In few areas is the issue of content life-cycle management more important than in the legal profession.
Thinking about content is a new thing for lawyers
The legal profession is simultaneously lucky and at a disadvantage with the relatively recent advent of advertising and marketing permissions. It is at a disadvantage for the obvious reasons: ALL of it is new and exciting. Its like being a kid in a lolly shop: You want it all, now, even if it makes you sick!
Despite that disadvantage, lawyers are also lucky because not many of their firms have entrenched marketing or advertising departments in place. Although it’s somewhat of a contradiction against their area of work, lawyers are perhaps more agile with their messaging than nearly all other professionals.
The important thing is getting the messages right early
If you can get your brand messaging on-point throughout all of your areas of content early, then your foundation will be really solid. It’s particularly important if you maintain a website, or any kind of digital marketing efforts. Starting with your messaging and management frameworks enables you to venture into more channels more easily. Once you have a framework in place, your decision-making delays will be minimised.
Arguably one of the most important parts of that framework is your law firm’s content life-cycle management.
The law changes all the time, and mindless publishing is not the answer
For lawyers who have blogs, or publish law updates, or memoranda, simply updating with new articles or updates all the time is doable, but not exactly clean.
What happens when you just keep publishing new things all the time? You lose track — fast — of what you’ve published, and when. If you don’t manage what you’ve published before, you can’t link it into what you’re doing now. Additionally, it’s likely that you don’t have a policy in place for dealing with old material, so even cleaning it up will cause massive delays in decision-making.
While I have previously argued here that publishing similar things is not a sin, many updates to the law in specific areas can only be worded in a finite number of ways. You need to find a way of updating what you have, or curating your past work, or somehow making it continuously relevant.
Your clientele — current and future — needs current information
Life-cycle management, depending on how it’s handled, has a side benefit. It tells your audience that everything you put into the public domain is current, and is regularly reviewed. Nobody wants to go see a lawyer who has old updates on his or her website, or doesn’t bother to maintain their public communications to the nth degree.
As a lawyer, you’re likely trading on your ability to be up-to-date, trustworthy, and reliable. One of the quickest ways to kill that perception is to fail to curate your own content.