Carlia Reiner* – Among my many roles as a Client Services Specialist at JD Supra, one of my favorite tasks is the weekly emails I send to clients showing them how their thought leadership has been used or referenced in the media, leading to exactly the kind of PR exposure they’re hoping to achieve.
Marketers and lawyers are obviously always happy to see their expertise earn visibility with a targeted audience – so it’s a pleasure to share the good news (pun intended). For me, though, over the years, it has also been an interesting lesson in how the rise of publishing and communications tools is changing the shape of what PR means to law firms.
Media pickup can mean so many more things today than it has in the past; often it can be even more targeted.
Certainly what we traditionally consider to be media visibility continues in the digital age. (For example, here client Seyfarth Shaw is mentioned in a Washington Post column on EEOC matters.
Or, here Jones Day earns a link to the firm’s coverage of the “Rule of Two” in the Veterans’ Benefits Act in a The Hill opinion piece about VA benefits and small business.) Often, media pickup can be hyperlocal or targeted to a niche group or industry (example: Knobbe Martens gets a link to their Life Sciences coverage in a super-focused Clinical Leader article about life sciences business growth in New York.)
So, the more things change, the more they stay the same (and even become a little easier, you might say. All of the client writing I see picked up by media sources is timely, useful, and more than anything else: available. That’s where we come in.)
But there’s also change and that’s what I find fascinating.
For example, in this digital age – in this time in which content/information/expertise is the ultimate connector and currency – law firms’ clients are publishers, too. They are indeed.
Law firms’ clients are practicing the same content strategy I see law firms practicing. That is to say: they’re using meaningful, useful content to build and engage a targeted audience of their own – and to build a meaningful online presence using all the tools available to them, ultimately with the goal to grow business.
The Rise of the LinkedIn Company Profile
What do I mean, exactly? Well, for just one example, this:
Portland-based Smarsh is an information technology company that “delivers cloud-based archiving solutions for the information-driven enterprise.” I take that quote from the firm’s LinkedIn profile (where they cultivate an audience of over 5,000 followers) because it is there, on LinkedIn, that you will see the company sharing law firm updates like this one to do with SEC disclosure changes by Bryan Cave with its own audience.
And there lies one great opportunity for law firms: to be a source of great information within the industries and practice areas you serve
Here’s another. NCS Credit, a Cleveland-based financial services firm for credit professionals, engages its own growing audience of almost 1,500 followers on LinkedIn with a piece by law firm Bradley: What lenders need to know.
This is what my colleague Adrian Lurssen means when he says “our readers have readers of their own” and it’s fascinating to see how targeted law firm readers – corporations in technology, financial services, real estate, HR, and so many other fields of practice – use law firm content that they value to engage their own audiences.
It’s also fascinating to see how platforms and tools like the LinkedIn company profile allow such audience engagement. And there lies one great opportunity for law firms: to be a source of great information within the industries and practice areas you serve, with the aim of producing the type of content that company-publishers and other such organizations (very often your clients, prospects, and referral sources) want to share.
Obviously on a daily basis I see and send to clients plenty of examples of C-suite executives (CEOs, GC, CTOs, risk managers, compliance officers, VPs, and the rest) sharing law firm content with their own networks. This is where so much attention is focused when the legal marketplace thinks of LinkedIn. It’s a valid focus, but I see more than that on the professional network.
This phenomenon of companies of all shapes and sizes in all industries being publishers is also not limited to LinkedIn (perhaps that can be the subject of another post by me). In all cases the companies use valuable, available law firm content in their mix.
Key words: valuable and available. It’s a powerful combination and JD Supra is what makes the value available so that you can earn your media visibility based on the strength of your insights. Are you on? You should be.
Carla Reiner is a client services specialist at JD Supra.