April 7, 2017 nº 1,856 - Vol. 14

"The most exquisite paradox… as soon as you give it all up, you can have it all. As long as you want power, you can't have it. The minute you don't want power, you'll have more than you ever dreamed possible."

Ram Dass

In today's Law Firm Marketing, How proper context can create trust and boost your marketing's effectiveness

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Read Migalhas LatinoAmérica in Spanish every Tuesday and Thursday. Visit the website at www.migalhas.com/latinoamerica

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  • Top News

Republicans go 'nuclear' to ram through Trump court nominee

Republicans have taken the historic step of changing US Senate rules in order to ram through confirmation of Trump's Supreme Court pick. They invoked the "nuclear option" after Democrats used a tactic known as a filibuster for the first time in half a century to block the nominee. Denver appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch is now set to be approved on Friday. The move will leave Congress even more plagued by gridlock. Republican John McCain said: "Bad day for democracy." At stake is ideological control of the nation's highest court, which has the final say on some of the most controversial US legal issues, from gun control to abortion to election financing to workers' and LGBT rights. After falling five votes short on Thursday of the 60 needed to confirm Gorsuch, Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell retaliated by ordering a vote to rewrite the chamber's rules. It passed by 52-48 along party lines. The legislative maneuver - called the nuclear option because it is so extreme - enables Gorsuch to be approved by a simple majority in the 100-member Senate, where Republicans control 52 seats. Pundits and politicians may lament that Thursday's actions mark the end of comity and bipartisanship in the Senate. The reality, however, is that the Supreme Court nominee filibuster power was already dead and vigorous partisanship reigns supreme. This week just made it official.

German court allows use of seized evidence against Volkswagen

A local Munich Court denied Friday a motion by Volkswagen to bar evidence seized during searches of a law firm working for the company. Volkswagen filed its complaint last week in an attempt to prevent German prosecutors from analyzing material confiscated during the March 15 raid on Jones Day, the law firm conducting an internal investigation for VW into emissions test cheating at the company. The court concluded that the raids were lawful and the evidence would thus be available to prosecutors. The court's decision will now be reviewed by the Munich District Court.

Weaponized police drones are coming

In small unmanned aerial drones, police and firefighters have discovered a useful new tool, with at least 347 agencies in 43 states now flying them. Drone deployment by law enforcement and municipalities began more than a decade ago when it was just an emerging technology with extremely limited use. But those days are over. Legislators in Connecticut want police to have a newer option. A bill meant to ban weaponized drones there includes an exception for police, a move that’s sparked outrage in the somewhat progressive New England state. In most law enforcement scenarios, drones are being flown for traffic management or crime-scene photography. They're also used for search and rescue, hazardous material spills, mass evacuations, and aerial viewing of fires or tracking fire personnel in dangerous settings. Many Americans first became aware of lethal police use of unmanned vehicles in July, following a shooting spree in which a dozen Dallas police officers were shot by a sniper, five fatally. Faced with a heavily armed suspect who refused to surrender, the department sent a bomb squad robot armed with C4 explosive to detonate inside a downtown community college, killing him. That drone’s weaponization—the first known US police robot killing—sparked a brief public debate on the ethics and efficacy of nonmilitary deployment of technology to kill.

  • Crumbs

1 - U.S. court rules 1964 civil rights law protects LGBT workers from bias - click here.

2 - Amazon acquires right to buy stake in fuel cell maker Plug Power - click here.

3 - Spotify signs long-term deal with Universal - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

Summit between Xi Jinping and Trump comes amid tensions

"We worried if we did not take immediate stabilizing measures," a Chinese analyst says, "the relationship could nosedive and pose serious problems for our finances, economy and strategic security."

  • Law Firm Marketing

How proper context can create trust and boost your marketing's effectiveness
By Tom Trush

Did you happen to notice the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards' TV commercial that's in heavy rotation right now?

It offers an incredible lesson in marketing persuasion.

In the advertisement, a fake financial firm is set up on the 48th floor of a prominent office building. People are then invited in for a short presentation from a man who claims to be a financial advisor.

What they don't know is that the guy is actually a professional DJ with zero financial experience. In fact, he just knows a few financial-sounding phrases, dresses well and looks friendly.

