Many practices have a blog, because someone, somewhere has told them that they need to have a blog. However, very often these blogs are pretty dusty and new posts have been sporadic at best, and many of the posts are thinly veiled press releases. To illustrate what I mean have a look at PWC’s UK Blogs,
Or worse still, these large professional practices don’t even have a blog mentioned on their home page – just corporate articles and press releases:
- E&Y’s home page
- Baker & Mckenzie
- BDO LLP’s home page
- Baker Tilly
- Smith and Williamson
- RSM tenon
- Deloitte & Touche
- … (I could have looked further, but I was getting so depressed that I stopped)
So, why hasn’t the UK’s large professional practices woken up to the power of a blog? These are my thoughts…
1. They don’t realise they need one
From the amount of news, views, insights peppered all over these websites, it’s fair to say that each of the firm’s knows about the power of a content marketing strategy and thought leadership. However, the ability to engage with and personalise their content seems to be missing. People want to see the human side of a firm, and engage with them before they start working with them. Yes, long technical articles, press releases and white papers are good, but these need to be mixed up with lighter, shorter (cup of tea length) articles and musings from their fee earners. It’s these ‘personalised’ and humanised pieces which will get potential clients returning time and time again to read the blog.
For six reasons why a professional practice needs a blog, read my previous blog article.
2. No one knows whose responsibility it is to write the firm’s blogs
Is it marketing job? Or is it the fee earner’s role? A well tended blog needs to be written by the fee earners – after all, your clients don’t want to work with your marketing department. But this is where most firms fall down, how are you incentivising, helping and supporting your fee earners to write these blogs – particularly when the work load is high? And whose role is it to co-ordinate the blog and decide on a content management plan? Ideally, this should be the partner (with support from the marketing department) whose department the blog is for.
3. There is a lack of support for contributors to the blog
Let’s be honest writing blogs (as well as articles & white papers) is a non-chargeable activity – and often there is no acknowledgement or credit for the writer. Someone in the firm needs to have the ultimate responsibility and accountability for the blog. This person needs to be able to have a content management plan for the blog & share around the burden of writing for the blog. Let’s remember, the fee earners don’t need to do everything. For example, they only need to come up with the idea and outline for a post, and then all of this can be delegated to the marketing department or outsourced to an agency:
- Writing the actual article & headline
- Posting and scheduling it
- Keyword research