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Content Under Pressure

Keeping in Touch With Client Newsletters

By Susan Kostal

It can be tough to keep up with the content hamster wheel. Especially if you are trying to keep pace with bigger firms that seem to push out client alerts 24/7. So don’t drive yourself crazy. Get off the wheel.

There’s still a way to publish regularly, offer valuable content, and stay in meaningful touch with clients and contacts. That’s why I’m a big fan of regular client newsletters. Start publishing quarterly. Once you train that muscle group, you’ll find that a short monthly newsletter is entirely doable.

What to Write in Client Newsletters? Think Like a Business Advisor

Any lawyer or practice group can adopt these strategies, but they work particularly well for general practitioners. How can that be, you might ask, when there are so many possible topics, so many legal issues at play? Stop thinking like a lawyer for a moment and think like a business advisor — which is what you are. Write about business issues all professionals face, regardless of your practice area or their industry.

Here are some ideas:

  • Offer practical advice. Instead of writing about a court decision interpreting the terms of a contract, which will be covered by numerous client alerts, share 300 to 500 words on one of these topics: how to maintain focus on the 12th revision of a contract; how to negotiate a key term without seeming desperate; how to successfully add terms midway through contract negotiations.
  • Talk logistics. What’s the best way to track those contract revisions? Fresh Word documents? Track Changes? Google Docs? Do documents and emails pertaining to negotiations need to be encrypted? Are documents allowed to be on laptops or flash drives outside the office? These are topics relevant to any client.
  • Borrow liberally. Look at current events. The devastating storms and flooding this hurricane season, for example, bring up a host of business issues. How should corporate documents be stored and secured? What is the duty of an employer to its employees during a natural disaster? How should you reasonably deal with a vendor that has suffered damage, while protecting your own business? What are tips for initial conversations with insurers?

Don’t cram all this into one article or post. Pick just one topic. Offer one really helpful piece of advice with a clear takeaway. 

Yes, you are there to help your client solve legal problems and to advise on legal issues. But think of the day-to-day business challenges your clients face, and then let them know you are thinking about those, too. This has three main benefits:

  1. You keep in touch with clients and contacts with valuable, relevant content.
  2. Your clients know you think about their day-to-day business challenges.
  3. You show that you are not only a lawyer, but also a thoughtful advisor who has a passion for their success, whether you are advising on-the-clock on a legal issue or not.

Let’s make this a conversation. Use the comments section below to share pros and cons about client newsletters you’ve published or received. (And throw in your comments about mine, if you like. All feedback is welcome.)

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Susan Kostal Susan Kostal

Trends at Work columnist Susan Kostal is a legal affairs PR, marketing and content strategy consultant. She is a former contributing editor for Attorney at Work and previously wrote a monthly column, Content Under Pressure. Susan has covered legal affairs as a journalist for nearly three decades. You can follow her on Twitter @skostal and view more of her content at

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