May 8, 2015 nº 1,623 - Vol. 13

"Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them."

David Hume

In today’s Law Firm Marketing, 14 marketing misconceptions that cost lawyers a fortune


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  • Top News

US appeals court rules NSA phone program not authorized by Patriot Act

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday the National Security Agency's controversial collection of millions of Americans' phone records isn't authorized by the Patriot Act, as the Bush and Obama administrations have long maintained. The ruling by the three-judge panel in New York comes at a delicate point in the national debate over government surveillance, as Section 215 of the Patriot Act is due to expire and lawmakers are haggling about whether to renew it, modify it, or let it die.

Secondary buyout transactions

The conflict of interests in secondary buyout transactions are discussed in this article by the lawyers Ana Carolina Pimentel and Guilherme Leporace, of Lobo & Ibeas Advogados. (Click here)

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  • Crumbs

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  • MiMIC Journal

IMF says China "must free currency"

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said China should continue to provide "greater flexibility" in its exchange rate policy as the country continues to see slower growth. The IMF said the mainland should reduce foreign exchange intervention. China's currency is widely seen as undervalued and the country was accused for years of suppressing the yuan in order to boost exports. China says it is trying to manage the yuan's value against other currencies. Analysts say that in reality it is still pegged to the dollar. The IMF also said fiscal stimulus should be China's "first line of defense" in its economic slowdown.

New China security bill calls for protecting 'cyber sovereignty'

China intends to build a national cyber safety net as part of a sweeping security bill being considered by the country's top lawmaking body. The provision on "cyber sovereignty" was added to the second draft of the security law, which also stressed the need to safeguard the security of "industries and key areas important to the national economy." The new proposal, which was reviewed last month by the body's Standing Committee, also adds language about protecting the country from risks to the financial system.


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  • Historia Verdadera

Dólares baratos

Venezuela investiga a compañías farmacéuticas multinacionales que importan y producen medicinas en el país por manejo de los dólares que les otorgó el Gobierno a tasa de cambio preferencial. (Presione aquí)


Costa Rica prepara su defenderse en instancias jurídicas internacionales de un señalamiento de la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, CIDH, por la presunta violación de garantías procesales de cinco condenados por el caso del Banco Anglo Costarricense. (Presione aquí)

Exxon Mobil

La estadounidense Exxon Mobil descubrió petróleo frente a la costa de Guyana, informaron el jueves la empresa y el Gobierno de la nación sudamericana. El descubrimiento se encuentra en el bloque Stabroek de una región fronteriza que es reclamada por Venezuela desde hace más de un siglo, a pesar de que, en la práctica, opera como territorio guyanés. Autoridades de la región temen que el hallazgo infle una disputa territorial de larga data con la vecina Venezuela.

  • Law Firm Marketing

14 marketing misconceptions that cost lawyers a fortune
By Trey Ryder

MISCONCEPTION #1: You must have a huge, expensive website and blog to attract desirable cases and compete head-on with other lawyers. Wrong! If you want a formal, corporate-looking website for all the world to see, fine. But please don't think you must compete in this arena. Every week I get calls from lawyers who are unhappy because they have spent huge dollars on their websites, search engine optimization, and ongoing maintenance hoping they can break even on their investment And when they talk with their web company account rep, the answers are usually the same: You need to pay us more money so we can... (insert here whatever service they think you need).

Handsome websites and search engine rankings are not the only answer. A website is only one piece of your marketing mosaic, and you can attract highly desirable cases without spending a fortune with your website company.

MISCONCEPTION #2: Common marketing methods don't work in today's competitive environment. Wrong! Common methods -- such as advertising, publicity, seminars, newsletters, websites, social media -- can be highly effective when used correctly. If they don't work for you, more than likely you're sending an incomplete marketing message or using an outdated approach. The method you choose is only as good as the message it delivers. If your message lacks any needed components, you'll lose clients to other lawyers who deliver a complete educational message.

MISCONCEPTION #3: Your marketing's most important function is to promote your services. False! The most important function of your marketing program is to establish that you can be trusted. Most of us don't do business with people we don't trust. While your prospect is considering whether to hire your services, he is also trying to determine whether he trusts you.

