Your Hidden Social Media Weapon: The IT Team
As IT people know too well, most non-techie people don't really understand how hardware, software, the cloud and all that other stuff work. And most lawyers know how much they rely on their IT folks to handle the back end, support and planning for those things the rest of us can't really figure out.
However, attorneys and staff don't always remember to keep IT in the loop about key initiatives that impact their department directly. While you're involved with design, marketing and PR for your website, blogs and social media outlets, it's easy to forget to include IT too. Yet these are the people who provide the infrastructure to make all that possible. The earlier they are involved, the better. You don't want to launch your terrific new Facebook page only to find out all the firm's servers will be down for maintenance at that exact time, do you?
The key is to regularly touch base formally and informally. If you aren't already holding regular meetings with all of your firm's key stakeholders, including IT, you need to start. This allows everyone to stay apprised of any new developments that could impact hardware and software. You also need to alert IT to potential changes that could end up having a huge impact on integration and current bandwidth. And while it's very handy to buy yourself the newest iPhone and use it to update your LinkedIn profile, a "bring your own device" approach can also cause huge headaches for IT in terms of support, data security risks and other considerations.
A high-level understanding of technical issues is also important. Make sure you know where your website servers are hosted, who has ultimate control of your servers (this can be particularly tricky if you are using a cloud-based provider) and whether your firm has implemented a rock-solid disaster recovery plan.
You should also take the time to touch base on a casual level. Your IT team has a tough job, and it's only getting more difficult as tablets and smartphones proliferate and new software keeps rolling out. Take members of the team out to lunch once in a while and learn about their stressors. A little thanks and appreciation will go a long way when you can't figure out how to update your blog on a Sunday afternoon and you need to call in a favor from IT.
To learn more about what to ask your IT people, contact a LexisNexis Law Firm Marketing Specialist.
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