Following on from yesterday’s post regarding blogs or websites I also responded to a related question from a law firm marketer who was asking about “voice” in blog posts. She was concerned that some attorneys who are blogging are producing blog posts that are really no different to client alerts and hence lack the personality or voice more often associated with blogs. She asked:
“Are there any other guidelines or best practices I can provide that will help my attorneys understand the difference? Is there any compelling reason to put advisory content in a blog post rather than on a publication page, all things being equal?”
My response is reproduced below:
I’ve seen blogs that run the spectrum from highly engaging, even humorous content such as Lowering the Bar, to pure information alerts with no firm input or commentary (LNG Law Blog). In addition to the question of “voice”, I would encourage your attorneys to really think about the insights and value that any of their content delivers to clients or prospects, whether in alert, blog, podcast or any other format.
By value I mean “how does the content help the audience succeed?” Does the content:
- Help them identify issues they may have been unaware of that impact their business and/or role?
- Cause them to think differently about an issue they were already aware of?
- Help them understand the implications of those issues, not just at a legal level, but to the business as whole?
- Identify potential options for addressing those implications?
- Suggest ways they might pursue those options?
- Proactively identify new opportunities for growth rather than just ways to reduce or eliminate risk?
- Help them personally succeed in their careers?
We see a lot of content from law firms that is just news (with little-to-no commentary, analysis or interpretation) and where multiple firms are saying almost identical things. You could frequently swap the name of the firms at the top of the alert and not really notice the difference. While some clients may indeed place value on “breaking news”, only one firm can gain that very temporary advantage, whereas firms that provide true insight and help clients think about and respond to a development can differentiate themselves and begin to build a relationship.
To use a sporting analogy:
- Most firms report the sports scores.
- Some firms provide a post game summary.
- A few firms tell you what the game and the performances of the players say about their prospects in the next game or their chances of winning a championship or being voted the MVP.
- Many firms provide the same level of reporting to a light bruise to a minor league outfielder as they do to a pitching ace facing season ending elbow surgery.
I can get the first two anywhere, but the third one engages me and often builds loyalty with the specific journalist/analyst. The fourth just leaves me bemused.
I think you’ll find that your attorneys will develop a more distinctive voice, and produce blog content that is different from alert content, when they begin to interpret developments for their clients and prospects and express a point of view rather than just reporting the facts.
P.S. If you think your attorneys, or other professionals, could benefit from some help in making their content more valuable to its audience you might consider our Thought Leadership & Content Editing Service.