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Lawyers Should Think Twice Before 'Friending' Reporters on Facebook

You are a partner in a law firm. You are trying to develop relationships with people in the media to promote yourself and your firm, and you make the acquaintance of a reporter. Now the reporter is seeking to connect with you on social media -- let's say LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Should you connect in this way?

LinkedIn seems like a no-brainer "yes." That is exactly what LinkedIn is for -- solidifying professional connections online. Twitter is not even a real question, as anyone can follow anyone. But what about Facebook?

On the Slaw blog, legal marketer Susan Van Dyke offers a reminder that "friending" a reporter on Facebook can lead to trouble. She writes that a reporter writing about one of her law partner clients was not satisfied with the photograph provided by the lawyer's publicist, and "decided to hunt for more interesting photos." It turned out that the reporter was among the "distant" friends of the law partner on Facebook, and went through his Facebook photos to find a more interesting photo.

Happily, the photo selected was not embarrassing to the partner, but the episode serves as an important reminder that each and every photo on your Facebook page may be available to those that you deem to be your "friends." So choose your friends wisely.

Van Dyke offers five "essential Facebook tips" in her post, including limiting your Facebook friends and redirecting reporters to social media sites such as Twitter, and double-checking your Facebook security settings. You can read all of her tips here.

Posted by Bruce Carton on November 3, 2011 at 01:58 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)


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