August 17, 2007  nº 529  -  Vol. 5  
 

“I think Hollywood has a class system. The actors are like the inmates, but the truth is they're running the asylum.”

 Robert de Niro 


In today's Law Firm Marketing: tips for enticing readers in your marketing materials.

  • Top News

US agencies boost satellite use

The US is giving its domestic agencies greater access to images from spy satellites, in a move strongly criticized by civil rights groups. The images will be used to boost national security, disaster response and law enforcement, US officials said. Use of the satellite imagery will be managed by a new office within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Some US agencies already had limited access to the images, but many were restricted to scientific use.

Wikipedia 'shows CIA page edits'

An online tool that claims to reveal the identity of organizations that edit Wikipedia pages has revealed that the CIA was involved in editing entries. Wikipedia Scanner allegedly shows that workers on the agency's computers made edits to the page of Iran's president. It also purportedly shows that the Vatican has edited entries about Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams. The tool, developed by US researchers, trawls a list of 5.3m edits and matches them to the net address of the editor.

EU to investigate credit agencies

The European Commission is to review the credit rating industry after suggestions the sector was too slow to warn of the US sub-prime loans crisis. With the weakness in the sub-prime mortgage market sparking fears of a global credit squeeze, Brussels will probe the industry's voluntary code. This code aimed to stop any conflict of interest over the fact credit agencies can be paid by the firms they rule on.

Fed unexpectedly cuts rates to restore markets

The US Federal Reserve has cut its primary discount rate, which is the rate at which it lends money to banks, from 6.25% to 5.75%. The surprise cut is meant to help deal with credit problems which have been destabilizing stock markets.

Lula says Brazil won't be hurt by market turmoil

Lula said on Thursday that he does not think Brazil will be hurt by the turbulence battering global financial markets. He also characterized the market turmoil as an "American crisis caused by people trying to make easy money." He added that Brazil has sufficient foreign reserves to weather the volatility "for now. Brazil's financial markets have taken a pounding in recent days, sinking in line with global markets as fears mount that a credit crunch in the United States may be spreading.

Brazilian protest stirs debate

One month to the day after the crash at Sao Paulo's Congonhas airport, in which almost 200 people died, protesters are taking to the streets showing their anger about a range of issues in Brazilian society. Taking as their slogan "Cansei", meaning I am tired or fed up, they will voice their discontent at everything from corruption to the apparently endless ability of those with money in Brazil to evade punishment - known here as "impunidade" or impunity. The protest, which will include a minute's silence, has been organized by the Sao Paulo branch of the Organization of Brazilian Lawyers (OAB-SP), and is backed by several TV personalities and business leaders. The grouping, known broadly as the Civic Movement for the Rights of Brazilians, has to some extent tapped into a mood of anger following July's crash, the worst air disaster in the country's history.

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  • Crumbs!

1 - Worries: Investors seek refuge as credit worries snowball. (Read more)

2 - Immigration: U.S. expands domestic spying program at borders. (Read more)

3 - Philanthropic: Bitter battle feared over Astor's estate. (Read more)

4 - Guilty: Ex-NBA ref pleads guilty in betting scandal. (Read more)

5 - Tragedy: At least 330 killed in Peru earthquake. (Read more)

6 - Global Plunge: London shares crash 3% amid global plunge. (Read more)

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  • MiMIC Journal

China plans safety talks with US

China has said it will send delegations to the US to discuss safety concerns, after a spate of recalls of food and other products. The move is the latest in what is proving to be a particularly difficult phase in trade relations between the two countries.

  • Law Firm Marketing

8 sure-fire tips for enticing readers in your marketing materials

by Tom Trush

Because I'm a copywriter, my opinion is likely a little biased, but I truly feel the power of the pen is mightier than the spoken word. When listening to someone, the words we hear are rarely repeated -- unless requested -- and they don’t have the same “staying power” as a phrase permanently placed on a piece of paper. In addition, the written word has the potential of reaching a wide audience; whereas spoken words are limited by the number of people listening to you.

For these reasons, law firms that put a consistent effort toward their writing often see better results with their marketing strategies than others that treat content creation as just another trivial task. When it comes to putting together ideas for creating an effectively written document, there are numerous ways you can increase the likelihood of generating your desired response.