You can watch here: https://youtu.be/e_Ql_7NCk0o

The CFP Board of Standards set up the experiment to prove that anyone can claim to be a financial advisor. They also wanted to show that any seemingly bright, well-educated consumer could fall for the trick.

And, sure enough, many believed they were meeting with a real financial advisor, describing him as knowledgeable, capable and trustworthy.

A similar situation -- with an opposite perspective -- played out with Paul McCartney in 1984.

McCartney was filming a movie called Give My Regards to Broad Street. During production, producers put him in front of a London railway station and asked him to perform his song "Yesterday," one of the most covered songs in recorded music history.

Check out the experiment (which made it into the movie) here: http://youtu.be/O4zT7VhpDcQ

Much to McCartney's surprise, not one person recognized him. Passing people viewed the singer as just another street performer. So they saw little reason to pay much attention.

Hard to believe, isn't it?

An entertainer described by Guinness World Records as "the most successful composer and recording artist of all time" was instantly transformed into an ordinary musician because of a change in environment.

Of course, if you turned on your TV tonight and saw McCartney playing at New York City's Madison Square Garden, you'd view him as someone with a high level of musical talent -- even if you didn't recognize him.

After all, he's on TV and performing at a famous arena.

So what's all this have to do with marketing?

Well, here's the reality:

Prospects decide whether your marketing message is worthy of attention by assessing quality and context.

The experiments I just shared with you refer to context -- or the environment where the information is consumed.

Think about it ...

How often do you give greater trust to published material? After someone writes a book or gets published in a high-profile publication, credibility follows.

You could post identical information on a pile of napkins (or even a flyer, email or website) and it wouldn't carry a fraction of the credibility offered by a published piece.

How and where you use your marketing materials determines the importance prospects place on them.

A couple months ago, I had a strategy session with a financial advisor wanting to offer a new service. It requires a client make a considerable time commitment and invest nearly $60,000.

The advisor's plan is to drive traffic to his website to generate leads. Problem is, the website is the equivalent to McCartney's dirty railway station. The design is outdated and the message gives prospects little reason to pay attention.

Furthermore, nothing is in place to position this financial advisor as an authority on the service he sells.

Sure, he has a special report that serves as a lead magnet. Yet the format looks like something my 10-year-old daughter could put together on her iPod Touch.

It's not something that matches a high-end, exclusive experience.

The message inside the report might offer incredible insight. Yet no one will see it because the context is so poor.

So remember, while quality content is critical, you must deliver it in proper context so prospects view it as valuable.

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Tom Trush is available at http://www.writewaysolutions.com

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  • Brief News

Trump orders Syria airstrikes after 'assad choked out the lives' of civilians

The US has carried out a missile attack against an air base in Syria in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held town. The Pentagon said 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired at 04:40 Syrian time (01:40 GMT) from destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean. In a televised address, Trump said the base was the launch point for the chemical attack. He called on "all civilized nations" to help end the conflict in Syria. Dozens of civilians, including many children, died in the suspected nerve gas attack on Tuesday in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province. (Click here)

Brazil top court postpones president's trial

Brazil's top court, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, on Tuesday suspended the trial of President Michel Temer who is accused of receiving illegal donations during his 2014 campaign. Following former president Dilma Rousseff's removal from office, her lawyers presented evidence in November that Temer received a US$ 295,351 deposit after the same amount was donated by construction firm Andrade Gutierrez to the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party. Temer's legal team has denied such allegations. Currently, the TSE will not issue a verdict until May at the earliest. Until then, the TSE will hear additional witnesses and arguments from Brazil's political parties. (Click here)

Senators introduce bill to protect citizens' electronics from border search

A group of US Senators on Tuesday introduced a bipartisan bill to require government agents to get a warrant when searching electronic devices of US citizens at the border. The Protecting Data at the Border Act seeks to allow citizens to deny a request of border agents to search their electronic devices without being denied entry or exit at the border except for in emergency situations. The bill requires either a warrant or probable cause to search or seize a device.

