Who's Who: It is Lame, a Shame and a Waste of Time and Money

WhoswhoBob Weiss makes a great point about the Who's Who guide in the Nov. issue of the ABA's Law Practice Today e-newsletter:

"It used to represent a comprehensive resource of noteworthy individuals. Today that is rarely the case. Every month attorneys are solicited to buy or confirm listings in various editions of Who's Who.

"Don't be tempted. Save your marketing dollars. And, delete any listing from your resume, and do it immediately.

"What was once a respected research tool more than a decade ago joined the gallery of famous lost trademarks. Today, most anyone can get into Who's Who, and there are dozens of versions of the thick books. Few find their way onto library research shelves. Many are seldom referenced as nothing but online lists.

"A recent article in Forbes revealed just who is in Who's Who-- a pipefitter, a drivers' education instructor, even imposters. It also showed how scanty the review and approval process has become http://www.forbes.com/fyi/1999/0308/063.html.

"How did this happen? The title "Who's Who" is now in the public domain. Somebody forgot to protect it. The result is that thousands of "Who's Who" compilations of varying scope and quality have been published by various authors and publishers. Most of these are obvious vanity publications, where the inclusion criterion is the biographee's willingness to buy the book, and the business model consists in selling books directly to the biographees.

"So, next time you are asked to apply for a Who's Who remember-- so was just about everyone else.

Bob Weiss has been a law firm marketing consultant for 25 years representing local, regional and national firms. He is president and founder of Alyn-Weiss and Associates, Inc. in Denver. He can be reached at 303-298-1676.

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Water Cooler Wisdom - November 9, 2006 7:21 PM
Another thanks to Dave Lorenzo and Larry Bodine, who pointed me in the direction of an informative piece...
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