Here at our 40+ lawyer firm in New Orleans we are scratching our heads trying to figure out how to make one of the pages on our website into an effective marketing tool. We’ve managed to make our News & Events page into a weblog using Movable Type software. And we’ve even gotten into the irregular habit of posting news to that page.
But now we want to be more regular and more strategic in our posting. Brainstorming has produced some potentially good ideas. For example, we have assigned some young lawyers to cull news stories that might be of interest. We show them how to use sites like Daily Whirl to scan for news ideas in the blogosphere. Then they forward the post ideas to a central place (i.e. one person who sifts through the story ideas with an overview of which stories make the most sense and which ones will allow us to market a particular segment of the firm).
We don’t have “categories” enabled on the News & Events page yet, but we’re thinking that might be a good idea. Then we can make each firm practice area into a “category” and try to generate posts for each category on a somewhat regular basis. If we find a tax-related story then we try to find a way to get some input –or preferably, a quote– from our partner who has tax-expertise. The goal is to have each post assigned to at least one category (i.e. “practice area”).
We hope to accomplish several beneficial things at once with this scheme. First, the young attorneys will be taught to look for ideas that market the firm. They will learn, through the submission process, which story ideas are used –which ones are deemed ‘valuable’– and also how the story ideas are used. Hopefully, this will give them a stronger sense of how to market effectively.
Second, if we use the category/practice-area approach, we can create a steady diet of useful information (the news stories) that regularly remind our clients of the areas of the law that we have expertise in (i.e. the “categories”). Finally, the clients can self-filter the information that they look at. If they only care about our bankrupcy posts then they can click on that category link and have all posts that relate to that topic show up, but only those categories.
For an example of how categories work, just click on the link to below this post that says “Law Blogs” and you’ll see a page with just the posts that I have under that category. I’m sure that we can tweak our firm News & Events page to have categories for each practice area. Another thing I’d like to investigate is an E-mail notification option. I’m sure many clients would like to be able to subscribe to an E-mail notification for “Firm News” or matters related to their practice areas. Hmmm, I wonder if it would be possible to make the E-mails tied into “categories”? That would be nice.