Contributor networks and bylined article opportunities: What lawyers and legal professionals need to know

December 2, 2022

There are many ways to secure a byline in a key media outlet. While working with a legal PR agency is a surefire method to get in front of the right editors and reporters, it’s just one pathway to publication. Joining a contributor network can be an alternative way to break in — and your PR agency can help with that too.

Think of a contributor network as a bullpen of subject-matter experts a publication relies on to provide one-time articles or ongoing columns. Outlets usually open their doors to contributor network writers to offer practical, boots-on-the-ground stories and opinion pieces that supplement their staff-written stories. Once accepted into a network, lawyers and professionals usually have broad discretion regarding what they can write about, so long as they meet the outlet’s editorial standards and publishing cadence requirements. 

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What AEC firms need to know about Google’s ‘helpful content’ algorithm update

November 30, 2022

Google recently launched a ‘helpful content’ update to its search algorithm to prioritize unique and thorough content for its users. Conversely, it will automatically identify content that seems to have little value, low added value or is otherwise not particularly helpful to those performing the searches. When it identifies what it considers deficient pages and websites, it automatically moves them to the bottom of the search results. Think of it as a way for the search engine to separate the wheat from the chaff in the infinite web of information (and misinformation) that is the internet. 

For those in the architecture, engineering and construction industries, particularly those that partake in B2B marketing and thought leadership, the update could mean fewer users will see your content if it’s not up to snuff. Cue the panic amongst content creators and SEO marketers.

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The legal tech professional’s guide to legal tech podcasts

November 4, 2022

As any legal tech professional knows, staying abreast of the latest developments is critical to be competitive in an ever-changing sector. In another post, we wrote about the blogs and media outlets that cover legal tech. There are also a number of podcasts that also address this sector.  

Legal tech professionals should pull up their podcast app of choice and start browsing through the many offerings out there. Some podcasts focus on leveraging technology to empower and improve law firms, while others are more appropriate for those building a startup or working in-house at a company. 

Regardless of the legal tech podcasts you follow, you are bound to find information that will help you stay in the know and get on the radars of an audience hungry for business opportunities and partners. Here are a few that any legal tech professional should add to their playlist.

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What to do when a thought leader leaves your AEC firm

October 28, 2022

Ascribing authorship of an industry topic to an employee at your architecture, engineering or construction (AEC) firm comes with one glaring risk. What if they leave? That happens. In fact, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, it happens often. The median tenure for architecture and engineering occupations is just 5.2 years, a little higher than the average wage and salary worker. 

While it may be tempting to publish thought leadership articles under your company’s name or a made-up moniker like “Construction Chip” to avoid the problem altogether, there is a benefit to having a visible expert. 

Clients trust original content presented by an individual more than they do information presented by a brand. In content marketing, specifically thought leadership, the idiom “put a face to the name” proves helpful, and companies benefit when their employees raise their own profile. However, if one of your company’s thought leaders decides to end that mutually beneficial relationship, don’t panic. Here’s what you should do instead:

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Legal public relations: How to get covered by The Wall Street Journal

August 23, 2022

Getting featured or quoted in The Wall Street Journal can be a major coup for any lawyer whose practice intersects with the business world. With its reputation as the standard bearer of news for the financial community, the Journal has established itself as the leading news source for information about the markets, business developments and — most importantly for lawyers — the latest developments in corporate, M&A and securities law. 

Getting that flashy mention in a Journal feature can do wonders for a law firm. For reputation-building, lawyers get to showcase their knowledge on the ins and outs of emerging business and market issues to the global swath of CEOs, board members, broker-dealers, funds and banking institutions that pore over the Journal’s pages every day. 

For online marketing, one or more WSJ backlinks can do wonders for a firm’s SEO rankings, especially for uber-competitive keywords that CPC-centered law firms lurk around. Not to mention the nifty perk of having a Journal hedcut — which, like a Simpsons caricature, is the media world’s way of saying that a professional has arrived. 

