Partnered with the LMA, Passle’s SVP Eugene McCormick hosted a truly engaging panel with insightful professionals from the legal sector. Joined by Moya Williams (Macfarlanes), Deborah Ausburn (Taylor English) and Julia Bennett (Brown Rudnick), the conversation explored how the reach of each author, their knowledge and exposure in the legal sphere can be leveraged to create effective thought leadership programmes.
Moya, Senior Marketing Executive at Macfarlanes, provided great insight into the operational solutions for encouraging thought leadership content from fee earners at one of the UK's biggest law firms.
Getting Fee Earners Active Online
For many, writing thought leadership pieces can seem like a daunting task, or perhaps one fee earners feel they can't dedicated time to. Moya spoke about "giving access to the tools" needed to make content creation "quick, easy and efficient". This means when an update is made within a sector or perhaps an interesting news story breaks, lawyers feel equipped to create timely and deliberate content straight away.
Moya also attributes a focus on information architecture as the foundation to getting fee earners engaged with writing content. As a fee earner, a key goal in content creation is anticipating what the client wants to read next, and how they can get their expertise out to that network, so for those in the marketing team, ensuring the delivery capabilities are in place ensures this can happen.
Re-using & Repurposing Content
The conversation then moved on to brainstorm how content can be effectively repurposed, and with writer's block in mind, Moya spoke about their recent development of a podcast series. A long report that may not be the most digestible read for Macfarlanes' clients, can be broken down into shorter pieces and turned into a podcast. The series has had a great reception at Macfarlanes, not only from those engaging, but also from the lawyers creating them - it's seen as an easy and more natural approach for the lawyers to give their insights.
Creating a feedback loop for the fee earners creating content not only boosts confidence with high level stats on how many reads each thought leadership piece is receiving, but also encourages a strategic approach to content creation. By providing feedback to fee earner stakeholders, who can then disseminate this through their teams, Moya and her team have seen an increase in appetite for information on the posts' performance. Not only this, but fee earners are even looking to 'close the loop'; ensuring their insights are reaching a specific client, or that their key clients are engaging with their thought leadership and if not, how can a plan be built to amend this.
Looking to the future, Moya also highlighted the need for integrated system, providing a "360 loop" for fee earners as they create thought leadership. Bringing the conversation back to the concept of providing sound " information architecture", bringing together all the information fee earners need and essentially creating a single pane to view the performance of their content.
As a parting question, the panellists were asked what they wished they had known when starting thought leadership programmes at their respective firms.
In Moya's case this came back to the conversation on feedback. Creating the feedback loop is key but what seems to be crucial is anticipating what feedback the fee earners will find useful. Moya commented, "There are very specific questions fee earners have in mind, that they want to have answered", and having integrated systems to provide feedback and setting expectations on what good feedback looks like can ultimately empower the fee earner with the information needed to continue creating great thought leadership content.
Hear the CMO perspective from Julia here.
For an Attorney perspective, read our round-up from Deborah here.