MISCONCEPTION #4: All you need to do is get the word out. No! You must both get the word out and get a response back. This is the meaning of "direct response marketing," often shortened to "direct marketing." As our media society grew in the 1950s and '60s, marketers had no need to measure direct results, so they used institutional advertising. But today, your marketing efforts must be built on proven principles that cause prospects to respond. Because if you don't get an answer, you can't be sure your prospect even received your message.

MISCONCEPTION #5: A public relations program that generates feature articles and broadcast interviews will attract new clients to your practice. Maybe not. In most cases, p.r. programs bring exposure, but exposure does not always bring new clients. Attorneys routinely report, "We were happy with the number of articles about our firm, but we didn't get even one new client!" A good publicity program can be an important part of your marketing effort. But whether your publicity program generates only exposure or solid marketing results depends on the experience and know-how of the person carrying out your program.

MISCONCEPTION #6: The toughest challenge you face is to persuade your prospects. No! Your toughest challenge is to find potential clients. Your marketing program should attract qualified inquiries so you start to build a trusting relationship with genuine prospects. You could have 100 new clients tomorrow if prospects knew how you could help them and where to find you. But, in most cases, prospects don't know you even exist. So you must assume the burden of getting your message into your prospects' hands.

MISCONCEPTION #7: Word-of-mouth referrals will bring you all the new clients you want. Usually not. Every lawyer wants good, qualified referrals. But when you rely on referrals as your only source of new clients, you allow third parties (referral sources) to control your flow of new clients. In addition to attracting referrals, you should have an ongoing marketing program that generates inquiries directly from genuine prospects.

MISCONCEPTION #8: The most effective time to start delivering your marketing message is when your prospect is in your office. Wrong! The most effective time to deliver your marketing message is when your prospect first thinks about his problem and wants to know what solutions are available. You have a significant advantage over other attorneys when you have a packet of materials you can mail to your prospect, regardless of his location. You can offer your information packet any number of ways, such as through advertising, publicity, newsletters or direct mail. When your prospect thinks about his problem, he sees that you offer material on the subject He calls your office and requests your information. Then you send your materials by mail or e-mail. In many cases, this puts your marketing message into his hands before he calls other lawyers.

MISCONCEPTION #9: You should mail your newsletter to clients and prospects quarterly. Not even close! Every day -- when your prospects are knocked over with an avalanche of advertising -- you're fortunate indeed if you can create an impression in your prospect's mind. If you hope to make your impression stick, you should send your newsletter at least monthly. The more often you mail to prospects on your mailing list, the more new business you will likely attract. The frequency with which you deliver your newsletter is much more important than the number of pages.

MISCONCEPTION #10: Prospects will go out of their way to do business with you. Hardly! You must go out of your way to attract their business. Lawyers often think a small obstacle, such as having to pay for a long-distance phone call, will attract calls from more qualified prospects. And this is true when your prospect comes to you by referral. But if your prospect does not have a personal recommendation -- and has not yet received your marketing message -- he may have no greater interest in hiring you than in hiring any other lawyer or law firm. So the small barrier that you hope will qualify him actually causes him to call someone else. I urge you to provide an e-mail address, toll-free number, business-reply envelopes (where you pay return postage), and other conveniences. These increase the likelihood that your prospect will contact you before he calls your competitors.

MISCONCEPTION #11: By lowering your fees, you gain a competitive advantage that you can make up in volume. In your dreams! When you lower your fees, (1) you undermine your credibility because prospects wonder why your services are no longer worth what you once charged, (2) you attract clients who know the price of everything and the value of nothing (people who are loyal to the dollar are never loyal to you!), and (3) you lose money because it is usually impossible to achieve the volume of cases you need to make up for the profits you lose. Instead of lowering your fees, leave them alone -- because it's easier to justify why you charge so much than to explain why you charge so little.

MISCONCEPTION #12: If one person can make good marketing decisions, three people can make great decisions. Wrong! Your marketing program needs one quarterback who calls the shots. The more people involved in making the decision, the longer it takes to make and the more watered down it becomes. Marketing is like football. Can you imagine how long it would take if the entire team offered their ideas and everyone had to agree before they could make the next play? If your marketing program doesn't bring you the results you want, change methods or change quarterbacks. But don't compound your quarterback's problems by bringing in more people to help him make a decision.