Here are eight sure-fire tips you can use in your legal marketing literature to transform readers from uninterested to enthusiastic.

Enticing Tip #1: Offer something for free.  No matter how many times you use it, “free” is the one word that will attract attention, regardless of the type of marketing literature you use it in. So offer your readers something they view as valuable as an incentive for meeting your desired outcome. For example, write a legal report with information on a topic your clients would find useful. Even better, provide some type of information that would solve a common problem your readers can relate to (see tip #4). You can even offer a discount on a future service or a complimentary giveaway that promotes your practice. The bottom line is that you want to make it as easy as possible for your potential clients to collect your free information.

Enticing Tip #2: Make the situation a win-win.  Stephen R. Covey summed it up in his best-selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, when he stated, “With a Win/Win solution, all parties feel good about the decision and feel committed to the action plan.” Obviously, you benefit if a reader reacts to your call to action, but what incentives are you offering to encourage this response? Once the emotional basis for hiring your law firm wears off, your client will seek rational reasons for the decision. So reward your reader with reasons that validate using your legal services.

Enticing Tip #3: Stroke the reader’s ego. Who doesn’t enjoy receiving unexpected compliments? This technique is especially effective when trying to attract high-end clients. People feel good when they’re recognized for achieving a special milestone or status. What makes the sensation even greater is when someone unexpectedly recognizes the feat.

Enticing Tip #4: Offer a solution to a problem.  Applying this tip involves more focus on your customer and less attention on your legal services. Any successful law firm flourishes because it solves issues clients view as important. Write your text so it focuses not on the magnitude of the problem as determined by society as a whole, but the importance of the issue as decided by an individual. Try visualizing a person’s mindset prior to using your legal services and then write your text so it satisfies that reader’s needs.

Enticing Tip #5: Demonstrate your credibility.  Not only do people prefer doing business with attorneys they know, they also want confirmation that the person they’re working with has the capability of doing the job well. Validate your credibility through testimonials or your track record with similar cases – and be specific. If you’re marketing your services, cite detailed examples of how they have benefited others. For best results, demonstrate success with something your target audience relates to. It should go without saying, but always be prepared to back up your statements.  (Testimonials are not allowed in some jurisdictions, so make sure you check your rules of professional conduct.)

Enticing Tip #6: Show the value in your legal services.  Just about everyone enjoys the feeling of finding a bargain. So demonstrate to readers how your legal services save time or are more beneficial when compared to the competition. Your goal is to provide enough free information so your readers believe they are getting more than originally anticipated.

Enticing Tip #7: Leave the reader guessing.  Great writers know the exact statements and questions to ask so readers feel they must contact you to get the answers. This is another area where you want to be specific with your writing. Which of the following titles do you think would attract more interest?

Discover the 7 Mistakes You Must Avoid to Win Your DUI Case

or

Learn How to Fight a DUI

Note: DUI, driving under the influence (of drugs or alcohol)

Most people find the first option more appealing because the statement offers an exact result (winning the DUI case) and causes them to wonder if they have made the same mistakes. Often it’s difficult for readers to ignore their curiosity, so use this to your advantage.

Enticing Tip #8: Stress urgency.  The longer you let someone wait to take action, the less likely it'll happen. Encourage immediate action throughout your marketing materials and, if you’re drafting a letter, reiterate to the reader the importance of acting quickly in the postscript (P.S.). You may have to offer some kind of incentive (see tip #1).

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

Crisis

La operadora chilena de telecomunicaciones GTD Manquehue -controlada por el empresario Manuel Casanueva- perdió $3.006,16 mlls. en el primer semestre de 2007, según la Ficha Estadística Codificada Uniforme (Fecu) enviada a la Superintendencia de Valores y Seguros (SVS).

Sismo

Más de 600 presos se fugaron de una cárcel de la ciudad peruana de Chincha, unos 200 kilómetros al sur de Lima, después de que el terremoto de 7.9 grados Richter que azotó el miércoles a Perú derrumbara las paredes del recinto.

