7 Content Ideas To Make Your Local Law Society Newsletter A Great Read
Your local law society newsletter is a vital link between you and your members. A good magazine will get them interested and excited about what the society offers. Relevant content will keep them enthusiastic about their membership, and could attract new members.
It’s vital to include unique content. That way you build a reputation for giving members quality they can’t afford to miss. They should be looking forward to the next issue; and eager to read it when it arrives on their desk, or lands in their Inbox.
Your target is to include something for everyone in your local law society magazine. Your content should appeal to lawyers within the region of all ages and specialisms.
So how do you put together a newsletter your members will be delighted to receive? Here are some ideas.
1. Have an attention-grabbing front cover
One of the main considerations is the front cover. It’s what draws the reader in to the body of the magazine. Entice them in with a photo or illustration that arouses their curiosity. Or tease them with a ‘read-the-full-story-inside’ news image.
Your magazine stands apart from national journals because it has a local appeal.
Try using images of local solicitors or well-known venues. Be creative, but don’t go too far: there should always be a link to the legal profession.
Illustrations are a break with tradition, perhaps with an amusing twist about new legislation and the reaction of members. Keep them inoffensive but clever. They require planning. You want the reader want to pick up the newsletter and go straight for the article.
You can link illustrations to almost any content in the newsletter. Your design team can have fun creating the cover. The key question to ask is: ‘What reaction do we want from readers?’
Add excitement and anticipation to events or local issues with dramatic pictures – like a storm-scene in a rural part of the local area to highlight the effects on legal aid of the Jackson Reforms.
When you’re creating your editorial calendar (see below), keep an eye on the articles or news stories that will create a punchy cover image. The front cover should highlight an article that will grab the reader’s interest.
Keep your designers fully informed of content as it comes in or is commissioned. They can then get brainstorming ideas for an exciting cover image.
2. Aim for a balance of content
Strike a balance between
diary events (such as CPD seminars)
local professional news
articles from local solicitors
Try to ensure your articles are about cases with a local interest or affecting the local area.
To give your newsletter a fresh feel, plan your editorial calendar several months ahead. Work out a balanced spread of specialist themes, issue by issue. And get committee members involved by giving them an article to write in their specialist field.
3. Report social events – with high quality images
This is the fun bit! Everyone loves seeing pictures of themselves, or friends and colleagues, in print (or in online publications).
Report all the big social events, especially Balls or Annual Dinners with a collage of high-quality photos.
Flag up the big events on the cover. Once your reader heads for the photo-spread, you’ve got them where you want: flicking through the pages of the magazine, with their eyes on your content and advertising.
4. Brainstorm creatively to develop unique content
When you start planning an issue, spend some time as a team brainstorming ideas for unique content.
Articles from senior representatives of the Law Society or Bar Council, an MP or a specialist Law Association are sure to grab members’ attention. Many high profile professionals are happy to contribute to local law society magazines. Make sure they produce something with a regional/local theme, and that they mention the society in the article.
Historical articles can also create interest – like war stories of former members. Your society will have some proud history among its current and former members, so tap into it.
The main committee members are usually well-known across the region. Why not profile an individual in each issue? Use an interview format highlighting their career, achievements and opinions on the society or the development of the law in their area.
The interview could create a topic for discussion and drive local lawyers to the newsletter. It could become a must-read section in each issue. People are always interested in reading other people’s stories on how they made it to where they are.
5. Give advertisers their fair share of space
When you include advertorial or third party editorial, give careful thought to the page layout.
The balance of the magazine is its lifeblood. Why? Because advertising, which funds its production, will lose impact if readers only focus on a small fraction of the magazine.
A flow of readable editorial throughout. Advertisers don’t want their paid-for space surrounded by other adverts.
Need-to-read content. Advertisers are targeting a small but specific market. They need eyes on the copy surrounding their ads.
Relevant legal editorial. Your members can read non-law articles elsewhere.
Relatively small issues. Members should be able to read all content – and be exposed to all ads.
6. Target the young end of the profession
Keep a regular section for the young lawyers division. This is the future of the society. Have a section to review their events and future events.
Invite their president to write a president’s letter or article to keep members and the society as a whole informed. Members who are senior partners could bring this to the attention of trainees or newly qualified solicitors in their firm.
7. Include a calendar of your Society’s events
Publish an accurate and comprehensive schedule of all society events and seminars. This will prolong the shelf life of the journal as members will use it as a reference point. That way it stays on desks and in favourites folders.
CPD courses are one of your society’s main activities, so give them coverage through the newsletter. Get course organisers to write a short article about their events to promote attendance.
Follow these tips and your local law society magazine can become a tool for increasing activity and recruitment. Plan each issue with thought for the readership. What will grab their attention? What will they get from the content or events?
Local law societies have proud histories, most back to the 19th century. To keep them flourishing into the 21st century, showcase them through a vibrant, eye-catching and informative magazine.
If you’ve got tips on how you make your local law society newsletter a must-read, we’d love to hear them. Please add a comment.
Want to boost engagement with your members by taking your society newsletters and magazines to the next level? Get in touch
Do’s and don’t’s
√ Make the magazine at least 60% regionally-focused.
√ Include a good variety of content.
√ Use a diverse range of social event photos.
√ Create a template to plan each issue.
√ Send out articles by email and on social media.
X Allow blatant sales-driven advertorial.
X Include over-long articles.
X Have advert pages following each other.
X Use too much lifestyle advertising.
X Publish non-law (or law society) material in the journal