A Newspapering Best Practice Law Firms Should Consider

Apr 17th, 2018 | Company News, Law Firm Marketing, Legal Marketing in Brief, Uncategorized

A good lesson on how to ensure you are effectively conveying your expertise to clients, prospects and referral sources follows a construct I learned at my first job, that being as a daily newspaper reporter.

Every Thursday, our city editor would walk over to every reporter’s desk.  Back then the Rocky Mountain News had a robust staff which TIME later described as “let loose to dig up dirt, badger Denver’s cowboy-booted establishment and raise journalistic hell.”  There were reporters dedicated to covering police and fire, city hall, various courts (me), each of our suburban counties, tourism, schools and education, and the legislature.  The city editor would ask that we expand on a notable story we’d written during the week (when our circulation was about 275,000 papers) for the Sunday edition, when our circulation ballooned to about 325,000.

The reason for the request: some people only subscribed to the (fat on your home’s doorstep) Sunday paper so it needed to include all of the week’s leading news, and many daily subscribers might have missed the certain original coverage due to some extenuating circumstance that prevented them from reading the paper on a given day that week.

I never heard of any daily and Sunday newspaper subscriber objecting to seeing updated or largely repeated news in their Sunday paper.

The lesson from this tested newspaper publishing concept for a law firm is: issue alerts on single topics, what we might call breaking news stories, and then compile the best read according to your email analytics into what amounts to your “Sunday paper”, a firm newsletter.  Of course, you don’t do a newsletter weekly, nor even monthly.  Quarterly probably makes the best sense.

You can add to that newsletter information that resembles what gave those old Sunday papers their heft, soft news.  The law firm equivalent of a newspaper’s Sunday opinion, travel, entertainment and fashion sections would be notes on lawyer and firm community involvement which do not reach the threshold for a single-topic “breaking news” alert but which would create added credibility with your clients, prospects and referral sources.

Recent research we reported on here revealed just 18 percent of legal industry emails are opened.  Our clients that are employing the construct above for their alerts and newsletters all experience open rates of in excess of 30 percent and we have several newsletters with open rates in excess of 40 percent.  We also find that firms keeping their newsletters to just or four articles have the highest open rates.

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