Mark Ragan, CEO of Ragan Communications and former D.C. based journalist, shares with business communication expert, Shel Holtz, LinkedIn’s usefulness to journalists (or anybody else researching a story):
LinkedIn is a reporter’s dream. As a journalist, I can put a network of dream sources together. Then, when I’m facing a breaking story, I can post a question, ask for expert comment and then weave those comments into my story. And what makes Linked In a gold mine for reporters is that you can choose a category of expertise based on the story you are writing and post that question to those members as well as your connections. All of this can be done in a matter of minutes.
I got my first comment minutes after I posted the question. I also received comments from experts I never would have known–lawyers, HR professional and PR experts.
Finally, you can quickly scan the members’ profile to see what experience that person has, then mention it in your story. It gives your piece more credibility.
Shel goes on to say ‘Linked in is ProfNet [provides reporters access to experts] on steroids. And it’s free.’
Lawyers should be taking advantage of connecting with reporters this way. Look at one the recent questions posted in the legal questions area.
Any credible source who answered the question may well have been quoted in the story which just ran this week in the New Jersey Law Journal. And by virtue of law.com (flagship website for Law Journal publications), the story was syndicated across the country.
How do you get access to legal questions at LinkedIn? Go to the ‘Law and Legal Open Questions‘ on LinkedIn’s site. You’ll see the questions further broken down by categories within the law.
Better yet, just subscribe to an RSS feed of new questions in ‘law and legal’ or new questions in a subcategory. This way you can browse a folder in your RSS reader to see just the subject of any new questions. Hell, any communications person in a large law firm staying on top of social media should be monitoring those questions in a RSS reader and distributing them to the appropriate lawyers in the firm.
Not only will reporters see your answer, but professionals and execs with an interest in the area see the answered questions. Plus your answer is displayed on your LinkedIn profile page.
LinkedIn is reaching a tipping point in the legal industry. It wasn’t that long ago that lawyers just accepted invites to be in someone’s network at LinkedIn just so they didn’t offend the party inviting them.
The number of lawyers now building out profiles at LinkedIn is exploding. LinkedIn is adding new features on a regular basis. Watch for further sub-categorization of legal questions.