2015 - 16 Communications Committee



Develops the communication process among members of the MCB through publications including the Mecklenburg Bar News, http://www.meckbar.org/, Bar Blasts, social media and the MCB Annual Membership Directory.







             2015-16 Chair

2015-16 Vice-Chair

            Rhonda L. Patterson

Sonya Pfeiffer







Class of 2016

Class of 2017

Class of 2018

Christopher J. Culp

Scott R. Branam

Vera S. Goudes

Chad A. Fights

Malik Dixon

Randall S. Hoose Jr.

Megan V. Johnson

Colleen E. Forcina

Karen D. McCallum


Wesley K. Howell

Lawrence J. Shaheen Jr.




Staff Liaisons

Leah Campbell, Assistant Executive Director & Director of Communications - lcampbell@meckbar.org
Katie Guenther, Communications & Events Assistant - kguenther@meckbar.org  



Volunteer Need / Commitment

Members of the Communications Committee attend monthly committee meetings, write newsletter articles, monitor legal trends that should be included in future publications, evaluate Bar Blast effectiveness and discuss ways to serve MCB membership through communication efforts. Interested in joining this committee? Complete the committee interest form .


Committee Documents/Links

Mecklenburg Bar News

MCB Membership Directory

MCB Bar Blasts

MCB Publication Guidelines


2014-15 Communications Committee Report
Michael Martinez, Chair & Rhonda Patterson, Vice-Chair

In 2014-15, the MCB Communications Committee met on a monthly basis to plan content for each edition of the Mecklenburg Bar News, the 2014-15 MCB Membership Directory, weekly Bar Blasts, www.MeckBar.org and various social media outlets. The Communications Committee developed a substantial list of newsletter article ideas, spotlight pieces focused on the good works of our public sector attorneys and court staff.

The Committee analyzed the effectiveness of MeckBar.org through usage statistics and adjusted content accordingly. In addition, the Committee began an initial analysis of MeckBar.org in preparation for a website re-design process that is slated for 2015-16. In 2014-15, site visitors increased six percent, averaging 8,476 visitors/month. Unique visitors to MeckBar.org increased by one percent, averaging 3,949 unique visitors. January 2015 was the busiest month on MeckBar.org with 10,517 visitors. The top ten most visited pages on MeckBar.org in descending order were: Classifieds - Attorney Positions Available, CLE Schedule, Attorney & Firm Announcements, Classifieds - Paralegal/Admin Positions Available, LRS - Public Page, CLE Overview, Swearing-In Ceremonies, MCB Member Benefits, Charlotte Legal Diversity Clerkship, Classifieds - Office Space Available. The way Bar members access MeckBar.org changed slightly in 2014-15. Visitors accessed the site via a desktop computer 75 percent of the time, a decrease of six percent from last year; a mobile device 20 percent of the time, a five percent increase; and tablet computer five percent of the time, a one percent increase. This information will be important for the Committee to consider during the website re-design process.

The Committee monitored how Bar members responded to the weekly Bar Blasts distributed via e-mail each Thursday by tracking the percentage of members opening the e-mail and then clicking on various links within the email. In 2014-15, the rate at which Bar members opened the Bar Blasts was 30 percent of recipients, a one percent increase from 2013-14. The rate at which Bar members then clicked on a link within the Bar Blast was 19 percent, a two percent decrease from the previous year. One hypothesis on the drop of the click rate is that with the rise of social media followers, detailed below, Bar members are getting their information from a variety of sources and do not need to click on the link.

The Committee continued to focus on expanding the Bar’s presence on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook by increasing frequency and variety of information shared. In 2014-15, MCB Facebook followers increased by 14 percent, Twitter followers increased by 44 percent and LinkedIn followers increased by 29 percent.

2014-15 Goals

1. Establish a network of communication between Bar committees/sections.

Members of the Committee established regular communication with the chairs of other committees and sections. Chairs were invited to attend or call into a Communications Committee meeting and report on the happenings and interests of the members of their committee/section.  The Communications Committee then used this information to develop MeckBar.org and newsletter features.

2. Enhance public education/information.

a. Work with court system and section chairs to enhance content on MeckBar.org
b. Support work of various MCB committees, sections and divisions who have goals to provide/enhance legal education for the public.  Consider enhancing the channels of communication with schools, social services and Justice Initiatives.

The Committee updated information relevant to the public through work with the MCB sections and courts, including monitoring web traffic and ensuring pages accessed by the public contained current information. Some highlights include posting updated Superior Court - Civil Rules and a link from the Legal Aid of NC website with brochures and information on Adoption and Foster Care, Battered Immigrants, Children's Rights, Courts, Disabilities, Divorce, Disasters, Domestic Violence, Education, Employment, Environment, Family, Farmworkers, Finances, Housing, Legal Aid of NC – General, Medicaid, Medicare Part D, Medical, Seniors, and Wills.

3. Review Bar member demographics twice a year to ensure all groups (gender, age, race, firm size) find relevant information in newsletter/MeckBar.org.

The Committee recognized that the needs and interests of Bar members are varied and aimed to reach all sectors of Bar membership through interesting, relevant articles.

4. Produce a monthly newsletter with relevant and timely articles for the broad and diverse MCB membership

This will always be one of the Committee's primary functions. Special thanks to the Communications Committee members and authors pool who continue to research and write meaningful articles for the Mecklenburg Bar News. The Committee is always looking for MCB members interested in participating on the Committee and/or authors pool.

5. Work with the Future Bar & Foundation Center Committee to inform and educate the Bar membership and community about the move, opening and facility amenities and reservation opportunities.

The Committee used its full range of tools to update Bar members on progress of the Future Bar & Foundation Center and the move to the new Bar & Foundation Center.  Once the final construction issues are resolved, the Committee will develop a plan to inform and educate Bar members on the amenities that are available at the Center.

6. Promote and expand the Bar’s social media presence, within rules set forth by the NC State Bar

As detailed above, the Committee focused on expanding the Bar’s social media presence on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.  In 2014-15, MCB Facebook followers increased by 14 percent, Twitter followers increased by 44 percent and LinkedIn followers increased by 29 percent.