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USA Today offers PR opportunities for lawyers

USA Today has done a redesign of their website. More importantly, as part of Ganett’s shift of traditional news paper reporting to support centers, is USAToday’s shift in editorial emphasis.

While we’ve refined the design, we’ve also expanded the journalistic mission: Our ambition is to help readers quickly and easily make sense of the world around them by giving them a wider view of the news of the day and connecting them with other readers who can contribute to their understanding of events.

We’ll do that through a combination of original reporting, tracking what others are reporting, improved use of technology and by engaging you more directly in the news than ever before.

USA Today is opening the doors to citizen journalism allowing the public to influence the news. Readers may comment on news stories, mark them as a favorite, and create personal home pages.

This allows you as a lawyer to network with USA Today’s reporters, editors, and readers. How? Set up RSS feeds from USAToday. Comment on stories relevant to your area of the law. You’ll leave your name, email and url for your blog. Report on stories in your blog that USAToday is already reporting on. Let the reporter know with an email. Offer yourself as a resource. You’ll be well received under this new editorial philosophy.

USA Today may not offer the most in depth journalism. However, you as a lawyer should kill for being quoted or sourced by the paper. If your prospective clients do not see the reference, then mention being quoted in your bio on your blog and website.

Update: Mike Arrington at TechCrunch gives strong thumbs up to USA Today’s new features including user comments, Digg-Like article voting, and profile pages:

Unlike some of the tepid experiments tried by other major publications, these show an intelligent commitment to building community at the site. Steve Rubel says they haven’t gone far enough, and suggest additional features. I don’t disagree, but this is a big commitment already by one of the largest mainstream media publications in the world. Let’s hope the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and others follow soon.

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