MISCONCEPTION #13: You make your marketing more efficient when you cut out the bells and whistles. Usually not. Often, what lawyers think are bells and whistles are actually the essential steps that make their programs successful. Here's what happens: After their marketing plans succeed, lawyers trim back their programs to make them more efficient. Their attempts to "streamline" their marketing -- aka make it cheaper -- seem like a good idea until they realize their marketing no longer works. You're wise to test different steps in the marketing process to see if they're necessary. When conducting a test, change only one variable at a time and track results closely. If your results start to decline, you'll know that variable is important to producing the results you want.

MISCONCEPTION #14: To attract new clients, you should promote your services. No! When you promote your services, you take on the role of a salesperson, which undermines your credibility. This is called selling-based marketing. Instead, promote your knowledge using Education-Based Marketing. This allows you to attract new clients, increase referrals, strengthen client loyalty and build your image as an authority without selling. Education-Based Marketing gives your prospects what they want, information and advice -- and removes what they don't want, a sales pitch.

  • Brief News

EU officials open antitrust investigation into e-commerce

The European Commission on Wednesday opened an investigation into potential antitrust violations in the e-commerce market with the scope of the investigation including a number of the world's largest technology and search companies. The commission seeks to identify any possible anti-competitive behavior that is limiting trade in the 28-country EU. The commission derives its authority from Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Europe's antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager, is leading the investigation. The regulators did not name any specific companies as targets of the investigation, but Amazon is the largest e-commerce company in the region and the investigation will likely cover other large technology companies, such as Google and Facebook. The official inquiry into potential antitrust violations falls under the European Commission's strategy to develop a digital single market for Europe that will not limit cross-border trade. The digital single market strategy is comprised of three pillars: better online access to digital goods and services across Europe, creating an environment where digital networks and services can prosper, and maximizing the growth potential of the digital economy. The European Commission also outlined 16 initiatives that the Commission intends to deliver with its digital single market strategy. The commission expects to publish a preliminary report in mid-2016 and a final report is expected in the first quarter of 2017.

Dodd-Frank supporters say safer system justifies cost of regulation

Supporters of the sweeping Dodd-Frank law pounced on research that argued the financial-regulation overhaul could hurt economic output. "Rules are not the enemy of the markets," Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) said Tuesday at a conference hosted by the Institute for New Economic Thinking, a liberal think tank. "Rules are a necessary ingredient for healthy markets."

European bond prices drop sharply in mass sell off

European bond prices have dropped in a widespread sell off, sending investor returns higher, as markets brace for the return of inflation. Bond yields, the rate of return received by investors, were at their highest levels of the year in Europe, as a week-long rout picked up steam. Yields, which move up as bond prices fall, are swinging as wildly as they did at the start of the euro crisis. But traders are divided about what precisely is causing the selling.

Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase agree to erase debts from credit reports after bankruptcies

Two of the nation's biggest banks will finally put to rest the zombies of consumer debt — bills that are still alive on credit reports although legally eliminated in bankruptcy — potentially providing relief to more than a million Americans. Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase have agreed to update borrowers' credit reports within the next three months to reflect that the debts were extinguished. The move is a victory for borrowers whose credit reports have been marred as a result of the reported debts, imperiling their job prospects and torpedoing their chances of getting new loans.

UK white-collar prosecutions tumble even as tip-offs surge

Prosecutions for white-collar crime in the UK have tumbled by nearly a fifth since 2011 despite a surge in tip-offs of financial wrongdoing and prosecutions of cybercriminals. The spike in tip-offs reflects growing concern that financial wrongdoing in the City of London continues to grow despite pledges by banks and other financial-service companies to clamp down on fraud. The first trial for rigging of Libor benchmark interest rates is scheduled to begin this month, years after regulators began investigating the issue. The UK's Serious Fraud Office has been criticized for being too slow in opening a criminal investigation into the Libor scandal. The surge in tip-offs and simultaneous drop in convictions shows that enforcement agencies are "under-resourced and ill-equipped to deal with the scale of white collar crime."

