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RSS Feeds, blogs & podcasts make sense for lawyers & professional services businesses : Great article

Janet Ellen Raasch, a writer/ghostwriter who works closely with lawyers and other professional services providers to help them position themselves as thought-leaders within their target markets has one heck of an article up at Larry Bodine’s Law Marketing Portal.

Not only does she do an excellent job of describing blogs, RSS and podcasts and their marketing advantages, she also makes the case for why law firms must keep up with the lastest marketing technology.

Not so long ago, lawyers and law firms could communicate effectively with the media using press releases, with clients and potential clients using hard-copy newsletters, and with trade and professional groups using public speaking opportunities.  In today’s marketplace, these tactics are still useful – but barely scratch the surface.  Today’s clients and potential clients are looking for more.

She goes on to cite Doyle Albee, of the Boulder-based public relations agency Metzger Associates for the need for the latest marketing technologies and the advantages of RSS, blogs and podcasting.

First-generation electronic tools like Web sites and email have weaned modern audiences from their dependence on passive communications. Today’s audiences are active and interactive consumers of business information.  Increasing, they expect their lawyers and law firms to communicate with them interactively, using the next generation of electronic communications tools.  Among these tools are RSS feeds, Web logs and podcasts.

 

While many people outside of the Internet industry are unfamiliar with these terms. I predict that before long they will be just as well-known – and just as essential to doing business – as Web sites and email are today.  Why?  Because they facilitate 360-degree rather than one- or even two-way communication.

RSS advantages for law firms & professional services businesses

  • Used as a research tool by media outlets to monitor breaking information on newsworthy subjects.
  • Most media offer RSS feeds to their audiences.
  • Law firms with RSS aggregators can use this tool to monitor clients, potential clients and target industries.  It is like having a personal newspaper or clipping service.
  • Law firms and lawyers can use RSS technology to monitor what is being said about them on the Internet – especially on blogs.
  • Operates independently of the email system so it does not get caught in your clients’ junk-mail filters. 
  • Very attractive to search engines, giving your firm’s content a higher ranking in search-engine results.

Blog advantages for law firms & professional services businesses

  • Blog is basically a Web site.
  • Blog can do everything that a Web site does – and more. 
  • Blogs are interactive – they create their own communities of interest around a particular subject through the use of comments, content feeds and active linking behavior. 
  • Blog entries are automatically sent to subscribers using RSS feeds (which are built into the software).
  • Very attractive to search engines and tend to show up much higher in the rankings than static Web sites because of the use of RSS and an abundance of fresh content.
  • Can include information about the blogger, the firm and links to other relevant content and the firm’s Web site.

Podcasting advantages for law firms & professional services businesses

  • Gives Internet user control over how, where and when to receive information.
  • Very simple equipment used to record a podcast and to post on a Web site or blog.
  • RSS feed would go out to subscribers, alerting them to its availability. 
  • Interested client downloads to a portable digital music player and listens to it while commuting or exercising.

Albee really nails it in that “Content that establishes a law firm, a practice group or a lawyer as a thought leader within a selected market niche… It can be distributed via RSS feed, Web log or podcast. The important thing is to keep current with the wide range of emerging technologies that will help you meet the needs of clients to access this informative content how, where and when they wish.”

Man, this is great stuff from Albee and Raasch.

Janet Ellen Raasch can be reached at (303) 399-5041 or jeraasch@msn.com.

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