Brazil police banned from striking by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court in Brazil has ruled that strikes by police are unconstitutional. In a seven to three ruling, the court banned federal and civil police officers as well as firefighters from going on strike. Members of the military police were already banned from stopping work. A stoppage in eastern Espirito Santo state caused chaos in February, with schools closing and public transport suspended as the murder rate shot up. Police strikes are not uncommon in Brazil and have in the past created problems in major cities. (Click here)

Twitter sues Homeland Security to protect anonymity of 'alt immigration' account

Twitter is suing the US government after it demanded it reveal the identity of an anti-Trump account. The @ALT_USCIS profile was an anonymous profile account criticizing Trump’s immigration policy. The account claimed it was being run by federal employees at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Twitter has requested a court block the Trump administration’s request, calling it a matter of free speech. The challenge was filed in San Francisco, where the micro-blogging service is based. (Click here)

Facebook to tackle fake news with educational campaign

Facebook is launching an educational tool as part of measures it is taking to counter fake news. For three days, an ad will appear at the top of users' news feeds linking to advice on "how to spot fake news" and report it. The campaign, which will be promoted in 14 countries, is "designed to help people become more discerning readers", the social media firm said. But experts questioned whether the measure would have any real impact.

DHS ends plan to separate women and children at US border

A Department of Homeland Security spokesman announced Wednesday that President Donald Trump's administration was no longer planning to separate women and children at the US' southern border as a means of deterring immigration.

HRW condemns Ukraine corruption law it says targets journalists

Human Rights Watch condemned on Wednesday a new Ukrainian anti-corruption law that requires activists and journalists who report on government corruption to file public declarations of their personal assets.

New York highest court rules police can seize user Facebook activity

The New York Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that law-enforcement can seize private Facebook account information. The court ruled that Facebook could not contest the warrants and therefore the court could not decide the matter. The court found that only users themselves have the right to challenge warrants in criminal proceedings. However, while being forced to comply with search warrants seeking access to private accounts, Facebook cannot warn users about the disclosure. The case is a result of the Manhattan DA seeking search warrants in 2013 for the accounts of people in connection with a disability-benefits fraud case. Due to the gag order, the court has stated the only remedy for Facebook users is to sue for invasion of privacy after the fact. Facebook has kept open the possibility of taking the case to the US Supreme Court arguing that the case addresses unresolved issues about online privacy. (Click here)

Germany cabinet approves bill requiring social networks to remove hate speech

The cabinet of German Chancellor Angela Merkel approved draft legislation on Wednesday that would impose fines on social media websites for failing to delete users' entries that violate German hate speech laws. The fines could reportedly be as high as 50 million Euros ($53 million). The law would make the websites responsible for removing the illegal content and making regular reports to the German government on complaints filed. It also seeks to make it easier for social media users to report offensive conduct. Critics of the law argue that it could limit freedom of expression and suppress speech on the Internet. The legislation will next be submitted to the lower house of parliament, where the bill is expected to be approved. (Click here)

Trump repeals FCC internet privacy rules requiring consumer consent

Trump on Monday signed a bill officially repealing internet privacy regulations set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) during the end of Obama's term. A pending FCC rule, Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services, would have required internet providers to seek consumer consent before sharing and selling their private information.

Hungary Assembly passes law banning foreign school

The Hungarian National Assembly on Tuesday passed a law in a fast-track process which would require foreign universities to have campuses in Hungary and their home countries. This bill threatens to push out Central European University (CEU), which is a private institution in Hungary funded by George Soros and is the only foreign university in Hungary that does not also have a campus in its home country. Under this legislation, CEU will have to open a campus in the United States by February 15, 2018 if it wishes to remain open. Proponents of the passed law insist that it was not made to target CEU and claim that it was designed generally to address the administrative shortcomings of foreign universities. This bill has been met with significant protest both within Hungary and internationally.

Wall Street and Washington: a new love affair

Why is Wall Street bullish on Trump? Regulations (or rather, the promise to abolish them).

Law firm fired by left-leaning client because of its work for Trump

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has a lost client because of its work for another client: President Donald Trump. Wallace Global Fund, a left-leaning private foundation, has terminated its relationship with Morgan Lewis as a protest against Trump and the firm’s handling of his business conflicts. The fund’s decision was “out of profound disagreement with the firm’s representation of President Donald Trump,” stated foundation co-chairman.

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