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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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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Events, Media Relations, Media Strategy, Public Relations, Public Relations Strategy

You’re Invited to Promote This

At the Legal Marketing Association conference in New Orleans in early April, the PR Pre Conference hosted a panel, “You’re Invited to Promote This.” The discussion centered on how law firms can generate their own PR from events they host or produce. Moderated by Elizabeth Lampert, president of Elizabeth Lampert PR, Carrie Brunelle from Baretz + Brunelle; Royal Simpkins, director of branding and communication at Bryan Cave LLP; and Anne Gallagher, director of global communications at Jenner & Block LLP shared their experiences with event PR. The speakers pointed out that just like most PR matters, this type of promotion is far from an exact science. A firm can spend a good deal of money and time promoting an event or a theme and can gain a commitment from a reporter – but the reporter might fail to show up or to pursue the lead because of factors that are out…

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Crisis Public Relations

United States of Crisis

Earlier this month, I attended the annual national conference of the Legal Marketing Association in New Orleans. The conference kicked off with a full-day pre-conference program on April 9, broken up into several tracks. I was a co-chair of the PR track that day – a program entitled “Breakthroughs in Public Relations, Content and Communications.” “United States of Crisis” featuring John Buchanan, senior communications manager at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP; Ben Harris, director of communications at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP; Elizabeth Hershman, vice president of iQ 360; and Kristy Werness, senior manager of marketing and communications at Irell & Manella LLP focused on living and working in a “United States of Crisis.” Almost daily, we hear, see and read news stories reporting questionable actions by lawyers and law firms, many of which cause considerable concern for PR professionals. We as PR people need to prepare well in…

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