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Writing

Writing, Writing Advice

Storytelling for Impactful Communication

Back in 2016, I wrote a post hereabout the importance of storytelling. “Facts are boring. Stories are compelling,” I said. I explained briefly that public relations professionals succeed when they can develop a compelling story with a clear beginning, middle and end. Stories are ultimately about people, and reporters know that the human angle engages readers and brings them in. A few days ago, my friend John Buchanan, senior communications manager at the law firm Sheppard Mullin, published an article in Marketing the Law Firm magazine that starts with these points and develops them further and more deeply. John goes beyond PR and press releases, emphasizing that all types of law firm content, all types of marketing materials, should depend on storytelling to capture an audience. Drawing on psychological and anthropological research, John wrote, “Storytelling is as old as humankind itself. Since the beginning of time, people have told stories and it seems…

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Facts are boring. Stories are Compelling.
February 22, 2016
Content, Content Marketing, Writing, Writing Advice

Writing is Not a Content Strategy

If “content is king,” content marketing is the king’s highway. Content marketing has been defined as a strategic marketing approach that is focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a targeted audience and ultimately to drive new and renewed business. Typical formats for content marketing include blogs, newsletters, webinars, client alerts, videos, and many others. Although in a law firm these materials will usually appear under the byline of an attorney, the firm’s PR team will normally have a role in planning the firm’s content strategy. And although content marketing started in the corporate world, law firms have been adopting content strategies in the past few years – and they have quickly become an important part of the law firm communicator’s toolbox. As a Huffington Post article reported in 2016, Which industry is absolutely crushing content marketing? Bet you’ll be surprised to learn…

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Social Media, Writing, Writing Advice

When to Choose Vanilla Ice Cream over Rainbow Sherbet

I had lunch yesterday with Katie Wagner who owns Katie Wagner Social Media in Orange County, California. Our lively conversation over veggie burgers about posting content on social media turned to how creativity in writing can often get in the way of communicating a client’s message. We agreed that there are times when creativity works and other times when it’s better to just be straightforward – even when vanilla does not seem as exciting option. To understand the advantages of straightforward writing, look no further than The Elements of Style, the “writer’s bible” by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White that was originally published nearly 100 years ago. Strunk and White say: Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not…

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Blogging, Content, Content Marketing, Writing, Writing Advice

Blogs Are Not Law Review Articles

Last year on this blog we highlighted the comments from several experts on best practices in writing for a blog. We are reminded often by blog advocates that the platform is an essential tool lawyers use to communicate with their audiences, show their skills and expertise, and to become thought leaders. It’s an opportunity that law firms should take full advantage of. Kristi Dosh, a sports business analyst who blogs as The SportsBizMiss, said it is crucial for lawyers not to use legalese but to write so that you can be understood by a broader audience. Jacqueline Madarang, a senior manager for digital marketing communications and marketing technology who’s now at the D.C. office of the Bradley law firm, said she created a writing workshop at her firm so that legal bloggers there can understand expectations about what a blog should deliver. These two, and the other panelists, also noted that blog items are vastly…

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