What does Michael Scott’s trademark punch line from NBC’s hit TV show, “The Office,” have to do with B2B blogging? Quite a lot it turns out – especially for the labor and employment law firm Ford & Harrison whose associates have turned this punch line into a successful B2B blog and major source of traffic for the firm’s website. The That’s What She Said blog recaps each episode of “The Office” – looking at all of the show’s employment law mishaps and how much it would cost for Dunder Mifflin to defend itself in a real-world lawsuit.
Spenser Baretz of Hellerman Baretz Communications LLC helped Ford & Harrison start the blog in 2006, and used it as a case study during the recent Law Firm Media Professionals (LFMP) social media panel discussion. Other panelists at the event included Russell Lawson of Sands Anderson (who also blogs about “Progressive Marketing” here) and the ubiquitous Peter Shankman of HARO; both of whom echoed the value of blogs in marketing for law firms and other professional services organizations.
But why are professional service and law firms such good candidates for blogging as opposed to other forms of social media? Lawson used a popular analogy to describe getting his firm started on social media: “it was like trying to drink from a fire hose.” (For more on this, check out the BlissPR blog post from Elizabeth Sosnow: 11 reasons why law firms should experiment with social media). To make the transition more manageable, Lawson limited the firm’s scope to blogs, and added Twitter and LinkedIn once they got more comfortable in the space. In addition to being perhaps the most manageable first step into the social media world, blogging is also a great medium to promote the ideas that are the backbone of what professional services firms are essentially “selling”.
Baretz also reinforced that social media is about promoting ideas and thought leadership that will be valued by clients. A blog is a great way to do this, as Ford & Harrison quickly found out. According to Baretz, associates at the firm were assigned blog posts each week, and were required to make updates immediately following each episode. This allowed them to capitalize on the high search volume for the term “The Office” thereby skyrocketing the firm’s SEO, and showcasing their employment law expertise to an audience of current and prospective clients.
“That’s What She Said” has been a great success, and its strategy can be replicated for other professional services blogs. There seem to be three key pieces to the puzzle:
- MAN POWER – A successful blog requires an extensive time commitment on behalf of the bloggers, usually the firm’s leadership. This blog is sustainable because it is driven by multiple associates at the firm, not just one person, and not by the partners who often do not have the bandwidth to regularly update a blog.
- FLOW OF CONTENT – Because this blog is linked to a weekly TV show, there is a regular flow of content sparking new ideas and raising new issues to blog about. This makes life a lot easier on the bloggers. What in your industry (or outside of it) could be used to spark regular content?
- TIMING – Updates were posted immediately following each episode of The Office, keeping the blog relevant and SEO-friendly. Timing is critical across so many channels of media and PR, and linking a blog to something that will be newsworthy and relevant from a timing standpoint can be a key driver of success, as Ford & Harrison have demonstrated.
Has your firm created a successful blog? If so, does it have any of the components listed above? What else helps to drive your blog’s success?
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