by Shawn Gaines on October 07, 2015
It’s an exciting time to be in legal technology. More attention is being given to the evolution of this field—from the past few years of computer-assisted review coverage to new insights around how technology is impacting legal operations—and it isn’t slowing down. Like any great market, that means more law firms and businesses are innovating, more of your competitors are trying to stand out, and more legal reporters and analysts are tasked with separating the wheat from the chaff.
That’s not always great news for legal teams that want to get noticed for the work they’re doing. How do they stand out? While many firms are doing really innovative stuff with their software and telling folks about it, many others in this community are being equally innovative and not sharing the news.
We want to help change that, so we’re hosting a panel discussion on How to Get Your Law Firm or Business Noticed at Relativity Fest next week. Panelists will include some of the most knowledgeable media and analyst professionals in our industry, with representation from Forrester, Legaltech News, and Bloomberg. If you’re attending the show, be sure to join us.
In the meantime, there are ways to rise up and help get your legal team’s work noticed by analysts or the media—and make sure the work is worth writing about. Here are three tips to make the work your legal team is doing stand out to the press, and (hopefully) see the light of day.
1. Tell tangible stories that involve real customers.
No one’s going to want to write—or read—about “some guy that did a bunch of great stuff” without sharing who that guy is, what he did, and why what he did was so great. If you want to get noticed, you’ll need to deal in specifics.
In legal technology, this can be particularly useful, especially when speaking to a more mainstream publication that might not know this community all that well. Anyone who entered e-discovery from a different industry, for example, knows it’s not easy to immediately wrap your head around all the nuances. Tangible stories with exact steps, metrics, and results don’t just make your work real, but bring it to life for analysts, journalists, and anyone else that might not be doing the same work you do day-in and day-out.
For example, kCura speaks at a lot of Chicago colleges and universities, and we often find ourselves getting students excited about predictive coding by calling it “Pandora for legal”—it’s like you’re creating a playlist for responsive docs, just like my Pandora station for One Direction Megadeath.
2. Dig deeply to find your unique value proposition.
Years ago, I profiled a lot of architecture firms for a trade publication. I’d always ask them what makes their business unique—why folks engage with their firm rather than the endless alternates out there. An answer I received a surprising amount of the time was, “We just do great work.” I would then spend the next six hours talking to 11 other architecture firms that “just do great work.” That makes for a total of 12 firms that might as well have all been identical, and none worth writing about.
This is especially important in industries that have particularly pervasive publications covering their space, like Legaltech News does for us. When a publication like that is getting stories from hundreds of competing businesses, it’s important to really hone what makes yours unique. What do you offer that no one else can? Why are you the best—or only—source on a topic? Really thinking about that one unique value proposition, and making sure that comes out in your interactions with press and analysts, can make all the difference.
3. Learn from the pros.
There’s a long list of reasons I wouldn’t turn to my wife to learn how to beatbox—not the least of those being that she can’t. One of the best ways to make sure you’re sharing details about your business that press and analysts care about is to actually ask press and analysts. Veteran publications and analyst firms cover a lot of groups with their reporting and research and have seen the gamut of what’s out there. If you’re trying to get in front of them, why not ask what they’re looking for?
The aforementioned panel at Relativity Fest will feature Gabe Friedman, Big Law Business editorial manager at Bloomberg; Erin Harrison, editor-in-chief of Legaltech News; Cheryl McKinnon, principal analyst at Forrester; and our own David Horrigan, former 451 Research analyst and writer for The National Law Journal. We’ll ask the panel about best practices for reaching out to folks like them, what they look for the most, and what advice they have for law firms and businesses—no matter the size—who want to get noticed.
Standing out is important. Whether or not you make it to Relativity Fest to hear from Erin, Cheryl, Gabe, and David, these tips are worth keeping top of mind as you grow your business and share your team’s success.
Shawn Gaines is director of marketing communications at kCura, where he guides content strategy, PR and analyst relations, social media, and brand messaging.