Archive for August, 2009

Flat Fee Frenzy

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Ethos Business Law was founded on the vision that there is a different and better way to provide legal services.  A way that is more in line with clients’ needs and a way that is more efficient and effective.  One piece of that vision is the flat fee.

Recently, there have been various articles on this topic (see here and here for a couple examples).  In fact, one of these articles goes so far as to say “[t]he conventional ideas for changing the way law firms do business are . . .  insipid and inadequate.” (more…)

Join our Webinar on Social Media

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Ethos Business Law, in conjunction with Russell Herder, is excited to offer a webinar: “Social Media: Embracing the Opportunities, Averting the Risks” on Tuesday, August 25 from 12 to 1 p.m. CT (register here).

Social media is one of the hottest topics today, with the pros and cons of its use being debated in board rooms nationwide. In light of recent restrictions on employees’ social media use (ESPN, Marine Corps, NFL), companies are discussing whether, how and to what degree they should restrict or encourage their employees to use social networking tools. This webinar will offer insight into business leaders’ views and perceptions on this issue and will provide actionable recommendations and advice on the development of social media policies and employee training sessions.

Led by Carol Russell, CEO of Russell Herder, and David Baer, president of Ethos Business Law and one of Minnesota Lawyer publication’s Attorneys of the Year, the webinar will also highlight the insights gleaned from the recent national study conducted by the two firms on social media trends in the workplace and policy adoption.

Sign up for this free webinar here.

In advance of the webinar, we invite you to submit questions and suggestions for topics to be covered in the presentation under Comments.

Elements of a Social Media Policy

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Should employees be encouraged to use social networking to enhance business outreach? Or will such activity impede productivity, increase reputational risk, and most importantly increase liability issues?  These and other questions are clearly on the minds of today’s management.

Recent research conducted with Russell Herder found eight in 10 businesses have concerns about the potential liabilities of social media. Yet, only one-third have a policy in place to govern social media use, and just 10 percent said they have conducted relevant employee training.

Instead of ignoring the need for responsible guidelines, organizations of all sizes should begin to define their strategy regarding social media, and most importantly, the rules for employee engagement. By doing so, management can take advantage of the benefits offered by these new communication channels while mitigating undue risk.  But remember, social media is a far different animal than traditional technology. A company’s current policies on IT matters are usually not sufficient.

All companies are different, thus the rules for creating and implementing a social media policy are not universal. They must take the form, substance, philosophy and culture of the organization to which they apply. However, the following are some important elements to include in a good social media policy:

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Social Media — What is it and is it Risky?

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Social media has become a fixture on communication agendas across the country, fueled by the fact that Americans’ spent 73 percent more time on such networking sites in the past year alone. But according to a new survey, social media use is also generating its share of corporate heartburn.

Recent research conducted with Russell Herder confirms that confidence exists in social networking as viable communication outreach, but so do worries about the potential liabilities involved. Concerns regarding social media use were acknowledged by some eight in 10 businesses participating in the national study, which was conducted over the month of July.  Fifty-one percent fear social media could be detrimental to employee productivity, while almost half (49%) assert that using social media could damage company reputation.

Despite these apprehensions, social networking is being viewed as a key strategy. According to survey results, eight in 10 senior management, human resource and marketing executives believe social media can enhance relationships with customers/clients and build brand reputation. Almost 70 percent feel such networking can be valuable in recruitment, as a customer service tool (64%) and used to enhance employee morale (46%). The most popular vehicles being used include:

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