Using new media to access old media

I’ve written a new feature article for CBA PracticeLink, the Canadian Bar Association’s online practice magazine: “How to use old media to access new media.” The article, as you might infer from the title, suggests that the old world of newspapers and radio and the new world of social media and online content are not two solitudes. They can and should be used in tandem to promote your practice and enhance your profile within your target markets.

I thought I’d add a few quick thoughts to the points I raised in the PracticeLink article:

  • Once you’ve established a new-media presence — and that can be as simple as a good website with solid content or as bells-and-whistles as a regularly updated blog and constant Twitter stream — don’t be shy about bringing that to the attention of the writers or the periodicals whose coverage you’re seeking. Reporters do read blogs and Twitter feeds, but you don’t have to wait to be discovered like a starlet at a Hollywood soda fountain: drop them a line with links to let them know this resource is available to them and that you’d be happy to assist them with their stories. Your work can speak for itself from that point.
  • Occasionally, I hear lawyers complaining that bloggers who get quoted in the news aren’t the “best” or most informed lawyers on a subject, and that reporters should do a better job hunting down the legal profession’s leading lights rather than defaulting to the easy blogger quote. To which I say: waiting for journalists to climb your mountain and seek out your wisdom will exercise your patience but accomplish little else. If you think lesser lawyers are out there blogging, go out there and start a blog yourself to prove your superiority. Maybe those bloggers know more about the law than you’d care to admit.
  • If and when you do attract the attention of a media representative, the old rules of dealing with reporters still apply: return calls as quickly as you can, ascertain the journalist’s deadlines and whether you can realistically meet them, determine in advance the thrust of the reporter’s story and if possible the nature of the questions she plans to ask, and, above all: unless you have an extremely solid relationship with the journalist, remember that there’s no such thing as “off the record.” Respect for the other’s professionalism is a given, but trust is earned over time.

Share your thoughts here about the PracticeLink article — do you have experiences linking old and/or new media to relate?


  1. Nice post, Jordan.

    A couple of more points I would add: As the journalist describes the content of the piece he or she is writing, think about providing a “sound bite,” something clever, short and sweet, which is quotable and if sufficiently clever will find its way in to the headline or a sidebar quote. If you think of the sound bite after you’ve concluded the interview, don’t hesitate calling the journalist back with your sound bite. Speak in full sentences and don’t ramble. Provide substance. Be familiar with “on the record,” “off the record” and “on background” rules. Never say anything “on the record” that you will later regret. At the end of the interview, wish the journalist good luck with the piece and let him or her know you are looking forward to reading it. When the piece is published, email a short note complimenting him or her on the piece. Then, keep tabs on what the journalist is covering. When he or she writes a piece about something you have blogged about, drop him or her a note complimenting him or her and sending a link to your own piece on the subject.

    Jerry Kowalski

    @ 9:53 am
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