Archives for Jeff Alperin

Food For Thought from the Legal Marketing Association’s Southeast Regional Conference

The recent Charleston, S.C. conference of the Legal Marketing Association’s Southeast Region which I attended with colleague and veteran legal marketer Carol Todd Thomas, was an intellectual as well as a gastronomic feast.  (It’s incredible how many terrific restaurants Charleston supports in its compact historic district.)

I’m still digesting much of what I learned at the conference, but one highlight was a provocative presentation by Allen Fuqua, chief marketing officer of Winstead, who was part of a panel discussion titled “Put Down the Fire Hose and Think Strategically.”

Although framed in the context of a busy law firm marketer, Allen’s advice is applicable to a much broader group — serial multitaskers.  His advice:  Stop doing things that don’t matter.  And the corollary:  Not everything worth doing is worth doing well.

No one is completely in control of the work he or she has to do, but we can control how much effort we allocate to the projects that threaten to overwhelm us.  If there are some unimportant tasks that can’t be ignored or delegated away, we don’t have to make matters worse by performing them to the same high standards we apply to our most important work;  instead, perform them just well enough (and quickly) and then move on to higher value activities.

So, where should we be spending our time?  According to Allen, focus on projects with high potential value to your firm, but only those where excellent execution determines the quality of the result.  Execution is within our control.

What’s News Now?

News definition in the dictionaryAt cc:Clients, we’ve long used well-targeted, highly relevant news clips as the “hook” to engage readers of the e-mail newsletters we create for our customers.

When we started curating news 10 years ago, we needed to look no further than the web-accessible editions of mainstream print publications – mostly daily newspapers, wire services and weekly magazines.  An important part of our job always has been to scour these traditional news outlets and hand-assemble a collection of the most appropriate news clips for each practice group’s newsletter.

For us, careful “content curation” has always been the essential component of our content marketing products.

Ten years later, it’s striking how dramatically the news industry landscape has changed:

  • The mainstream print media has shrunk – both in the number of publications and, after heavy cuts in the editorial departments, in the number of news articles they produce.
  • At the same time, there’s more news being produced than ever before – it’s just coming from new sources outside the traditional media outlets.  “News” now includes reputable blogs (almost non-existent ten years ago) and news sites that exist only on the Internet.  Some of these are highly-reliable publications with professional writers and editors, and some are just a crank with a website.
  • Broadcasters now routinely re-purpose their stories online, and numerous news websites republish press releases verbatim, without fact-checking.
  • And, there’s more commentary and analysis than ever before.

As a result, a new challenge has arisen: how to sort through what’s legitimate and what’s just noise.  The need for curating content has never been greater.

So, as we begin to provide new distribution vehicles to our customers for our curated news content (e-mail newsletters, blogs, microsites, RSS and XML news feeds, social media posts), we’re also expanding the kinds of news we can incorporate.  As we develop the unique Editorial DNASM for each publication, our customers will have even more choices, including the option to add content from notable and reliable blogs, government and trade group press releases, and interesting opinion and analytical stories.

These new news sources make our customer’s client communications even more relevant, interesting, timely and informative.