Category

Writing

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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Client Alerts, Content, Writing, Writing Advice

So What? How to Write Client Alerts That Get Read and Get Results

When you are writing or editing a client alert, have you asked yourself, “So what?” That is the first question you should ask according to Peter Darling of the Repechage Group, a consultancy that advises law firms and others on content strategy. Peter was the featured speaker on a Legal Marketing Association Webinar hosted by the PR SIG on November 29. During the webinar, Peter provided detailed advice and examples to help law firms increase the odds that client alerts do not become a wasted effort. Peter shared the first thing he learned in his writing career: before you write something, you need to ask who is the audience and why the content is important to them. More importantly, the author needs to give the reader a reason to care. As a former practice attorney, Peter said lawyers are trained to ignore the key principles of creating great content, largely because they…

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Writing, Writing Advice

How to Write a Headline That Captures A Reader’s Attention

Clickbait proves the theory that a headline is the most important part of your content. A great headline is the key to whether a reader will actually read past your headline and get to the meat of your article. But, I continue to notice headlines in the legal industry for client alerts, studies and attorney-authored articles can be too long, too awkward and downright boring. Why does this matter? Law firms publish tons of content that consumes valuable attorney time to create. Ergo, don’t waste their time  distributing content that won’t get read. That was the focus of a recent Public Relations Shared Interest Group (PR SIG) webinar for the Legal Marketing Association featuring Anne Marie Grewal, Client Communications Manager at Latham & Watkins. Grewal has a strong background as a journalist and has been hired by law firms to be the last stop before content leaves the firm. Capturing…

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