Recently, two of PracticeProfs’ clients had the distinct honor of being published in The Daily Report, a daily legal newspaper distributed to thousands of attorneys and law firms in metro Atlanta, as well as being available online. Chalmers & Adams shared advice for young lawyers, while Latitude Legal wrote about the value of engagement counsel to legal departments.
Having content published in a reputable and popular newspaper such as The Daily Report is great for marketing and visibility. For law firms, it is a way to gain credibility and establish yourself as an expert in a specific business or practice area. Also, even though the article will only run one time (in that day’s print edition), the content will live on forever on the publisher’s website, in search results, and within your own marketing efforts. If you are interested in publishing your original content in a newspaper, magazine, or other third-party platform, PracticeProfs has some advice to get you started.
First, you want to work on your pitch – which is how you present your article ideas to a publisher or publication. You should keep this brief. Prepare a few sentences that explain what you want to write about, why it is an important topic, and why their audience should care or would find it interesting. Make sure you have done your research prior to pitching a publication, so that you sound well-informed and that you can field any potential follow-up questions from the editorial team.
When you are pitching a publication, it does help to have a personal connection with someone on the editorial team, but that’s not necessary. However, you absolutely should be familiar with the platform itself: who is the target audience, where is it published, how often, and what is the overall editorial tone. Understanding these things will help you to better craft your pitch, and it will show the publisher that you are paying attention and not just blasting all local groups with the same idea.
The Piece Itself
Once the publisher gives you the go-ahead, it is time to draft your article. Make sure you take your time, stick to points that are timely and relevant to their audience, and avoid industry-specific jargon when possible. Be cognizant of your tone and whether this is an informational or opinion piece. Pay close attention to the publication’s submission guidelines and format the paper and references accordingly.
Keep in mind that your article may not be accepted the first time around. That is okay. There can be a number of reasons behind their decision: There could be breaking news that day or week, or the publication may have recently posted something on a similar topic. That particular issue may have already been filled or at the printer. The decision-making process is not always clear to the contributing author. But don’t be discouraged. You can try to submit it again at a later date, revise and resubmit, or send the article to a different publication. Just be patient and persistent.
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