African Bank-inspired law change approved, boosting rescue plan

South African lawmakers approved changes to rules covering distressed lenders, keeping African Bank Investments Ltd., which collapsed in August, on track to receive a fresh banking license and start a new company. "The bill is appropriate, desirable and meets all the constitutional tests," Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said. The Banks Amendment Bill gives administrators of failed lenders the right to sell bank assets and liabilities and change capital structures without investors' consent. While senior debt holders, who may lose 10 cents of every rand invested in African Bank, supported the changes, junior note holders who risk losing all of their 4 billion rand ($333 million) said their rights are being undermined.

French secret tapes of Sarkozy ruled legal in inquiry

A French court has ruled that wire-tapped conversations between ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy and his lawyer can be used as evidence in an ongoing corruption investigation. The decision is seen as a blow for the center-right leader, who is likely to bid again for the presidency in 2017. Sarkozy is suspected of promising a sought-after position to a judge in return for information on another case. But he was already being bugged as part of the earlier investigation.

New public-corruption chief vows to not shy away

Raymond Hulser, the new chief of the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section, said his unit is committed to prosecuting "important and tough" cases and bringing them to trial.

Chilean president asks cabinet to resign

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has asked all her ministers to resign and says she will choose a new cabinet in the coming days. She said changes were needed to promote reforms. Bachelet's approval ratings have recently slumped amid a series of political scandals.

German industrial giant Siemens to cut 4,500 jobs

German industrial giant Siemens plans to cut 4,500 jobs, or about 1% of its total global workforce, months after it announced plans to slash more than 7,000 jobs. The news came as it announced quarterly profits down 5% at €1.7bn ($1.9bn). The company said: "These measures are being taken in response to the persistently difficult environment in the global power generation market." Siemens said price erosion, regulatory changes and aggressive competitors were among the challenges the company faces.

US Senate passes Iran nuclear review bill

A bill that would give Congress a voice in any nuclear agreement between world powers and Iran passed the Senate overwhelmingly on Thursday, a rare bipartisan accord to curb executive authority in an era of expanding presidential power. The measure, which was approved 98 to 1, withstood months of tense negotiations, White House resistance, the federal indictment of one of its sponsors and an acrid partisan feud over a speech to Congress by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel just as an agreement was coming together.

  • Daily Press Review

Out-of-control spacecraft plummets towards Earth
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

With fragile coalition, Netanyahu seeks to expand cabinet
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Cameron on course to remain PM
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Student, 20, wins seat, youngest since 1667
CNN International, London, England

Jessica Wright in figure-hugging dress at Michelle Keegan's fashion collection launch
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

SNP's Mhari Black beats Labour's Douglas Alexander in general election exit polls
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

UK election: exit poll predicts almost clean sweep for Scottish nationalists
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

UK vote: Conservatives ahead in shock exit poll figures
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Millenia-old fossils in Anatolia excite world of science
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Russian spacecraft Progress comes crashing back to Earth and burns up on re-entry, agency says
Independent The, London, England

Major Ukrainian TV provider drops Russian channels
Moscow News The, Independent, Moscow, Russia

Mexico arrests police commander in 43 missing students case
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Pulp's Common People: is it about the Greek finance minister's wife?
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Foot and mouth disease found in Kinmen
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Korean Footballer Assaulted After Mideast Game
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

UK Elections Conservatives enjoy strong lead in shock exit poll
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Over 1.69 lakh drunk driving cases lodged in Mumbai since mid-2007
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

187 scholars urge Abe to address Japan's wartime history
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

New push to give Pentagon the lead on drone strikes
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Ukraine President cancels trip over protests in eastern Ukraine
Straits Times, Pro-government, Singapore

Beat the post holiday blues
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Thousands of Nepalese pray for earthquake victims
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

China April exports unexpectedly contract, import slide worsens, more stimulus seen
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Exit poll suggests strong showing for Conservatives in U.K. election
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Canada to provide counterterrorism support to Philippines
Globe and Mail The, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Liberty Reserve Brought Down By 'Joe Bogus': How The Feds Arrested Arthur Budovsky
International Business Times, Business news organization, New York, U.S

Costa Rica's Energy Nearly 100 Percent Clean
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

U.S. job growth seen regaining steam, keeping Fed rate hike on track
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Mexico nabs cop allegedly involved in disappearance of students
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Omar Khadr enjoys taste of freedom after bail granted
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Deaths after Burundi leader's pledge
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England


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