organisation ?
  • how will my/our profile be improved by association ?
  • do we have high relevance to the target association ?
  • is it a "natural fit" ?
  • aside from any expectations about getting work, is there a sufficient business case to join ?
  • what motivates others to join ?
  • if we have work to refer, are these the people and firms we'd want to send it to ?
  • do we have sufficient work to refer for the recipients to sit up and take notice ?
  • if overseas conferences or interesting events are part and parcel of the connection, when the time comes around to participate, will we have the availability and still feel it's a good use of our money ?
  • how will we keep the connections active between meetings ?
  • do they want me/us as members and why ?

Size up these opportunities and avoid a dangerous cargo cult, which looks like marketing but lacks marketing efficacy.

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© Trey Ryder

FREE LAWYER MARKETING ALERT: If you'd like to receive Trey Ryder's weekly Lawyer Marketing Alert, send an e-mail to Trey@TreyRyder.com. Write "Subscribe LMA" in the subject line and write your name and e-mail address in the body of the message.

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  • Historia Verdadera

Negocios

El presidente de Chile, Sebastian Piñera, impulsó este jueves en Hanoi la cooperación con Vietnam, que tiene como objetivo consolidar las relaciones políticas y, sobre todo, económicas con la región Asia-Pacífico. Piñera, esta en el país indochino acompañado por una comitiva de un centenar de personas, se reunió por espacio de una hora con el jefe de Estado vietnamita, Truong Tan San.

Malvinas

Argentina denunció antes las bolsas de valores de Nueva York y Londres a cinco petroleras a las que, por la exploración ilegal en el mar de las Islas Malvinas. Las firmas denunciadas son: Argos Resources, Borders & Southern Petroleum, Desire Petroleum, Falkland Oil and Gas Limited y Rockhopper Exploration. (Presione aquí)

Sentencia

El gobierno de Ecuador comenzó a cumplir una sentencia de la Corte Internacional de Derechos Humanos, referida al pago de indemnización de 28, 2 mlls. a uma família por la expriopiación de tierras en Quito. (Presione aqui)

  • Brief News

Pressure on France over shootings

France is facing calls for an inquiry into possible intelligence failures after a series of murders by a gunman in the south of the country. Mohammed Merah - who claimed to have al-Qaeda training - was killed by a police sniper in Toulouse on Thursday. It has now emerged that he had been under surveillance for months and had been on the US no-fly list for some time. Commentators in France and abroad have criticized the intelligence services for failing to track Merah closely enough.

Terror agency to keep data longer

Federal counterterrorism officials will retain certain data on U.S. citizens and legal residents for up to five years—instead of the previous six months—to better follow and find terror suspects.

Data theft: Hacktivists 'steal more than criminals'

Hacktivists stole more data from large corporations than cybercriminals in 2011, according to a study of significant security incidents. The annual analysis of data breaches by Verizon uncovered a huge rise in politically motivated attacks. It found that 58% of all the data stolen during breaches in 2011 was purloined by these groups. The hacktivist attacks were spearheaded by the Anonymous hacker group and its tech-savvy offshoots Antisec and Lulzsec. These activists scored a significant number of successes by knocking out websites and stealing large amounts of data from private companies and government agencies. In contrast to that stolen by hacktivists, about 35% of data pilfered from large companies was taken by organized criminal groups, which wanted to sell it or use it to commit another crime. Hacktivists were hard to defend against, it said, as their attack strategies were much harder to predict.

