When it comes to needing legal advice, you’d ask an attorney for some assistance. But when it comes to developing a blog, Ebook, website copy, product description, social media post or other content marketing material else that’s going to be read by the general public, a lawyer is the last place you should go … literally.
Developing effective content requires a wordsmith who is not hindered by restrictions or requirements. When it comes to polishing creative and engaging content, it’s best to use the experts – journalists who are able to put words together on a page that entice someone else to click, follow, like and, most importantly, read what’s there. Legal opinion comes into play at the end of the process – checking that the messaging doesn’t make exaggerated claims or have the potential to cause a libel complaint.
Here are four reasons to have your content marketing materials created and reviewed by experienced journalists first and then give it to your legal team for approval:
Knowledge of Marketing Language That Engages the Audience
Have you ever read a legal brief? It’s about as dry as sawdust, and not something the general public would waste one second of time trying to digest. Content writing can be informative, but shouldn’t weigh down the reader with too many details. Better yet, it should be creative – something that entices readers to interact with the words and hopefully take action.
Speed is Important
When it comes to content marketing, timing is crucial. Social media posts need to go out in minutes. Blogs need to be written in days. MAT releases are seasonal, and it doesn’t make sense to release an article about holiday shopping in July. It’s usually easier and faster to give a legal team (with a deadline for distribution) a final draft of your content for a blessing. Otherwise it can get buried on a desk, only to surface way too late for distribution that matters.
Knowledge of the Audience
Journalists are trained in developing content that appeals to specific audiences. In one case, it might be women who are moms. In another, it might be students heading off to college. What these audiences all have in common is they gloss over legal-speak. It’s language that will be ignored, or in a worst-case scenario, passed over for other material that better speaks to their interests. Expert journalists can quickly spot this legal-speak and make recommendations on why it shouldn’t be used.
Knowledge of the Distributor
Newspaper and magazine editors will pass over publishing materials that contain any sort of legal language, unless it’s a paid ad. That’s because they know their audience. Page space is valuable to editors. They only want to fill their pages with words their audience is going to read.
For expanded advice on the legal considerations associated with content marketing,