How Much Do Law Firm Media Professionals Make and What Social Networks Do They Use?

by Mike Mintz on May 11, 2010 · 1 comment

in Martindale-Hubbell Connected

Do any of these titles describe a position held by someone at your law firm?

  • Public Relations
  • Communications
  • Media Relations

In a recent blog post by Bob Ambrogi, he gives a great overview of a survey published by Hellerman Baretz Communications, which analyzes Law Firm Media Professionals (“LFMP”) compensation and practices.  The survey found some really interesting conclusions, and even weighed in on the importance of Martindale-Hubbell Connected.

How Much Do Law Firm Media Professionals Make?

What’s your guess?  $100,000?  Less?  More?  The survey found that salary ranges go from $50,000 to $375,000 with the average LFMP making $117,530.55 (yes, that $.055 means the difference between average v. below average).  While these are not partner ranges for large law firms it shows that an LFMP can earn a good living compared to media professionals in other industries, where “communications managers” make only $86,00 on average.

An interesting tidbit from the survey is that LFMPs are optimistic about their growth opportunities in an economy where many people are just trying to hang onto their jobs.  32% of LFMPs surveyed said they expected to make MORE money in 2010 than they did in their position in 2009.  If you are thinking this might be a job to get into, you may be asking how you get there.

The big dollars can come at a big educational price tag depending on which degree you get (average debt per degree info added for this post via 2008 FinAid statistics):

  • 44% have a JD (average debt = $92,937)
  • 41% have a Master’s Degree (average debt = $40,208)
  • 16% have an MBA (average debt = $41,676)
  • 3% have a PhD ($41,455)

These debt figures make me regret not just getting a Master’s Degree; I would have saved over $52,000!

How Are Law Firms Using Social Media?

Combine the fact that 65% of LFMPs think social media is somewhat or very important for law firms with our findings in the Networks for Counsel Study (2009) that 75% of lawyers have a profile on a social media network, and it becomes clear that the legal industry is finding value in these tools.

As Bob summarized on his blog, law firm blogging activity shows some interesting numbers:

  • 42% have blogs
  • 16% have more than 4 blogs (these firms are overachievers)
  • 57% of these blogs are updated at least once per week

Why are law firms media professionals using social media?

The following list compares answers from the Hellerman Beretz survey with the top uses cited by Corporate Counsel (“CC”)  and Law Firm Lawyers (“LFL”) in our Networks for Counsel Survey:

  • 43% to raise firm’s brand and visibility
    • 52% ability to increase visibility among peers (LFL #1 answer)
  • 17% for attorney networking
    • 48% facilitates easier exchange of information and experience between peers (CC #1 answer; LFL #2 answer)
  • 12% to gauge what is being said about the firm
    • 34% access to information not available elsewhere (CC #2 answer)
  • 9% to engage with potential clients
    • 33% lower costs associated with traditional networking (LFL #3 answer)

Most Important Social Media Sites for Law Firms

“Respondents were asked to rank which social media sites were most important for law firms, with 7 being the ‘most valuable’ and 1 being the ‘least valuable.’ Percentages indicate how many firms have a page on each site.”

I’m happy to report that Martindale-Hubbell Connected received the ranking of #6 with 53% of firms reporting to have a page on the site.  We were second only to Linkedin, which 61% of the firms reported having a page on.   The high rating of Connected by law firm media professionals brings home three important points about our niche community:

  1. Confirms the strategy we developed after speaking to legal professionals of providing a network just for them and their peers
  2. Shows the value of our relationships with LinkedIn to bring LinkedIn profiles into Connected so our members can have access to a broader business network.  This is the best of both worlds: a professional network for legal professionals and their peers, as well as, a broad LinkedIn business network.
  3. Suggests the value of content and services available for legal professionals via Martindale-Hubbell and LexisNexis as compared to other networks.

Currently, the Connected community has almost 30,000 verified members, over 700 groups on a variety of legal topics, and a redesigned site launching in just a few weeks.  It is a very exciting time to be a member or join the network.  If you are not yet a member of Connected, you can easily join by visiting Martindale.com – membership is free.

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