Small firms 'easy targets' for cyber crime

Businesses are an easy target for hackers. "Everything is interconnected in one way or another so it's a beautiful playground to be in." A study found that firms were plainly aware of cyber threats and as a result hackers are increasingly targeting small firms. It singled out specific problems like targeted attacks, keystroke logging, and the dangers of using smartphones for company business. It also showed a considerable apathy towards security, with half of respondents replying they didn't feel in danger because they were a small company. Unfortunately the evidence is not on their side: 40% of all targeted attacks have been directed at small and medium-sized businesses, compared to only 28% directed at large companies. With small firms, inadequate security policies and a general lack of knowledge of the subject all sorts of weak points can be exploited. "Examples might be the development of websites and customer portal type applications, adoption of cloud computing services, allowing employees to bring their own mobile devices and laptops into work to use for work purposes - even just buying IT systems and storage solutions," Criminals could be after a whole host of things, such as data they can sell on the cyber-underground (credit card numbers, employee details and login details are particular favorites). But generally, “people are the weakest link at any level of security."

Insider-trading ban passes Congress, but some see missed opportunity

The Senate passed a bill Thursday to explicitly ban insider trading by members of Congress and the executive branch. But the legislation, known as the STOCK Act, is quite a bit weaker than earlier versions. This bill does require members of Congress, their staffs and those in the executive branch to disclose stock transactions within 30 days, and to do so electronically. This is a huge improvement over the current once-a-year paper-filing system. What was missing is a provision to require people working in the political intelligence industry to register, much like lobbyists. Political intelligence firms gather information about happenings in Congress that could move the markets and then sell it to hedge funds and other deep-pocketed investors. A missed opportunity to include things like the political intelligence provision, and another one that was removed that would have made it easier to prosecute public corruption. The STOCK Act passed the Senate with unanimous consent.

EU to put sanctions on Asma al-Assad

EU is set to impose a travel ban and asset freeze on the UK-born wife of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. Asma al-Assad is among 12 Syrians to be added to a number of figures, including the president, who are already subject to sanctions. In recent weeks, the Damascus government has stepped up its efforts to crush pockets of rebellion in cities including Homs and Hama. The president and his allies say terrorist and armed gangs are behind the violence, and say hundreds of security personnel have been killed fighting them. Anti-government activists accuse the regime of killing thousands of protesters over the past year.

European Commission refers Hungary to ECJ for tax rule violation

The European Commission on Thursday referred Hungary to the ECJ - European Court of Justice for violations of EU rules related to the taxation of telecommunications operators. Article 12 of the EU's Authorization Directive contains specific rules for member nations regarding the administrative charges a state can impose on telecommunication network and service providers. Hungary introduced its "crisis taxes" in 2010 in an effort to improve the country's budget revenues. The Commission maintains that these taxes are illegal because member nations are not permitted to implement such taxes for the purpose of raising revenues to reduce the national deficit.

Court to air tapes of health-law hearings

The Supreme Court said it would release same-day audio recordings of this month's arguments over Obama's health-care overhaul, citing "extraordinary public interest."

Japan orders anti-missile defense

Japan orders missile defense systems to be prepared in response to the planned launch of a North Korean long-range rocket next month.

Mali coup: World condemns mutineers

There has been widespread condemnation of Mali's troops, after they ousted President Amadou Toumani Toure. The UN Security Council called for the "immediate restoration of constitutional rule and the democratically elected government". The World Bank and African Development Bank said they were suspending all aid until the crisis is resolved. The coup leaders went on state TV to say they had closed the borders. They added that the president was safe. Soldiers looted the presidential palace in the capital Bamako, following the coup.

9 graduates lose case against New York Law School

Nine graduates of the New York Law School in Manhattan sued their school because they thought they had been misled by its postgraduate job claims. The decision deals a setback to a flurry of similar cases filed across the country, and it comes at an uncertain moment for both the legal academy and the law profession.

Chile to revoke custody of children based on woman's sexual orientation

The IACHR - Inter-American Court of Human Rights on Tuesday ruled that the Supreme Court of Chile violated a Chilean woman's right to equality and non-discrimination when it took away her children on the basis of her sexual orientation. Karen Atala, a Chilean judge, was stripped of custody of her three daughters by the country's high court in 2004 after announcing that she was a lesbian.

