I recently spoke to a new client about the benefit of writing bylined articles. “I just don’t have the time,” one attorney said. “I just don’t think it will reach my target audience,” said another. “I don’t understand how it will benefit the firm,” noted a third.
These are common roadblocks in the road to boosting a law firm’s media relations initiatives. However, contributing articles, or blog posts, is a great way to enhance your public reputation. And the time commitment? In the grand scheme of your business development plans, it is a drop in the bucket.
The best way to start is to think of a topic that is relevant and interests you. Do a little research to see what has been written about it already to ensure that you are able to distinguish your view from the crowd and offer readers something fresh. Another thing to consider when choosing a topic is picking one that is pertinent to your client base. Is this something they would be interested in knowing more about? If the answer is yes, then it is probably a good choice.
The next step is finding a publication that is interested. Enlist the help of the firm’s public relations team (whether in-house or outsourced). Share a few sentences-long “teaser” on what the article will cover. At most, present a paragraph abstract. We advise our clients not to write the entire article without first finding a “home” for it.
Once the article is published, link to it from the firm’s website, if possible, and include the citation in your web bio and social media profiles. This is incredibly important for boosting Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which can only benefit the firm and attorney alike. And send copies to your clients to let them know what you are up to.
In short, publishing articles is a great way to position yourself as a subject matter expert and boost your public reputation. It establishes credibility among clients—existing and potential alike, and it generates content that can be used on your website and in other marketing materials. Who knows, it might even generate an idea that could lead to a speaking engagement.
For more information on how bylined articles fit into content marketing strategy, visit Keith Ecker’s “Tip of the Week,” available here.