The Disappearance of Mark J. White

Mark_white_1 Here's a story about why to put firm management on law firm Web sites.  I was at a conference in January and heard Mark J. White, a partner at Baker Botts in Houston, give a talk about a club the law firm had organized for 60 oil and gas clients.  White described how the firm created an extranet for the Texas Industry Project extranet, where the 60 companies represented by the firm's environmental practice can get daily updates on legal issues. It was a smart marketing idea and I wrote an article about it, "Web-Enabled Law Firms Capture New Business" on the LawMarketing Portal.

I planned to follow-up, so on Friday (March 18) I went to the firm Web site to look up his email address.  But he had vanished from the Web site.   He was as gone as Jimmy Hoffa.  The firm Web site search engine turned up nothing on him.  I used the Google "search site" feature and also found nothing.  His name had been wiped clean from the site.  I searched Google and Yahoo News and found nothing about his abrupt invisibility.

Naturally, I thought he had left the firm.  So I called one of the marketers at Baker Botts to find out what happened to White.  They told me he had been appointed Chief Administrative Officer of the firm -- so they took his name off the Web site.

In my humble opinion, this is a public relations faux pas, a marketing mistake and a promotional goof.  The firm took a prominent partner, whom it had sent on the road to give public presentations about the firm, and made him vanish the moment it gave him a management position.

See my prior article arguing that marketers and firm management should be displayed on firm Web sites.  The disappearance of Mark J. White is a great example.

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The Common Scold - March 21, 2005 10:07 PM
If ever there was a case study for my campaign to get law firms to put contact information for their C-level executives on their websites, it's Houston's Baker Botts. Partner Mark White was named chief administrative officer -- and promptly removed fro...
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