By Gina F. Rubel
A few weeks ago, the social networking site LinkedIn and legal content distributor JD Supra announced a new partnership that helps legal professionals to increase marketing exposure. The idea is that by posting and sharing their legal writings on JD Supra, the posts also get shared directly on the 70-million-member LinkedIn.
I wrote about LinkedIn and JD Supra last year in my “Social Media for Lawyers” series on this very blog. I have recommended that lawyers use both platforms to increase their visibility online. That recommendation still stands. In fact, even more so.
LinkedIn is no longer just a professional profile-resume that does well in Google when people search your name. Although that is still a huge benefit, the days of the website being used only for human resources purposes are long gone. Daily, LinkedIn grows as a source of relevant business news and information from within your network and, increasingly, beyond your network. In fact, this new partnership received a good amount of positive coverage at time of launch – with Robert Ambrogi on his Lawsites blog , going so far as to call it a potential game changer for lawyers on LinkedIn.
But I want to focus on one particular aspect of the collaboration. This partnership is especially valuable for lawyers who are using written materials to showcase their professional skill and promote their services online.
A Targeted Audience of Professionals on LinkedIn
JD Supra has always allowed any lawyer or law firm to post and distribute their written work online: a great online vehicle for public relations. Covering many industries, information on JD Supra includes everything from analysis of the latest legislative developments, to guidance and legal commentary for business owners and consumers, to favorable court decisions, and marketing for lawyers (something I am quite passionate about). The core of the service is targeted delivery which is exactly why I think the partnership is such an exciting development.
According to Adrian Lurssen, vice president of strategic development at JD Supra, “We have real estate content for real estate professionals, employment law updates for anyone needing to stay informed about workplace legal issues, banking and finance content with its own audience – insurance, IP, tax law, the list goes on.” Lurssen added, “The partnership was a no-brainer.” They are now able to deliver content to subscribers/readers in the very fields their contributors are writing about.
(Kudos to JD Supra for the exclusivity of this deal; there are only 16 applications on the LinkedIn platform.)
The application allows lawyers to include a portfolio of their content directly on their LinkedIn profile and to be found in the site’s first and only searchable, browsable collection of legal information — a new development. But what really sets Legal Updates apart is that anyone on LinkedIn who installs the application now receives a custom feed of legal information matched to their professional interests and needs.
“We provide legal content to a person based on the industry noted on their LinkedIn profile,” said Lurssen. “Insurance professionals get insurance work, financial services professionals get banking and finance work, etc. And beyond that, Legal Updates can be customized with any subjects the user wants.”
This is a significant offering for any lawyer who is looking for an audience of people in the industry (or industries) they serve. Legal Updates has been created not just as another “app” for lawyers looking to promote themselves online. It is has been created, and is being marketed, as something valuable to all professionals.
The offering is in line with what we hear from LinkedIn these days about the company’s role as a “dashboard for business intelligence” for everyone on the site. (For more on this subject, listen to veteran journalist Kara Swisher’s recent interview with LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner.)
Every document in Legal Updates includes the ability to add the lawyer who wrote or uploaded it to your own LinkedIn network, with the click of a link. What starts as a legal update continues as a new network connection, the beginning of a relationship.
But, with the arrival of Legal Updates as a means for lawyers to connect with people in the industries they serve, what’s more important are the segments such as insurance, real estate, tech and financial services. JD Supra appears to understand the value of targeted delivery. One month into launch, the job over the long haul will be to get professionals to install the application. The social network’s sheer size and exclusivity are bound to help.
Gina F. Rubel, Esq., is the owner of Furia Rubel Communications, Inc., apublic relations and marketing agency with a niche in legal communications. A former Philadelphia trial attorney and public relations expert, Rubel is the author of Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers . Rubel and her PR and marketing firm have won numerous awards for legal communications, public relations, media relations, strategic planning, corporate philanthropy and leadership. She maintains a blog at www.ThePRLawyer.com, is a regular contributor to The Legal Intelligencer Blog and blogs for The Huffington Post . You can find her on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/ginafuriarubel or follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ginarubel. For more information, go to www.FuriaRubel.com .