Brazil prosecutor charges oil companies with environmental crimes

A Brazilian federal prosecutor on Thursday filed criminal charges against Chevron, Transocean Limited and 17 executives in relation to an oil spill that occurred late last year. The indictment charges the companies and a number of their executive officers with environmental crimes, as well as charges of damage to public property. A 2,400 barrel oil spill off the coast of Brazil in the Campos Basin in November prompted the filing of these charges.

Brazilian schools microchip T-shirts to cut truancy

Schools in Brazil have started to place computer chips in school uniforms to keep track of pupils and reduce truancy. The parents will get a text message when their children arrive at school, or if they are late for classes. The authorities say the measure will help teacher-parent relations. The authorities in Vitoria da Conquista, Bahia, say the T-shirts can be washed and ironed without damaging the chips.

Nominees due for World Bank boss

"The US is expected to announce its candidate for the next president of the World Bank as the deadline for nominations approaches." The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund were created at the conference at Bretton Woods in 1944 as a means to regulate trade between nations in the aftermath of the Great Depression and World War II. A US national traditionally heads the World Bank while a European runs the IMF - currently France's Christine Lagarde. But emerging economies have become increasingly unhappy with this arrangement and are pushing for change.

Stanford denied new trial; case heads to sentencing

It didn't take long for a judge to make up his mind on financier Allen Stanford's request for a new trial. In a court filing two days ago, Stanford's lawyer said he was denied a fair trial, in part because of publicity surrounding his case. That included journalists being allowed to post entries about the case on Twitter from the courtroom. In a two-sentence order Thursday, U.S. District Judge David Hittner rejected the request, offering no explanation as to why.

  • Daily Press Review

International condemnation for Mali coup
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Kurd militants threaten Turkey if it enters Syria
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Syria sees heaviest fighting of uprising
Egyptian Gazette, English-language, Cairo, Egypt

Israel to allow 450,000 liters of fuel into Gaza to ease energy crisis
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Egyptians lift siege on peacekeeper base at Israeli border
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Minimum price for alcohol planned
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

U.S. soldier to be charged with 17 murders, official says
CNN International, London, England

France reflects on shooting spree
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Granny tax backlash: Fury as full scale of Chancellor's raid on pensioners emerges
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

I haven't had time for a holiday with David for three years, says Posh
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

France assesses intelligence after Merah killings
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

FRANCE: Officials face questions over Toulouse gunman
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

We are not intelligence officers
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

More Concordia bodies found
Independent The, London, England

Read all about it
Moscow News The, Independent, Moscow, Russia

Toulouse siege: live
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Man to plead guilty over celebrity nude photo hackings
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Kittiratt sets growth target at 7%
Bangkok Post, Independent, Bangkok, Thailand

Mali coup leader says ex-president 'is safe'
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Security is Paramount at Seoul Nuclear Security Summit
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Sri Lankan dailies go to town over India's UN vote
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Two medicos shot at in Patna
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Codefendant of top welfare bureaucrat also acquitted over postal fraud
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

US WWII veterans retain ties to Myanmar
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

General strike against austerity hits Portugal
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Sperm-hunting women prowl Zimbabwe highways
Straits Times, Pro-government, Singapore

Hajnal Black arrested
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Murray Lender, bagels' guru dies in Florida, 81
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Sri Lanka C. bank: Will act to curb rupee volatility
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

DND records raise new questions about search for Labrador boy
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

In Photos: Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Asian tour
Globe and Mail The, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

US Jobless Claims Fall: Will It Bolster Obama's Re-election Campaign?
International Business Times, Business news organization, New York, U.S

Opinions Divided Over Chevron Trial in Brazil
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Wall Street retreats but bull market still alive
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Hackers attack Hong Kong 'civil referendum' ahead of poll
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Star exclusive: Chief of Defence suspects sabotage plot by Tories
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

World condemns army coup in Mali
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

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