Current Awareness Strategy Blog

How do personalised curated newsletters help your law firm stand out in a crowd?


We live in a world of too much. Too much information, too much work, too much to do, and too much time spent on things that are irrelevant. Thankfully, the library brings order into this chaos, and library and information professionals shine the spotlight on the most pertinent content.

But what is the purpose of the content that you are curating? Why are you curating it? What will be the end action? Undoubtedly the purpose is to ensure that your end users are always in the know, but what exactly are they using that knowledge and information for?

Curation is all about adding value to information, and this value is very specific to the end user. The librarian adds the context that is unique to the organisation and environment within which they are working. In a world where attention spans are short, it’s important to consider the exact actions your users are taking with the information they receive.

Your end-users will be amazed by their newsletters!

Clients need proactive, engaged lawyers

Lawyers must be proactive, after all the client is essentially buying the firm’s knowledge and expertise. The lawyer should be the first person to call the client and know exactly what is going on. It’s not a case of the client saying “I need you” but rather the lawyer saying “I need you”. Making contact with a prospect or potential client should happen as soon as possible, or else a competing firm may well get there first.

The lawyer doesn’t just need to know the client’s news but also the news that affects them. For instance, say you have a construction company as one of your clients, a sudden change in the price of rubber will have an indirect impact on them. It’s just as important that your lawyers know this news as it is that they know the big picture.

A dedicated library team has key advantages. Working with a library and information team, the client benefits from both the specific knowledge of the lawyer and the broad research skills of the librarian, enabling them to go beyond the obvious and cross-reference with multiple areas of expertise.

Just like using actionable content to make a phone call or send an email, the right information can bring great value to a key meeting. Say one of your lawyers has an important meeting with a potential new client next month, an exciting chance for the firm to pitch for new business in a new area.

Lawyers must differentiate themselves from their competitors

In such a competitive landscape, the organisation’s management team should constantly be asking how they can diversify client offerings and differentiate themselves from the rest of the market. Knowledge and information enables them to do this. 

The lawyer needs to show that they are aware of the detail that affects the client, not just the big picture and mainstream news. They should be able to go into that meeting knowing not just what the prospect is going through at present but also the issues that they may face in the future.

The time required to curate personalised actionable may well seem intimidating but thankfully there are a whole range of tools that can help you manage your information. Ranging from free RSS feed apps to current awareness automation platforms there are plenty of options for you to manage your current awareness in the most efficient and productive manner possible.

Are your BD teams using targeted information  to grow client relationships?

Curate for internal know-how

Internally, it’s quite clearly imperative for the management committee and other key players within your organisation to be aware of external news.

  • Competitive intelligence enables you to proactively go to management and say “this is what is happening”.  Such a practice supports the library in proving its value directly to decision-makers whilst also enabling Librarians to be more impactful in the running of your organisation.
  • News about the firm is particularly important for Marketing and Business Development to demonstrate the ROI of PR and marketing efforts. As such, it may well be that they are looking for quantifiable information in the content you share so, again, it is vital to consider how information is being used by the recipient.

On top of the obvious external monitoring, sharing industry news internally ensures that your company is kept in the loop whilst also giving great visibility to the library team. Again, consider what action your readers will be taking. Is the aim to inspire them to try new ideas? Restructure the way they work? See key events they should be attending? Discover new issues clients are facing?

Why do you need this information?

As with all curation, it’s useful to utilise free text options within your curation tool of choice, be it automated or otherwise, to add in those all-important comments that place the content in context for your organisation and suggest the action that can be taken.

In summary, whether you are curating content for your end users to share with clients or to be distributed internally, it is absolutely imperative to consider the end goal. Content without purpose is just that - content. The right content in the right context at the right time is when the true power of information shines through and short attention spans start to focus on what you are sharing.

“After the initial discussion about the types of information our customer was seeking, we asked, “Why do you need this information?” We find that knowing the end result or product that our research supports can help us better meet our customers’ needs. When we neglect to ask the “why” question, we risk providing information that is not grounded in the proper context.” Kate Vilches and Cory Hutchinson

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