Chalk it up to beginner’s nerves. Or perhaps it was the breathtaking venue, or the dazzling weather. Any way you slice it, I forgot to say a few things at Hildebrandt-West LegalEdcenter’s Social Media for Law Firms in San Francisco aka #SML12.
The theme of our panel was “Is Content King?” but somehow, I neglected to talk about my firm’s content! How did this happen? My focus was on my role as a web manager and how I employ social media to amplify our content. But the truth is, our content is really pretty fantastic and my job would be about one tenth as enjoyable if it weren’t for the interesting things I get to feature and share on a daily basis.
To open our panel, Adrian Lürssen told a wonderful story about Nelson Mandela’s praise singer. Adrian used the praise singer as a metaphor for content. Your content announces your presence and tells the world how great you are. But as he was telling the story, I was thinking – aren’t marketers praise singers too? So since I have your attention, I’d like to sing the praises of the ingenious and brilliant folks at my firm and the content they produce. This story also demonstrates how the production of great content can help energize and consolidate a global team. Shall we?
Intellectual Property and Technology News
IPT News is an award-winning magazine produced by my firm’s Intellectual Property and Technology group. It is the brain-child of my colleague Diane Vislisel. I hate to admit it, but when she originally suggested a print magazine, I thought she was nuts. Oh how wrong I was! I didn’t know much about content marketing at the time and had no idea how much impact a gorgeous print publication could have. Each edition of the IPT News is a feast for the eyes and feels wonderful in the hands.
IPT News comes out quarterly and, since its launch in 2009, has spun off an EMEAA edition and an Asia Pacific edition, along with complete Japanese translations of the US edition. It has also spun off a sister magazine, Law à la Mode, which focuses on IP issues in the fashion industry. From there, the content creation impulse went viral to the Italian IPT team, who now produce a weekly video blog, Lawyer’s Monday, and a blog on IPT issues in Italy. We have also launched two IPT blogs here in the US (both on the Lexblog Network) – Re:Marks blog, on copyright and trademark issues, and the newly launched Technology’s Legal Edge, on Tech and Sourcing issues. It’s an embarrassment of content riches!
When a new issue of IPT News comes out, we feature it prominently on the homepage of the firm’s website and throughout our social channels. In addition to posting the magazine on our site (in a fun, interactive Z-mag format), we break out each article into its own publication detail page to get maximum mileage out of the content, both from an SEO point of view, and to encourage sharing. We also feature imagery from the magazine on our Facebook timeline page to help us promote the magazine in a visually impactful way.
The moral of this story is: great idea and a little bit of early success can inspire others to create content too. The internal conversations around those first editions of IPT News may not have been on social networks like Twitter, but it was no less social, and the connections proved very fruitful.
This case study also demonstrates the very good point that Amy Knapp made during my panel - insta-blogged and expanded upon by Heather Morse of The Legal Watercooler blog – that the firm website isn’t necessarily the hub. The hub is the content itself. Look how many lives this content has outside the site – and before it even gets to the site.
Adrian L. asked me to think about my big takeways from the conference. I have a bunch which I plan to blog about, but this has been the biggest for me on a personal level: lesson learned – on the next panel, I’ll talk about the content!