Leading legal marketing consultant Larry Bodine, has a nice post this morning about RSS feeds beginning to appear now on law firm Web sites.
In a new phenomenon I’ve discovered, law firms are beginning to add RSS feeds to their Web sites. This is a universal feature of blogs, of course, but it works just as well for Web sites. I’ve had RSS (or Really Simple Syndication) feeds on The LawMarketing Portal for several months. now. They’re wonderful for attracting traffic because they allow visitors to subscribe to my content….
Criminey, if the firm could get the risk-averse lawyers in Corporate and Securities to have an RSS feed, ANY firm should be able to convince ANY practice group head to do the same.
Larry’s post generated some excellent discussion about RSS and law firms on Larry’s Law Marketing listserv. Most telling was that law firms were really naive about what RSS is and what the benefits of RSS feeds may be.
Here’s a bit of my response to a question raised as to whether RSS was just a fad and something that falls under unneeded bells & whistles.
RSS feeds are neither a fad nor a bell & whistle. Feeds will change the way we all use the Internet from the present, search & browse, to the near future of search, browse & subscribe. That’s already the case for a lot of people and Microsoft will make that happen with RSS feeds being incorporated into their new operating system, Vista, and suite of Office products due out next year.
As important as browsers were to use of the World Web Web (allowing companies to have Web sites) RSS feeds will be equally as important in moving and aggregating information. This information is the key to PR communications and marketing. It will be of critical importance that if you want your information to be seen and used by third parties that it be pushed out on RSS feeds.
RSS & feeds may sound geekie and unimportant but so did the World Wide Web and Web sites 8 years ago. Hell, imagine what it was like when I told lawyers and other people I worked with 5 or 6 years ago that this Google site was great for getting information and that we will all be using it soon. Go see if you can find anyone in your firm that does not know how to use Google. It will be the same for RSS & feeds in another year, two max.
Now, how RSS is enabled and used will be done as right and wrong as Web sites and other Internet marketing is done by professional services firms. Most spend way more money than needed and set things up incorrectly. They’ll then wonder why RSS feeds are not working for them.
The key will not be in just harnessing RSS technology, the key will be in how RSS is used. Used & set up correctly, law firms & other professional services firms will not only save huge marketing & PR monies but they’ll improve the impact of their efforts dramatically.
And Larry, thanks for kicking off this discussion today – something I saw Larry say via, Netnewswire, my RSS feeds aggregator early this am.