Is it a good idea to spend a lot of time disinfecting your law office? Possibly not, but make sure your clients are aware of this, and other security measures you take. Security theater is real. Make sure it works for you.
Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell had a nice discussion of security theater in the June 19 edition of the Kennedy-Mighell podcast, prompted by my question. (Yeah, I’m a little behind in my podcast listening). It has become a timely topic in light of Covid-19.
Another example of security theater at Talking Points Memo provides context:
I’ll have some additional comments on their analysis later, but those interested will want to give it a listen. Check out the show notes (i.e., transcript) at the same link if you’d rather read than listen.
[Disinfecting schools] is mostly mitigation theater, taking action that is high profile and relatively easy because things that would actually make a difference are either too hard or have been ruled out in advance because of difficulty or politics. It’s the germ theory version of looking for the missing keys under the street lamp because that’s where the light is.
The bulk of evidence from the Spring and Summer is that COVID transmission is mainly through the air, either exhalation and inhalation of people in immediate proximity to each other or airborne contagion through recirculated air or contagion that persists in the air for some period of time.
Of course, same thing applies to your law office. That doesn’t mean security theater is necessarily a bad idea. If it makes those in your organization or potential clients feel more secure, it could be a great idea.
Everyone understands why online presentations have become more important than ever. This is the first in our series of online Presentation Tips. We invite you to travel along with us.
Here are a few of the better resources we’ll be discussing:
- Top Tips & Tools for Better Online Presentations
- Video & Audio Quality Matter — Make Your Remote Work More Professional
The first order of business for online presentations is deciding on your level of ambition. Tom Mighell summaries the issue concisely at the Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast:
So what do you want? Do you want a professional setup for talking to clients or colleagues? Do you want a more polished setup to record videos for YouTube or other services? I think the purpose that you have is going to determine the kind of setup that you have got. And I tend to agree with you, if you want something that’s more professional, more polished, if you tend to want to make more of what you are going to be doing with this, what you have likely is not going to work.
Dennis Kennedy‘s followup provides a perfect example for the ambition issue: Use the camera built into your laptop only if you don’t care about quality.
Cameras are typically not a primary consideration for laptop purchasers, so manufacturers tend to use very cheap cameras. What if you are more ambitious?
- Cameras in smartphones or tablets provide an easy way to get a better result. This may seem counterintuitive, but it makes sense. Since camera quality is a discriminating factor behind mobile device purchases, manufacturers strive to provide higher quality cameras. Mighell observes: “I decided to use my iPad to attend a Microsoft Teams meeting and the quality difference in the camera was 1,000% better on the iPad.” A USA Today affiliate article has some advice.
- Dedicated high-resolution web cameras are the next step up. Logitech is a reliable brand name. Mighell recommends the Logitech C930, but they are in short supply, and vendors recently have taken advantage of the market to bump up the price. A Google search will find one, or a model of comparable quality.
- If you are striving for the highest quality, a DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera may be your best choice. These are general purpose cameras that can be adapted for online use. They generally have the best quality. The downside is that they can be trickier to set up. Engadget has good advice on the ins and outs.
Microphone selection is similar: Choose the level that best matches your ambition level. More on microphone selection in our next Presentation Tip post.
Carolyn Elefant’s Covid guide for solo and small law firms is up to her usual high quality:
Solo & Small Law Firm Guide to Surviving in a Time of COVID