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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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Writing, Writing Advice

Words to Write By: Practice Group Descriptions

No one ever hired a law firm solely because of the practice group description, but a poor description can drive a prospective client away. That was the focus of a recent writing webinar hosted by the Legal Marketing Association’s PR SIG and led by John Byrne, an experienced law firm marketing professional at Glencoe Media Group, Inc. John emphasized that excellent practice group descriptions are not lead generators but another key point of contact between a law firm and a prospective client who may already knows about the firm. Accordingly, before sitting down to write, it is important to think about: Who is the audience for these words going to be? Will it be a group of in-house lawyers, or possibly a set of non-lawyers? And then write accordingly. John encouraged professionals to interview attorneys before starting the writing process. Ask them why they think clients hire them. All this…

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Content Marketing, Writing, Writing Advice

When Bad Legal PR Grammar Ain’t a Bad Thing

Strong written communication skills are the lifeblood of any PR professional in all forms of communication ranging from press releases to blog posts to strategy memos. We know that there are dozens of important rules for written communication, and we know we are judged by our clients and the media on our writing style and adherence togrammar. And most of these rules make sense, but there are four “rules” you are better off disregarding: The rule against splitting an infinitive. This antiquated rule has no purpose and should be ignored. The best example of a split infinitive is the old Star Trek phrase, “to boldly go where no man has gone before.” The sentence is perfect and artfully crafted. Edited to avoid splitting the infinitive by moving the adverb “boldly” lessens the impact of the word and weakens the power of the phrasea. (Let’s not debate here the outdated use…

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Related posts
How to Write a Headline That Captures A Reader’s Attention
October 19, 2016
Words to Write By: Practice Group Descriptions
March 28, 2016
Writing Advice for Lawyers
March 11, 2013
Writing, Writing Advice

Writing Advice for Lawyers

I review a lot of articles, bios, client alerts, news releases, and blog posts for lawyers. Since I have a journalism background I often get frustrated with the way lawyers approach their (non-legal) writing. I know the best writing captures a reader’s attention with a smart and creative headline and a strong opening that gives the reader the news up front. For example, the first paragraph should contain the “hook” as to why this is an important piece. Can you imagine picking up the New York Times or Wall Street Journal with boring and confusing headlines and articles that begin with the history of an issue rather why we should care about the topic? No one would buy the papers or visit the websites. The ABA Journal this month offers us insights as to why lawyers may not be the best writers. Article author Bryan Garner, president of LawPress, Inc….

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Related posts
How to Write a Headline That Captures A Reader’s Attention
October 19, 2016
Words to Write By: Practice Group Descriptions
March 28, 2016
When Bad Legal PR Grammar Ain’t a Bad Thing
January 16, 2016