Here’s a great intro to blogs article Amy Campbell, founder and principal of Infoworks wanted to share with my readers. Amy, a former magazine editor specializes in marketing and communications strategies, content development and creation for professional services firms. She also serves on the board of the Legal Marketing Association, New England Chapter. Take it away Amy…
Legal marketers should take note of a new category of web service application that is creating a surge in independent web publishing and opening up new opportunities for reaching niche audiences. Web logs – or “blogs” for short – are web pages designed as simple, reverse chronological web journals that are easy to set up and maintain by their authors. Online “blog” software eliminates the need for technical knowledge of web programming. This lowering of the barriers of entry has given the tools of production to the masses spawning a boom in personal publishing.
The most popular and successful blogs are run by authors whose pontificating narrows in on a specific topic for which they are particularly passionate or knowledgeable – or both. These sites are timely and rich in depth and hyperlinks to other related resources. As such, some of these self-published web sites are gaining popularity as credible information sources. While web logs have been around for a few years, they have gained new status and awareness in the post-September 11th and war time environment as instant news and opinion vehicles. And now the legal industry is getting into the act.
Blogs and the Legal Industry
A recent American Bar Association online article in the Practice Management section highlights the benefits of ‘blogging’ for research, networking, marketing, referrals and even knowledge management.
A web log’s automated journaling and archiving features are perfectly suited for those who wish to track complex, evolving issues such as legislation and regulatory developments, court decisions and more. Goldstein Howe PC, a small Washington, D.C. firm specializing in Supreme Court litigation, has set up a web log called SCOTUSblog to track recent developments. New Hampshire government and regulatory law firm Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell incorporates web log technology within its web site on its FedWatch NH page, using it essentially as a content management tool that allows instant reporting that side-steps the firm?s normal web posting processes, resources and potential for delay.
By their nature, blogs are often casual and flavorful, even when a serious subject matter is at hand. For example, HIPAA Blog, with the tagline “A discussion of medical privacy issues buried in political arcane,” carries a sarcastic and personal tone. Other blogs are maintained with meticulous objectivity and consistency, such as BeSpacific, a legal research blog which tracks, “accurate, focused law and technology news.”
While many of the best blogs are bastions of independence and independents, legal services marketers should consider the benefits of incorporating blogs into their online marketing strategies under firm brands. Blogs provide opportunities for individual attorneys and large and small firms alike. Web logs can chronicle news and information entered by one author, several or many. Such features provide a basic and easy way to manage a forum internally or externally that creates value for a team, a department, a client, or an entire industry niche to share information and encourage and foster markets of conversation.
To continue reading about Blogs’ impact on traditional media and Amy’s conclusions on tech-savvy legal marketers effective use of blogs, Amy asks that you head over to the full version of the Intro to Weblogs for Law Firm Marketing article on her site.