Monday, 28 January 2013

How To Write a Law Blog...

"I can't write a blog!?"

First up, why do you say that? If it's because you truly are a terrible writer, then that's fair enough and in that case STEP. AWAY. FROM. THE. KEYBOARD.

Otherwise, you may be missing a trick. Done well, a blog can be a wonderful thing. It can be somewhere that you escape into the deepest depths of the most obscure case law, it can be a safe place to explore your opinions and thoughts on the demise of legal aid or the state of the PI market or simply where you deposit your thoughts on what it's like to be a lawyer. All very interesting subjects.

A blog can also be used to showcase expertise, explain difficult legal concepts or shout about good news. Written well, it can be something that clients turn to, in order to discover more about you and/or your firm's personality and hopefully, like what they see.

The good thing about legal blogs is that they can be whatever you want them to be. A firm blog can be used to talk about interesting cases, new instructions and that charity walk you did where you all wore matching T-shirts and raised £1,000. A personal blog could cover your fight to get a training contract, or even your day to day experiences.

Done badly though, a blog can be a terrible, awful thing. Turgid, long-winded, pompous posts can be enough to send the most intellectual of us running for the hills in tears; blogs that have been left to moulder like Miss Havisham's wedding breakfast, with the first (and last) post written 18 months ago; or posts that are shoddily written, with dodgy grammar and spelling mistakes.

That said though, the point of this post is to celebrate the legal blog, or blawg if you prefer. If you have a passion for a particular area of law, trend or something else entirely then why not turn it into a blog?

Our top tips for legal bloggers are:

1. Choose a topic you are passionate about

2. Try to keep posts to less than 1000 words

3. Blog as regularly as you are able

4. If it is a blog for your firm – mix up your content

5. Enjoy! - it's supposed to be fun...

By Victoria Moffatt

Monday, 21 January 2013

A Brief PR Guide for Lawyers

Some people want to do everything themselves, and that's just fine. We also know that not everyone can afford to pay for external legal PR assistance. So here at LexRex, we thought we would put together a mini-guide to help you kick-start your PR.

Essentially this guide can be broken down into three very simple steps:

  1. Consider what you are trying to achieve
  2. Define your target audience
  3. Get brainstorming and plan your campaign
For more information on each, read on...

Firstly, you need to think about what you are trying to do. Sounds obvious perhaps but consider whether you want to become a 'go to' expert for your particular specialism, or if you want to grow your business in a currently obscure sector. Maybe you simply have some great news that you want to shout about but don't know where to start.

Once you have decided upon the outcome that you would like to achieve, you need to think about who you need to aim your efforts towards; in other words, who do you need to speak to? This may be potential clients, referrers or even your colleagues.

Next up, spend some time thinking about how you are going to get there. If your aim is to become that 'go to' expert, have a think about how you might achieve that aim. You could consider writing a blog specialising in your niche, or running a series of seminars; you could carry out research and write a white paper – there are lots of different things you can do, so put your thinking hat on. At this stage, try and involve other people, it's often easier to come up with great ideas when there are a few of you.

Have a look at what your competitors are doing on the PR front. Check out the things that you like, and those that you don't. This research will help you to define your approach.
Once you've decided upon a strategy, and come up with some clever tactics, you are ready to crack on.

DO let us know how you get on, and whether this guide was helpful.

By Victoria Moffatt

Monday, 14 January 2013

The 7 Golden LexRex Rules for Twitter

Legal blogger, Charon QC has stated on a number of occasions that 'there are no rules on Twitter'.

That's the long and short of it, and here at LexRex, we tend to agree.  However, we have created our own good conduct rules, which we try follow as a matter of course.

So these are our rules:

  1. Be nice at all times. You wouldn't be mean face-to-face, so why do it in cyber-space?
  2. Be yourself. As in real life, tweeps can spot a fake a mile off.
  3. Spell correctly and sort out your grammar, but don't be afraid to throw in a few silly made-up words and emoticons. Why? Like with email, it can be difficult to read humour into 140 characters. A little silliness never goes amiss.
  4. Don't shout, or rather, don't broadcast (excessively - see point 5). You wouldn't walk into a networking event and start shouting at the room. Don't do it on Twitter – people will think you're weird and rude. Not good.
  5. OK, a little broadcasting is ok - for example, if you want people to read your latest blog post. We try and stick to the 80:20 rule of 80% conversational and/or interesting content tweets, to a maximum of 20% promotional tweets.
  6. Don't engage in arguments. If you disagree with something posted on Twitter, not a problem, but think long and hard before you enter into this sort of dialogue with a fellow user. Why? Everybody can see the argument, and it is easy to enter into a virtual slanging match. Uncool.
  7. Don't pester people. If you @ mention them, and they don't reply, that's ok. Don't challenge them about it - they may have put their phone or laptop down to make a cup of tea, or go to a meeting. Or they may have chosen not to reply. Respect their right to ignore you.

We're not suggesting that these are hard and fast rules, or that everyone should follow them, but we like them. All thoughts welcome as ever...

If you are interested in Twitter, you may like to read this related post:

LexRex founder, Victoria Moffatt, recently wrote about etiquette around 'following back' when you gain new followers:

By Victoria Moffatt