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Attorney marketing with niche websites | When is an image inappropriate?

Transvaginal mesh images too graphic?

I recently created a website for the women (and families of women) suffering from complications of transvaginal mesh. The website includes both medical and legal information. After finishing the site, I submitted a news release to one of the major news release services. In the area of the news release in which you can post an image, I posted an image taken by a medical doctor or nurse of transvaginal mesh in place (internally) after surgery. It didn’t include any external part of the body, and I didn’t expect the image to create any controversy.

Within a few minutes I received an email from the news release service saying my release had been placed on editorial hold. The email said:

Your news image is far too graphic to be displayed on our site. Do you have a logo or anything more tame you can substitute for this image?

I did indeed have a logo or something more “tame” that I could substitute for the image. But my logo or other “tame” image did not really convey any useful information about the subject matter covered in the news release. And the news release was aimed at news reporters, who presumably would be used to seeing graphic images.

According to Google AdWords, one of the most-frequently used search terms for “transvaginal mesh” is the question “what is transvaginal mesh.” I didn’t find that surprising, because there have been so many transvaginal mesh TV ads, and it’s hard to explain a subject in only 30 seconds.

I tried to make the transvaginal mesh website informative, with several pages of medical information in addition to the legal information. One of the pages contains pictures of transvaginal mesh, mesh erosion and other medical images. (Here’s a link to the transvaginal mesh pictures.)

The picture I included with the news release does not seem offensive to me, given the context. All of the pictures were copied from either the FDA or the National Institutes of Health (just in case you don’t know, these images aren’t copyrighted, and the federal government welcomes the use of them by third parties to further the educational purpose of posting such materials). The picture page on my website informed viewers that they could click on the image and be taken to the government webpage that would have more information.

I’ve opened Comments on this post so you can share your opinions with me. Is an image of transvaginal mesh too graphic for a news release?

Search engine optimization using WordPress and the Thesis theme

Much has been written about the best blogging/content management systems for search engine optimization (SEO). For over a year I have been using WordPress and the Thesis theme for various websites, and I’ve found it to be very easy to use for SEO. And you don’t have to sacrifice in terms of style. The Wall Street Journal Law Blog and WSJ Magazine, plus a lot of other top-flight sites, use WordPress. The fact that my sites aren’t any prettier is a reflection of my desire to control my own work, and my lack of skill as a designer. But even for a design-challenged lawyer, I can publish a decent-looking website in a matter of hours. And the Thesis theme is designed from the start for SEO. [Read more…]

WordCamp Birmingham ’09

Today I attended the first day of WordCamp Birmingham, a gathering of WordPress bloggers and developers. There were some very informative sessions.  The highllight of the event was a “WordPress Town Hall Meeting” presided over by Matt Mullenweg, the founding developer of WordPress.  Matt, who has a great sense of humor and is very entertaining, spent over an hour answering questions and giving tiny hints about things that might be in the works for the next version of WordPress.

I came away from the session more convinced than ever that lawyers who blog can’t go wrong choosing WordPress as their blogging platform.  It’s very easy-to-use, and although I’ve not tried to promote this particular blog, I’ve used it on some other sites and found it to be very SEO-friendly.

Legal domain names for sale

As I concentrate more of my time and resources on, I’ve decided to part with some legal domain names that I bought when I thought I might use them.  Names such as,, and many more. [Read more…]

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