Constitución Chávez

El presidente de Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, anunció planes para cambiar la constitución del país, incluyendo normas que le permitirían buscar la reelección indefinidamente. Bajo la actual Carta Magna, aprobada por el propio Chávez en 1999, debe dejar el gobierno en 2012.

Arbitraje

Un Tribunal de arbitramento ordenó a la Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Bogotá pagar 7.445 millones de pesos, más intereses, a Bbva Horizonte, Colfondos, Porvenir, Protección, Santander y Skandia.

Corte Constitucional

Mauricio González, asesor jurídico de la Presidencia de Colombia, encabeza la terna de candidatos que el Gobierno puso a disposición del Senado para escoger el magistrado que ocupe la vacante del ministro Álvaro Tafur González en la Corte Constitucional.

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  • Brief News

Giuliani anti Palestinian state

Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani has said he is not in favor of the creation of a Palestinian state, contradicting current US policy. In an essay, he said it was not in the US interest to help create a state that, he said, would support terrorism.

Apartheid murder plotters guilty

Five security officials in South Africa's apartheid regime receive suspended sentences for plotting to kill an activist.

Search for Peru quake survivors

A massive 8.0-magnitude earthquake strikes off the Peruvian coast near the capital, Lima, rocking the country's southern coast. The city of Ica, with a population of 650,000, is the hardest hit.

Charity rejects US food aid gift

The international aid group, Care, has rejected a donation of $45m from the United States government. Care criticized the way US food aid is distributed, saying it harms local farmers, especially in Africa. It said wheat donated by the US government and distributed by charities introduced low prices that local farmers are unable to compete with.

Venezuela head outlines changes

Chavez has presented his plans for changes to Venezuela's constitution, including an end to the presidential term limits. Current rules mean Chavez is unable to seek re-election and will have to step down when his term ends in 2012. His plans, to be put to a national referendum, also increase presidential control over municipalities and states. Chavez has rejected criticism of the proposals, saying they will bring "new horizons for the new era". Some of the main changes include:

Removing term limits for the presidency, and extending the term of office from six years to seven

Bringing in a maximum six-hour working day

Increasing presidential control over the central bank

Strengthening state economic powers, allowing the government to control assets of private companies before a court grants an expropriation order.

The president set out his plans in a speech to the National Assembly, a body where all seats are held by pro-Chavez parties as a result of an opposition election boycott in 2005.

US voting machine firm 'no sale' 

US cash dispenser and security company Diebold has admitted that it has failed to find a buyer for its troubled electronic voting machine business. Diebold and other manufacturers of such voting machines have been hit by criticism that they are unreliable and vulnerable to tampering. Growing unease about the machines in the US has led to a number of delayed orders from states.

US and Israel in $30bn arms deal

US Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns has signed a deal that will provide Israel with $30bn of military aid over the next 10 years. The Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, has said the aid will preserve his country's military advantage over other countries in the Middle East.

Top US lender 'risks bankruptcy'

Shares in Countrywide Financial, the biggest US mortgage lender, fell 13% on Wednesday on fears that it could face bankruptcy if conditions deteriorate. Merrill Lynch advised its clients to sell shares in the lender. Its analyst Kenneth Bruce wrote: "If liquidations occur in a weak market, then it is possible for Countrywide to go bankrupt." Countrywide suffered growing defaults as rising interest rates made it harder for people to pay their mortgages.

Russia throws out net piracy case

A former owner of Russia's music website Allofmp3.com who sold cut-price downloads of Western music has been acquitted of copyright offences. A court in Moscow ruled that Denis Kvasov and his site had operated within the bounds of Russian law. The site was attracting millions of customers before it was shut in June - under pressure from US music firms.

Russia-China war games send message to US

Russia and China today carried out joint war games after both had warned the US not to interfere in central Asia. Some 6,000 troops and hundred of armored vehicles and fighter jets took part in military maneuvers in the Ural mountains.

Brazil Lawmakers Start Third Corruption Probe of Calheiros 

Brazilian senators voted yesterday to start a third probe into allegations of graft by Senate head Renan Calheiros, increasing pressure on him to resign. The Senate's leadership voted unanimously to investigate allegations Calheiros bought a newspaper and radio station, using family members as nominal owners to circumvent a ban on lawmakers controlling media companies. Calheiros is from the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, one of the parties supporting the government in Congress.

