Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Are we asking the right question?

Are we asking the right question about the value of legal blogging? Carolyn Elefant on Legal Blog Watch asks: "Does blogging generate business?" It is a reasonable question, one that has been raised with respect to nearly all forms of lawyer communication -- newsletters, articles, public speaking, PR, to name a few. After all, understanding the return on investment for every type of marketing activity (think advertising, conferences, cocktail receptions, golf outings, etc.) is an important part of developing a meaningful business development and marketing program for lawyers and firms alike. The hard part is linking specific activities with specific results, and while history and experience allow firms to evaluate the ROI on much of their marketing spend, there is little history and no objective experience that allow them to apply the same analysis to legal blogging.

The question that lawyers and law firms should be asking instead is different: "is blogging the right way for us to communicate with our clients and potential clients?" For some clients, it probably isn't. But for an increasing number, legal blogging (and micro-blogging) is a vital way for lawyers and firms to establish strong relationships and communicate significant information, be it about legislative developments, legal analyses, firm news, or anything of relevance to their clients. The process isn't new: firms have been pushing information in myriad forms to their clients for years. What's new is the tool that allows lawyers and firms to establish true two-way communication with their clients, solicit their feedback and incorporate that feedback into future communications. Isn't a blog an important part of a communications program that is truly client-focused?  
Are you still waiting to see if blogging generates business before you start your own?

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