George Zimmerman trial: Coverage, opining expected to spike in real world, social media

Lawyers fought for social media dominance in the pretrial phase, how much will they participate now?
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(PR NewsChannel) / June 10, 2013 / TAMPA, Fla. 

As the public expressed outrage over George Zimmerman when the case started to make headlines,  the George Zimmerman legal team jumped into the lion’s den: creating a website, a Twitter account and a Facebook page to engage the pubic and solicit for donations.

As jury selection begins today in the murder trial of George Zimmerman, news coverage will dominate in the real world and the public will swoop to Twitter and Facebook to sound off.

But how much will Zimmerman’s defense lawyers participate now, and even in they did, how much impact could they have?

“George Zimmerman’s legal team made a big effort in social media early in the case to try to fight the backlash against their client,” says Glenn Selig, a crisis management public relations expert whose PR firm, The Publicity Agency, has been involved with several high profile national court cases. “They may have found some key supporters in the virtual world. But largely acting as propaganda machine in the virtual world doesn’t sway the public. Their last tweet was five days ago and it was about raising money. It does not appear they plan to be active.”

When the legal team jumped head first into social media, the warnings came.

“You have to understand the dynamic of the Internet and understand that you’re playing with a monster that will devour you if you screw up,” Scott Greenfield, a New York attorney told in 2012.

Three months after creating a Facebook page, the legal team disengaged it. Facebook didn’t meet its goals for digital media presence, the legal team said.

“While Facebook helped meet most of these goals during the first three months of activation, it has been providing diminishing returns since and has increasingly become a concern to us,” the legal team wrote on the George Zimmerman Legal Case website.

Today the George Zimmerman legal team has a modest 3,421 Twitter followers and many of them are members of the news media and not the general public.

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SOURCE:  The Publicity Agency

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