Sunday, June 22, 2008

Google Trends for law firm Web-sites

Wow, doing a little rough and ready competitive intelligence just got a whole lot easier. I've been playing round with new Google Trends for Web-sites and, just for kicks, plugged in the home pages of Australia's five largest law firms.
Although numbers are too low for the tool to graph (as you might expect for law firms) it does provide some interesting comparisons of visitors from each State and idea of which other sites people went too -- and I'm pleased to see Deacons (not yet in the five revenue-wise) is on the shopping list.
Clearly, the Web doesn't yet play as central a role in the marketing of law firms as it does for consumer brands, for example, but it's pretty clear that will (must?) change.
Actually, I suspect this new feature in Google Trends tool is going to cause unease in some circles. After all, how many businesses would willingly share their Web traffic data before now? Now, anyone can see whether the SMH, Age or attracts more visitors (click here to find out). Ah, the transparency of the Web!
I've admired Google Trends for some time. While at Dell I used it as an informal indicator of ROI from PR activities, including the launch of our XPS brand. As this
chart shows, searches for XPS in Australia started from nowhere around mid-June 2006 (when we first formally launched the XPS brand) and jumped around the time of the launch of the multi-coloured models in mid-2007. During that time there was practically no advertising spend on the XPS brand locally, so a significant amount of that result can be attributed to PR.
Will be interesting to see how this pans out.

Update: Here's a cautionary post suggesting the data may not be as accurate as the existing commercial services. I guess we'll see.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Dell announces best ever PC recycling result

To co-incide with World Environment Day Dell overnight announced it had recovered more than 102 million pounds (ie 46 million kilograms) of computer equipment worldwide in 2007 -- its most ever in a single year and a 20 percent increase on the previous 12 months.
I say well done all!
I know I've said it before but, having been involved in the issue, I've seen plenty of commitments and good intentions from people on e-waste over the last two years but it was Dell that delivered action.
PC users/buyers, if you're seeing your PC brand of choice now moving to reflect your own values on the environment, you've got Dell to thank for it, particularly those in Australia and New Zealand.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Dell, mini-notebooks and social media

You know, there are times I miss working at Dell -- and today is one of those. Take a look at this story from the Wall Street Journal but don't just read what the journalist wrote, read the comments like:

"Lionel Menchaca, and the rest of the Dell blogger team, are the best example of consumer outreach and engagement."
I've read dozens of comments like that in blog posts, stories about social media and even a recent episode of This Week in Tech -- and I haven't even really been looking.
It's hard to believe the team there has gone from this rocky first week to that WSJ story in just two years -- I don't think they get enough credit for it in PR circles.
Of course there are probably many more negative posts from people who haven't had a great Dell experience. But to me the point is no company is perfect, people and businesses make mistakes, and Dell's really succeeding in identifying and doing something about them.
Of course, the other thing I'm really missing this week is my staff discount now that images of the the upcoming Inspiron mini are out (kudos to David Flynn, the only Australian reporter to meet with Michael Dell in Austin this week, his take on the mini is here).

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Law firms and Linked-In

Kevin O'Keefe, who runs a prominent law blog in the US, contacted me recently about Deacons' social media work and so I've been reading his site.
Found lots of interesting posts but one in particular -- a story about US law firms and Linked-in, argubly the leading social networking site for business people.
LexBlog: Largest law firms all have expanding firm profiles at LinkedIn
I thought it might be interesting to see how my own firm, Deacons, faired given our focus on innovation. So I checked and found we currently have 180-odd people on Linked-in (ie around 15 per cent).
That's not a bad result in comparison but it got me wondering about other Australian firms and so plugged in some other top ten names and got some interesting numbers.
The exercise proves nothing of course but it might be a useful indicator of innovation within the firms -- and it's certainly something I'll keep an eye on from time to time.