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A Legal View of Online Newsrooms

February 3, 2012

Every now and then you stumble across something that completely changes your perception of the world. And so it was last night when I read a post on the Stem Law Firm Web Strategy Blog.

A blog post titled “How to fix your law firm’s Media page” is quite possibly the best, most succinct article I’ve ever read on how to utilise an online newsroom  – and it was written by Jordan Furlong — a LAWYER!

This isn’t the standard list of content types, like images, video or search function. It’s  packed with ideas and concepts that aren’t always obvious. Most of the points suggest stepping back to ensure you see both the forest and the trees.

It’s definitely worth a read but for those that don’t have time:

  1. Points of Contact – this isn’t just a single point of contact, it’s a list of people with a specific area of expertise to both provide the correct job title but also to help the media avoid wasting time. The warning note is that each person must be reliably responsive.
  2. The Business Side – “Not every reporter’s inquiry involves law-related issues — increasingly, especially in the legal press, stories involve the business side of practice.” Now replace law-related with “my industry-related” and see how that resonates…
  3. The Firm’s Media Resources – “What if reporters were clients?” Now think about that for a minute. If journalists were clients they’d what to know what you can give them. OK your newsroom might have plenty of images and video but can you provide something unique on request? Can you organise key personnel for interivews?
  4. A Series of Primers – “Not to paint with too broad a brush, but the level of legal literacy in the mainstream press is not terribly high. Consider creating a series of primers on your Media page that explain basic legal concepts on issues that appear regularly in the press.” Again, replace ‘legal’ with ‘my industry’ and you get the idea.

And finally Furlong finishes with “There’s an old expression: “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” I think something similar could be said about the press: even if you don’t want to talk to them, it’s quite likely they want to talk with you, and they may have good reason.”

Check it out – http://www.stemlegal.com/strategyblog/2010/how-to-fix-your-law-firms-media-page/

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