U.S. Says ID-Theft Gang Pursued Wealthy Victims

U.S. law-enforcement authorities arrested what they called an online identity-theft gang that they allege sought to steal millions of dollars by targeting wealthy individuals, including Michaels Stores Inc. co-founder Charles Wyly and a member of the Pritzker family. The case underscores how cyber criminals are pursuing deeper pockets, and it highlights a coming of age for cyber criminals: Some who started out with credit-card fraud have progressed to bigger targets like brokerage and mortgage accounts, which have higher limits. It also sheds light on the amount of information that is publicly accessible, even to suspected criminals halfway around the world.

Bush Sides With Business Over Lawsuits

The Bush administration formally weighed in on the side of business in a closely watched Supreme Court case, finalizing the battle lines in a case that has big implications for Wall Street. The administration's position is largely at odds with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which earlier this year took the side of the shareholder plaintiffs. The case centers on whether shareholders can sue to hold third parties accountable for their company's fraud. The case has been the subject of intense lobbying from lawmakers, former SEC officials, Wall Street and the plaintiffs bar. At stake is the scope of securities class-action litigation, which could be significantly widened if the suing shareholders prevail. The case comes as the business lobby has been arguing that shareholder lawsuits are harming U.S. financial markets. Recent Supreme Court decisions, meanwhile, have limited the scope of the plaintiffs bar. In a "friend of the court" brief, the Justice Department said finding for the plaintiffs would "considerably widen the pool of deep-pocketed defendants that could be sued for the misrepresentations of issuers."

UN, Netherlands near agreement to hold Hariri tribunal in The Hague 

The government of the Netherlands is close to reaching an agreement with the United Nations to host the ad hoc tribunal that will investigate and try suspects involved in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Bart Rijs said Thursday. Rijs added that Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen  would like to see a formal commitment by another state to imprison convicted defendants and settle other issues such as funding.

Palestinian Authority attorney general detained by Hamas 

Hamas spokesperson Islam Shahwan said Thursday that Hamas security forces have arrested Palestinian Authority-appointed Attorney General Ahmed al-Mghani after al-Mghani ignored an order of dismissal from the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip . According to Shahwan, al-Mghani entered the office of the attorney general after he was dismissed so that he could destroy documents. The judiciary in the Gaza Strip has refused to cooperate with the Hamas government and ceased functioning under the orders of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas  after Hamas  violently took over the territory in June.

Senate Democrat to block confirmation of of CIA general counsel nominee 

Sen. Ron Wyden Wednesday announced he would indefinitely block the confirmation process of CIA general counsel nominee John Rizzo , saying he had reservations due to Rizzo's failure to object to the controversial 2002 "Bybee Memo"  and the continued lack of clear legal guidelines for the CIA's detention and interrogation programs. Rizzo, who has been acting CIA general counsel since August 2004, said he did not have any "specific objections" to the memo during a June hearing  before the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence . President Bush nominated Rizzo to oversee the CIA's Office of General Counsel  in March 2006. If confirmed, Rizzo will be the first CIA general counsel ever to come up through the ranks.

Kenya journalists protest proposed law to force disclosure of sources 

More than 300 Kenyan journalists marched in the capital city of Nairobi Wednesday, voicing their opposition to a provision in a proposed law that would give courts the authority to force journalists to disclose confidential sources. The provision, part of a proposal to establish an independent council to adjudicate complaints against the media, was introduced in the National Assembly just before lawmakers voted to approve the bill earlier this month. The journalists are urging Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki not to sign the bill into law. Kenyan Attorney General Amos Wako has pledged to advise Kibaki not to enact the law.

