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Can you be a lawyer in real life, and play one on TV (or on the radio, or over the Internet)? Yes you can, and a live lawyer call-in show could be your ticket to fame and referrals.
With a variety of new and traditional media within reach, the possibilities for lawyer self-marketing via call-in shows are virtually limitless. (Of course, you still have to follow all the ethical rules about attorney advertising.)
Here are a few platforms that attorneys may want to consider for starting a lawyer call-in show:
Local TV and radio.
TV and radio stations often use lawyers as guests on news and talk programs; they may also be receptive to 30-minute call-in shows, but you'll probably have to pay for air time, and perhaps even production costs, much like an infomercial.
A cheaper (i.e., free) alternative may be community-access cable TV. Though you won't reach as wide an audience, public access channels are open to all, and can serve as a "stepping stone" before you make it big.
Internet call-in shows and podcasts.
Free websites like TalkShoe and BlogTalkRadio allow you to broadcast live via the Internet, and incorporate phone calls via an online control panel. You can also record your call-in shows as podcasts, which listeners and potential clients can access at any time.
Blogs, chats, and online discussions.
Incorporating blogs, chat rooms, and online discussion forums on your firm's website can achieve the same results as a call-in show by fostering interaction with potential clients and increasing your visibility. There are many ways to do this, and FindLaw's Lawyer Marketing experts can help you get the results you want.
But lawyer call-in shows can also create legal problems. A recent lawsuit in Texas is a good example: Attorney Thomas Corea is suing CBS, owner of Dallas TV station KTXA, for failing to properly promote his 30-minute call-in show and failing to transfer calls to Corea's call center, the blog TVSpy reports.
Corea paid $2,750 for each episode of his "Ask the Lawyer" call-in show, which Corea claims got better ratings than local news. His lawsuit, which is pending, seeks more than $1 million in lost potential business, according to TVSpy.