Trey Apffel 2014-03-22 20:43:48
SEND AND RECEIVE ONE OFTHE EXTRAORDINARYTHINGS ABOUT BEING A STATE BAR LEADER IS TRAVELING THE STATE AND TALKING TO FELLOW ATIORNEYS ABOUT WHAT THE BAR IS DOING AND HOW WE ARE REACHING OUR MEMBERS. One of my presentations contains three dozen slides, but in truth, that only scratches the surface. The bar offers a wealth of helpful programs and services to our members and the public, and some of them are not well-known. For now. Over the next year, I will be doing my best to change that. I have taken off running in the president-elect position. I am working hard with the bar’s staff to make improvements based on many of the comments we heard in the last election. As State Bar of Texas president in 2014 to 2015, my focus will be on communications. We want you to know what we are doing to better provide services to members. I plan to use every available channel—from print to email to social media—to communicate with you in all the different ways you receive information. The objective is not to make the bar look good; the quality of our work should speak for itself. The goal is to make sure our programs are reaching as many people as possible. If we are communicating effectively, every attorney who needs guidance on an ethical dilemma will know to call the State Bar Ethics Helpline. If we are doing our job, Texans who are in a legal bind will know to turn to our Lawyer Referral Information Service to find an attorney. If we are getting our message out, then every lawyer, judge, and law student will know to call the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program if a substance abuse or mental health issue is affecting their life or the life of a colleague or friend. So that is the goal. Here are the means: We are working hard to both expand our breadth of social media platforms and ensure that we are sending the same message across a variety of channels, including print publications like this Texas Bar Journal, along with email blasts, blog posts, Facebook updates, and tweets. I’m pleased to report that we recently launched a mobile-friendly version of our website. When you visit texasbar.com on your smartphone, you can easily navigate our most visited pages—Find a Lawyer, Contact Us, Calendar of Events—and find links to our blogs. Our Find a Lawyer search engine is now very fast, on both the mobile site and on the full texasbar.com. Be sure to keep your profile up to date so that colleagues and potential clients can find you. I’m also pleased to say that our social media messages are reaching an expanding audience. Since launching a new social media plan on June 1, we’ve seen an increase of more than 1,800 Facebook fans and 2,700 Twitter followers. In that time, our Facebook content has reached an estimated 1.7 million unique users—all people who can potentially benefit from a State Bar program or service. We want to keep these lines of communication open to make sure we are at the front of people’s minds—lawyers and non-lawyers—when they need help or information. While our major social media focus remains on Facebook and Twitter, the State Bar also has a presence on platforms including Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, Flickr, and YouTube, where you can find interviews with lawyers and other legal professionals on our branded channel, Texas Bar TV. The newest addition to our social media portfolio is Texas Bar Connect, a members-only network that will launch in beta mode this year. Among other features, the new platform will offer special communities designed to facilitate discussion of specific legal questions, resource libraries that will allow users to easily upload and share documents and articles, and a directory to search for a former colleague or connect with an attorney in a specific field. Of course, communication is a two-way street; I and other State Bar leaders welcome the chance to listen to whatever is on your mind. So, let’s talk. You pick the platform, and we’ll be there. TREY APFFEL President-elect, State Bar of Texas @ApffelT
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