  • Daily Press Review

Apartheid murder plotters guilty
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Dr. Congo to continue military operations against Rwandese rebels
CongoPlanet.com, Independent online news aggregator

New teachers wait too long for salaries
GhanaWeb, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Darfur Needs Most Efficient, Trained Troops Immediately
Human Rights Watch (Africa), International news press releases

Vlok always prepared to tell the truth
iafrica, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Vavi raises Mbeki's ire - again
Independent Online, News portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Vlok feared 'worse threat than apartheid'
Mail & Guardian Online, Liberal, Johannesburg, South Africa

'Communists made me do it'
News24.com, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Peruvian workers search for earthquake survivors
Brazil Sun, Independent online news aggregator

Beenie Man and D'Angel in Mafia House standoff
Caribbean News Portal, Online news aggregator

El Salvador: Terrorism Law Misused Against Protesters
Human Rights Watch (Americas), International news press releases

Nicaragua:  A Green Crusade for Water
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Brace for 'Dean'
Jamaica Gleaner, Independent daily, Kingston, Jamaica

Peru Begins Aid / Help Campaign For Earthquake Victims in Pisco
Living in Peru, News portal, Lima, Peru

Fed cuts discount rate, U.S. stock futures soar
The Globe and Mail, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Mine rescue catastrophe
Toronto Star, Liberal daily, Toronto, Canada

President Yudhoyono leads independence day commemoration ceremony
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

Two Female Hostages Arrive Home after One-month Captivity
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Bush friendliest US President: PM
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

Viral infections on rise in Bangalore
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Azur et Asmar (Azur and Asmar)
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Caught napping: Another drug rehab inmate captured
Malaysian Star, Online news portal,  Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Dutch nab men for adding maggots to meat
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Philippine military calls for rejection to Abu Sayyaf messages
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Shifty leads Dogs home in NRL thriller
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

We have the right to test: Pranab
The Hindu, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

Axe inheritance tax, Tories urged
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

FTSE soars after US rates cut
BreakingNews.ie, Online news portal, Cork, Ireland

Baby dies after mother is forced to deliver it herself in hospital toilet
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Park Plaza Hotel chooses Alcatel-Lucent's solution
DMeurope, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Hospital carer accused of theft from dying war hero
icLiverpool, Online news portal, Liverpool, England

Fire grips northern suburbs of Athens
International Herald Tribune, Independent daily, Paris, France

Mixed message in school results
Isle of Wight County Press, Independent daily, Isle of Wight, England

Night of terror ruined my life
Manchester Online, Independent daily, Manchester, England

Homeless
News & Star, Independent daily, Carlisle, England

Thousands flock to annual sheep dog trials
North-West Evening Mail, Independent daily, Cumbria, England

Unconventional production of Faust by theatre for Prague's homeless
Radio Prague, Online news portal, Prague, Czech Republic

Tourists Trapped As Hurricane Nears Caribbean
Sky News, Independent newscaster, Middlesex, England

'Forests Don't Vote':  How Arson Leads to Profits in Athens
Spiegel International, Liberal newsmagazine, Hamburg, Germany

Markets surge after US cuts key interest rate
The Guardian, Liberal daily, London, England

Ex-SA minister avoids jail for poisoning
The Irish Times, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

Floods and disease then silly season hits
The Scotsman, Moderate daily, Edinburgh, Scotland

Biker's girlfriend pays tribute
The Sun, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Russia to resume bomber flights
The Telegraph, Conservative daily, London, England

Four-pronged suicide attack kills 175 in Iraq town
Times Online, Conservative daily, London, England

US air strikes, snipers kill 13 in Iraq battle
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Apartheid minister pleads guilty
Gulf News, Independent daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Riyadh: Syria spreading chaos in the Middle East
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

IRAQ:  Between the Two Rivers, Lack of Water Kills
IPS Middle East, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Emaar Listed in Top 10 of S&P's Index
Middle East North African Network, Online financial portal, Amman, Jordan

International Aid Airlifted to Devastated Peru Amid Aftershocks
Nahamet, Online news portal, Beirut, Lebanon

Iran's Guards scoff at US blacklist plan
The Daily Star, Independent daily, Beirut, Lebanon

Taiz experiences massive sit-in, citizens demand living improvements 
Yemen Times, Independent weekly, Sana'a, Yemen

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Copyright 2007 - Migalhas International

The messages that appear in this newsletter are for informational purposes only. They are not intended to be and should not be considered legal advice nor substitute for obtaining legal advice from competent, independent, legal counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.

Transmission of this information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. The information contained on this list may or may not reflect the most current legal development.