You don’t publicize the launch of a law blog the way you may announce other law firm news.
Beginning a law blog is akin to beginning to network offline by going out and engaging your target audience to build a name and nurture relationships. You are just doing your networking on the Internet with a blog.
Imagine sending out a press release that a lawyer or group of lawyers in your firm were going to start networking to get work. You know, going to chamber of commerce and industry events.
We’re not sure if they’ll be any good at networking. We’re not sure they’ll continue the effort. But golly, they’re going to give it a whirl. You’d look like a darn fool.
That’s pretty close to what law firms are doing when they send out press releases announcing the launch of a blog.
And if press releases on blogs aren’t bad enough, the press releases often boast of the blog being a “go-to” or definitive resource on a subject.
Like a blog with three or four posts on anything is the definitive resource.
Great law blogs generating significant business are usually not “go-to” resources. Leave that to major publishers whose job it is to publish all the time, a blog is for networking and name recognition.
Emails to select clients are okay, but I’d wait three to six months to send them. Sophisticated clients will wonder if you’ll keep the blog up if you send them in the beginning.
When you announce the blog to these clients, let them know that you’re publishing the blog for them, not for the firm. That we know clients pay a fair amount in fees so we feel we have an obligation to share our insight on matters relevant to them that come across our desk.
Ask for their feedback on the blog. Is it helpful? What could we be doing better? Be real – let them know that you’re not doing the blog to get web traffic, we’re doing it to learn, grow our network and help you.
Don’t assume that because you’ve historically publicized blogs and that other law firms do so, that you should do so.
Ask your marcom and public relationships professionals if they have blogged (not written articles) to build their own name and relationships.
Have they engaged other bloggers, reporters, association leaders, industry leaders, conference coordinators and heads of organizations through blogging? Do they know that you can really turn these folks off by publicizing your blog? That your judgement may be called into question – not good for a business where good judgment means everything.
Blogging is a skill and an art that is picked up in time. Lawyers are not born great bloggers, and it shows when they begin blogging.
Why anyone would want to announce to the world to look at us when we aren’t very good at this, but we’ll get better, is beyond me. Especially in the case of lawyers and a law firm where clients would like to think their lawyers know what they are doing.
Again don’t size up your blogging by what you think looks good – know it’s good, as a blogger. Blog posts are not articles nor legal “memorandum-like.”
Blog posts are usually brief, concise, scannable, engaging via links to third party publications and conversational in tone, among other things. This is an acquired style.
Your blog will get picked up organically in the beginning and there are some good ways to market your blog to help it gain traction that do not include publicizing the blog early on.