“Reluctantly, I am doing blogs,” he told the employees at the companywide coffee talk. He said he needed to understand how they work. “Otherwise, we will be irrelevant.”
So, how might blogs make HP irrelevant?
Blogs represent a new publishing model featuring high scalability and low distribution costs. In the “old” days, if your law firm wanted to send a periodic update to inform your clients about new legal developments, you had to print out the update, stuff it into an envelope, affix a mailing label to the envelope, run the envelope through the postage meter, and leave it for a postal worker to pick-up. This process is manageable if you have a handful of clients, but becomes increasingly more time-consuming as your base of clients expands.
Additionally, if you try to add some polish to your client updates, you might have to send your text and photos to a graphic designer, who will cobble the various articles and images together to create a professional-looking layout. You may also incur additional costs by having a printing company print the client updates on glossy paper.
But, blogs are different. Blogs represent a paperless, inkless, and postageless paradigm for communicating with your clients. You incur no additional distribution costs as more clients subscribe to your blog. Your articles can be as long as you want or as short as you want. You don’t have to add an extra 100 words to fill some white space, or edit back an article to fit an arbitrary limit. You don’t have to wait 2 months for the next issue to be mailed out or have your edits finalized in advance to meet the lead time of the designer or printer. Furthermore, your clients can easily share your updates with their colleagues. No more passing a paper newsletter around the office with a routing slip!
Best of all, lawyers that blog can reach new clients that are searching for expert commentary relevant to their legal needs. Blogs may someday make HP’s present products irrelevant as law firms print less on their HP printers and use less HP toner, HP ink cartridges and HP paper. But, HP’s pain is your gain. Law firms that embrace blogging may discover new marketing successes as they win over new clients and garner more work from existing ones.