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Legal technology companies starved for social media coverage : How will they get it?


Technology companies are starving for coverage on social media. It was on full display again at this week’s ABA TechShow.

As I walked around the show, companies wanted me to cover them. I’m the CEO of company, though admittedly one who has a lot of reach through this blog, Twitter, and our LXBN Network.

I’m not a reporter per se though who can spend three days covering companies – nor would my personal audience want me to.

Bob Ambrogi (@bobambrogi), one of the more trusted bloggers covering legal tech, media, and publishing, was sought out even more. “Can you do a story on us? How do we get on your blog?”

Bob’s a lawyer, consultant, and more. He blogs on the side. Plus he cannot be a shill for everyone without losing his journalistic integrity.

The problem arises out of a couple factors. One, traditional media coverage, though still there, is shrinking. Tech companies need coverage on social media.

Tech companies, often backed by millions in investment dollars, historically received media coverage by hiring PR and communications’ professionals who in turn would reach out to reporters for interviews.

The huge players such as LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters – WestLaw did much the same with their own people. They also paid for sponsorhips and bought advertsing with the large publishers.

But today the number of those reporters, and their employers (publishers) is shrinking. Best I could tell the ABA TechShow, one of the largest legal technology shows in the country, was not even covered by ALM publications or other mainstream legal reporters — other than the ABA Journal.

Add to this that many publishers in the legal verical put content behind a paywall. This prevents the coverage from being socially published.

Eliminate social publishing today and you’ve probably eliminated half of your audince. More importantly, you’ve eliminated coverage by big influencers of a company’s customers (bloggers and Twitter users sharing your story). These folks often laugh about paywalls.

Second, to get social coverage, you need to use social in a savvy way. Tech companies in the legal sector won’t slow down enough to blog and use other social media in an effective fashion.

Just ask one of their executives, who could become a trusted thoughtleader on social, to blog and use social personally. They look at you like you have two heads on.

“We have our marketing person and social media intern to handle that.” Or “We already have a blog in our website,” – like that will generate social coverage.

As a result, the company’s message is ignored by others on social who are looking for real and authentic engagement on developments in the industry.

What’s the answer? It’s unlikely to come from traditional media companies. Their strapped for resources – both human and capital. In addition, their people often lack a good understanding of social, something needed to get real social coverage today.

It’s more likely to come from new media companies. Breaking Media’s Above the Law and LexBlog’s LXBN Network are even possibilities.

LXBN TV coverage is appreciated by more than just the lawyers on the network. Tech companies love LXBN TV coverage at conferences and via Skype.

LXBN’s currated coverage of sessions at legal conferences is heaviliy viewed and shared socially.

Above The Law generates one milllion unique visitors a month. Place network coverage of events on that channel and see what happens.

Media players like Above the Law and LXBN also have good social media equity (relationships of trust with people who share socially). Without having individuals personally building this social media equity you’re dead in the water when it comes to social publishing.

Good coverage of events and news with reporters and video crews is not cheap though. New revenue models beyond advertising and sponsorships will be needed. Smaller media companies may even have an edge in going with new revenue streams over the larger players.

It will interesting to see how technology companies in the legal vertical receive coverage in this social media world. All we know is that it is not going back to the way it used to be.

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