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Podcast Ep. 61: The Value of Thought Content in Relationship Building

by Kevin Vermeulen • August 21st, 2018 • Podcast

In this podcast, Jay Linder, Director of Marketing and Communications at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, talks with us about the value of thought content for law firms, how content can foster business relationships, and how legal marketers can influence greater buy-in for content marketing efforts.

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Podcast Show Notes

Jay Linder oversees Cleary Gottlieb’s brand, content, creative, and internal and external communication efforts. He has over 20 years of legal industry experience, including roles with two AmLaw 20 firms and a top law school. Jay focuses on helping lawyers use thought content as an opportunity to demonstrate added value to clients.

Connect with Jay on LinkedIn

Why should a firm be engaged in thought content?

When you consider the current legal landscape, the one thing that hasn’t changed is that we operate in a relationship-based business. All the knowledge and experience lawyers have hinges on their ability to develop and nurture meaningful client relationships. Thought content is the most obvious channel to convey this – through sharing milestones, information, and other events. The most important metric to use when measuring content is how it helps you build relationships.

How does thought content help foster business relationships?

Most firms still get a healthy amount of business from existing clients. With that in mind, thought content is an effective tool to keep in touch with those who you’ve already engaged with. Thought content is one of the most obvious ways to demonstrate to clients that you understand the sector that they work in. It’s also a more meaningful way to reach out the media.

Strategies for creating thought content

Some firms have tried to partner with key audiences to produce content. You don’t often seen collaboration with clients in written content, but it’s incredibly successful for law firms who have utilized this strategy.

If you’re really going to make content marketing client-centric, then you need to have an effective digital marketing strategy. There is more and more content being created by law firms, but there isn’t necessarily a plan behind it. Today, a digital marketing strategy that sets goals from the outset and measures impact is critical for effective thought content. It’s also important to think deeply about how this content will be distributed and shared through the right channels.

How can legal marketers influence greater buy-in for these efforts from the lawyers in their firms?

By spending the time with a group of lawyers to understand what’s important to them, more often than not marketing tactics like thought content are usually an easy way to get started. If you want to try to convey value, you can ask your associates to monitor who’s writing about what and see where there’s opportunities for your law firm to fill in the gaps. Look at what your competitors are doing and do better.


We have to work with our lawyers and stakeholders to ensure whatever kind of thought content we use is tied directly to why we want to foster these specific relationships beyond the obvious desired outcomes of generating business or raising our profile.

Getting our lawyers to articulate why clients would benefit from our insights is the critical first step toward making thought content about them, and therefore making it valuable and meaningful.

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