Blogging, Blogs, Client Alerts, Content, Journalism

Why Traditional Legal Writing Fails in Content Strategy

Sometimes, lawyers need to write as if they were journalists. Here’s why. Let’s start with the idea that the “inverted pyramid” is the basic structure of any news story. Under this plan, the most fundamental facts, the ones the reader really needs to know, appear in the first paragraph of the story. This is usually the information that corresponds to the “five W’s” of journalism – who, what, when, where and why. Less essential information appears in later paragraphs, roughly in order of its importance. This time-honored structure, which was born in the days of linotype machines, continues to work well in the busy online world, where so much content is out there competing for the reader’s attention. It gives the reader an immediate idea of what the story is about and permits him or her to choose to read further in the article — or to move on to…

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Blogging, Blogs

Fall In Love Again With Your Blog

Blogs are like relationships and relationships go through many stages. When the flame dims, it’s a signal that it is time to stroke the fire that made you fall in love with blogging and all that it has to offer. That is how I feel about my blog. When I started it in 2008, I blogged at least twice a week, maybe three times. I nurtured it, fed it with relevant content that readers would enjoy, but mostly, I spent time with it because I was passionate about blogging and it was fun. On Valentine’s Day I thought it was the perfect opportunity to remind myself and others of ways to keep the blogging love alive. Re-ignite your passion. Write about what inspires you. I know many people struggle to find topics for blog posts. But, good ideas are everywhere. Monitor breaking news. Check the court dockets for filings and decisions. Look at…

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Blogging, Blogs, Website Content, Writing, Writing Advice

Would You Draft a Legal Brief as Poorly as You Write a Blog Post?

Since blogs are so valuable, it makes no logical sense for lawyers to author them so sloppily. Blogs are an indispensable tool for any professional who wants to demonstrate it is a leading expert in a particular subject matter. In principle, there is no better method than a blog for getting your message out in an easily accessible forum that you can control, and do so in a timely, straightforward and client-friendly manner. Yet, I continue to see poorly written posts that offer no value to clients or news reporters who are working on articles or matters related to those topics. And, rushing through a post just to write one fails to accomplish the fundamental goal of a blog: demonstrating a firm’s or a lawyer’s expertise to a client. Here are a six tips to making your blog post meaningful to its intended audience and distinguishing it, in a good way,…

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Blogging, Blogs, Media Relations

Blogs Create Powerful Connections to the Media

UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh is a great example of the power of leveraging a blog as a media resource. In contrast to the lack of lawyers or firms commenting on the Sony Pictures hack, Mr. Volokh uses his blog: The Volokh Conspiracy, which is hosted by the Washington Post, as a way to effectively talk on a topic where most are refusing comment. Today alone Volokh’s blog is referenced in two high profile media outlets including the WSJ Law Blog. Why? He is making it easy for the media to find him via simple online searches. Also, he tackling a timely news story most media outlets around the world are covering. Add to that, he is providing thoughtful commentary on an important issue: whether the media has the right to use the stolen emails in their reporting. He goes beyond covering what is already out there by offering his…

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