“Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.”
— A. J. Liebling
The web turns everyone and every business into a publisher. And your website is your press. Now, you have the freedom and the power to decide what is “news” for your business, organization or firm, and you have the power to publish it on your own website. Writing press releases for the traditional mass media requires you to meet their standards for what is newsworthy based on their editorial requirements and readership, their audience. But now, because you own a website, you too are a media outlet and you can decide what is newsworthy (read relevant) to your audience (read customers). You decide what is news. So, while you may still write press releases for the local or trade press, don’t forget to be writing them for your own corporate press — your website.
Things that can qualify for web news items for law firms and other professional services firms can include the following:
- New hires
- Awards and achievements of individuals
- Awards and achievements of the firm
- Done deals
- Client news, collaborations
- Significant court decisions
- An attorney speaking at an upcoming event on a specific topic
- An attorney quoted in the mainstream press, or industry-specific trade press
- New services offered by your firm
- A seminar or workshop offered by your firm
- Special appointments of attorneys to boards or panels
- Attorney receives new credential
- Firm opens new office, branch
- Launch of new white paper
- Launch of new blog
- Launch of any other new customer-focused information product or tool
- and more!
I am often surprised when I visit a client and learn in conversation that, let’s say, Attorney Smith was interviewed on local television about the changes to the tax law. I’ll then say, “Well that should be on the website! Let’s see if we can get the video and we’ll do a brief news item for the website.” Sometimes you are so close to the news that you forget to think of it as news. Remember that often the things that create a bit of buzz around the office, are the things that you want to include in your site’s News section.
Keep this rule of thumb in mind when deciding what is news. Ask yourself, will putting something about this on our website help to better demonstrate to clients and prospective clients who we are, what we do, and position us in our areas of expertise? If the answer is yes, then go for it.