A comprehensive effort to rewrite attorney biographies is an intensive, and often sensitive, activity. Bio pages are some of the most-viewed and read pages on your law firm’s website. When embarking on a project like this, it is important to understand the firm’s desired voice and style. To develop cohesive, creative and unique individual bios, while showcasing the firm, we suggest breaking the process down into three phases.
Phase I: Strategy Development
- Assess the firm’s needs and goals regarding the bio project and design a repeatable, efficient and manageable content development process.
- If you do not already have a document that formalizes the firm’s brand and messaging, develop three to five messaging statements that reflect the overall firm identity to be incorporated into the bios. These should include brand characteristics to be articulated throughout the bios that help tell a story about the attorneys, their work ethics and client relationships.
- Develop a style sheet to help create consistency and synergy across all firm bios. The style guide should express the underlying sentiment of the firm's identity while providing information on the firm and editorial guidelines, so all bios are cohesive in style and messaging.
Phase II: Framework Development
- Create a bio template for the firm to use to maintain consistency. If the firm would like to provide attorneys multiple options of bio styles, create two to three templates and allow attorneys to select their preferred ones.
- Develop a short questionnaire for each attorney in advance of his or her bio rewrite to brainstorm content for the bios. Topics addressed might include general aspects of the attorney’s work, types of clients served, services provided, core competencies, key differentiators and innovative projects. The responses will form the foundation of the bios.
Phase III: Biography Development
- After questionnaires are completed, set up brief interviews between content developers and each attorney to discuss additional information needed to complete the bios.
- Craft each new bio based on information from the questionnaire responses, interview and old bio or résumé.
- Deliver the draft to either a designated firm contact or the attorney. The attorneys should be directed to provide edits and comments in a consistent manner, such as by tracking changes in Word’s built-in “Review” feature.
- Revise the bio based on the attorney’s feedback, provide professional proofing and deliver to the firm what will be considered the final draft.
Other Tips for Bio Rewrite Success
- Consider launching the bio rewrite with a “pilot program” of five attorneys. These bios should go through the process from start to finish before other bios are initiated to ensure an effective rewrite process.
- Develop a timeline to follow, with hard deadlines, and get buy-in from your attorneys. Even just a few unexpected delays can throw a bio rewrite off-track.
Need assistance rewriting firm bios? Contact me, Lisa Altman, at firstname.lastname@example.org.