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Architecture public relations: 6 publications every architectural firm should target to showcase projects, expertise

June 28, 2022

When prestigious architectural publications showcase an architecture firm’s work, it gives that firm an invaluable stamp of approval that can play a key role in business development. 

While these publications are read by other architects — and not necessarily by clients — the coverage in these publications acts like a coveted referral from a trusted expert. It sends the message that your firm does quality work. 

While coverage in publications that clients read — like your local business journal or trade magazines such as Building Construction + Design, Medical Construction & Design and Hospitality Design (depending on your industry focus) — is also important, the strategy is different. These publications, while helping to establish your firm on your clients’ radar and demonstrate expertise in their industry, don’t provide the same cachet as publications like Architectural Record or Metropolis

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How to edit your law firm’s Wikipedia page: 3 golden rules

May 28, 2022

Just like death and taxes, if you’re a marketer, it’s inevitable that you’ll be asked to edit a Wikipedia page (or worse: create one).

It’s an understandable request given Wikipedia’s prominence on the web. The online encyclopedia continues to dominate search results due to its high-quality, up-to-date content on a vast swath of topics. Its pages are frequently referenced in links from other sites, one of Google’s predominant signals of authority. Google’s addition of snippets and knowledge graphs has further cemented Wikipedia in the top few results for nearly any given search. 

Unfortunately, errors are rampant on the site. Correcting inaccuracies, however, is not a simple matter. Any edits, especially those to business pages, have to follow certain rules in order to pass muster. If you do it wrong, there’s also a good chance you could get blacklisted permanently from the site. 

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9 mistakes marketers should avoid when interviewing architects, engineers and construction pros for thought leadership content

March 10, 2022

So you read our guide on improving your subject-matter-expert interviewing skills and now you think you’re ready to rock your next thought leadership interview. If you follow our advice, you probably are. But even though you know what you should do, you also need to know what you should not do to get the best, juiciest, most innovative ideas and quotes from the architect, engineer or construction pro you’re speaking with.

A good interviewer knows how to get their subject talking without getting in their way. But there’s a lot more to being a good interviewer than just being a good listener. Do you think Oprah showed up to the vineyard to interview Meghan and Harry empty-handed? 

The answer is no: the queen of interviews definitely spent hours with her team arming herself with background information and a hefty list of questions designed to pull out those jaw-dropping soundbites that plastered headlines for weeks afterward.

I can’t teach you to be Oprah, but I can help you optimize your interviewing strategy by avoiding these nine mistakes.

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Reprint Rights 101: How AEC firms can promote media hits without getting sued

January 27, 2022
Reprint Rights 101: How AEC firms can promote media hits without getting sued

Great news! You or one of your architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) subject matter experts published an article or got quoted in an industry trade magazine, and you want everyone to know — particularly potential clients. So, you post the full text of the article to your company’s website, send it to your email lists and schedule some social media posts that link to it for good measure.

Good marketing, right?

While promoting your media coverage is important (and kudos to you for recognizing that), unfortunately you’ve left yourself open to legal action from the media outlet because you’ve just violated their copyright. 

The good news is that there are ways to leverage your media hits while staying on the right side of the law — and in the good books of the media outlets that cover your projects.

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The importance of email service providers (ESPs): Why you should never send mass emails with Outlook or Gmail

July 8, 2021
The importance of email service providers (ESPs): Why you should never send mass emails with Outlook or Gmail

Email marketing is the most profitable marketing channel, garnering an ROI of $42 for every $1 spent. However, if you try to start a mass marketing email campaign through your Gmail or Outlook account, you’re going to be hampered by send limits and you could even end up having your personal email or your entire organization’s domain blacklisted (more on that in a moment).

So how do firms manage to conduct email marketing campaigns that send hundreds or thousands of emails and still hang on to their online reputation? Email marketing services or email service providers (ESPs) are third-party services that handle mass marketing email sends. ESPs take a number of measures to ensure they remain whitelisted and retain agreements with internet service providers (ISPs) that allow them to send emails in bulk. 

You might be asking yourself, “Why do I need to pay extra to send emails when that’s what I do all day, every day? Why not just send each marketing email individually from my individual email address?”

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