Skip to content

Legal tech companies can blame themselves for not getting media coverage


If legal technology companies want media coverage of their products and companies, they need to learn what social media is and how to use it.

Sam Glover writes at Lawyerist this morning that the lack of media and online coverage of legal tech products and companies is a real problem. Not only for the companies who are seeking to get known, but for the consumers of legal tech products who need to be informed buyers.

Sam dovetailed off Bob Ambrogi’s piece of Monday where he asked where all the tech reporters had gone. No one other than a couple ALM reporters were signed up to cover LegalTech West Coast this week — and LegalTech is ALM’s own conference.

From Ambrogi:

What’s largely lacking … is a broader critical eye, looking not at specific products and apps, but at the companies behind them, the people behind those companies, and the industry overall.

Glover sees enough coverage of products, and agrees with Ambrogi that we need coverage of the companies and their people.

The lack of coverage is a problem for legal tech companies because legal tech companies sometimes struggle to recruit investors and talent. At CodeX I heard a number of legal tech startup CEOs talking about the difficulty of convincing top machine-learning scientists (for example) to work on legal projects. Legal tech is small and unsexy (and full of lawyers who don’t really care for your shiny new product and will take years of convincing and maybe regulatory restructuring to even consider it).

More buzz around legal tech companies could help reverse that trend. Maybe building a predictive-coding algorithm will never seem as sexy as building an AI chat bot for Facebook, but a little buzz could make a difference.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been contacted by legal tech companies and their PR professionals, including agencies like Edelman, asking if I would be interested in writing about a company. I’ll bet Ambrogi and Glover get 80 times the requests I do.

Well the companies have part of the equation right, that being that bloggers cover legal technology and influence buying decisions.

But they don’t understand that getting bloggers to cover and talk about you comes from being out there blogging and using social media to build relationships with the people whom you want to talk about you. Like friends buying from friends, friends blog and talk online about their friends and people they’ve come to trust.

Most of the legal tech companies don’t understand social media. And that’s a fatal mistake when coverage today comes from social media. Coverage you as the company create through a combination of credible niche blogging, preferably with an independent publication, and credible use of other social media such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn — both coming not just from the company brand, but personally from the company founders and leaders.

Media coverage in the form of traditional legal publications and reporters is going away. Like newspapers it’s not coming back. The critical eye Ambrogi mentions, right or wrong, is going to primarily come from bloggers and social media users who are unafraid to speak openly. All of us are the media.

Glover and Ambrogi built their brands and publications from scratch. They did it by blogging in an engaging way. Engaging in that they referenced what others were talking about on relevant matters. They did it in their own name (as bloggers) and built personal relationships with people who then trusted them and spoke highly of them.

With his publication, LawSites, Ambrogi, bar none, is the most followed legal technology journalist today. He has trust and a huge following.

Glover’s Lawyerist, is one of the most followed publications in small law.

At the risk of tooting my own horn, I starting blogging about lawyers using blogs 13 years ago when no one in the law had heard of a blog. I just shared what others were talking about adding my thoughts.

As a result, I met countless people whom I referenced, taught many why law blogs were a good idea and built enough trust that people bought a professional turnkey blog solution from my company — and still do.

I had no marketing, no public relations, no advertising budget, no booths and little, if any media coverage. I created my own media and unquestionably effected how people talked online and offline about my company and what we do.

The legal tech companies I speak with have founders and leaders who are not interested in personally investing their time in learning about social media in order to create their media coverage.

They also don’t understand that it’s not just coverage they’re after, it’s trust with the influencers and legal professionals which then creates a groundswell of people talking about them.

That’s media coverage today – person to person, social.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Vince Alongi