Over the last few years, data has become more and more popular a subject, as we try to quantify everything to do with our businesses. “Please don’t make me try to quantify my relationships TOO!” I can hear you opining. But I promise, the goal is a worthwhile one.

What is always our goal when it comes to any business development or relationship development tactic? Maximizing the benefit and maximizing efficiency, right?
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If you’re a regular reader of Zen, you know that I’m a big fan of the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC). They’re working to revolutionize the legal industry, and engage all facets of it to do so.

One of the ways that legal departments excel and law firms majorly lag behind is with tracking metrics. While the law is indeed a very specialized set of skills, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to track the data that matters. We’ve heard a lot of calls from law departments over the last few years, demanding that their firms institute more tracking, and many firms are doing this to a greater or lesser degree. A huge part of legal operations is managing and understanding data, so that CLOs can identify areas of inefficiency as more pressure comes down from above. 
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This is just a guess, but I suspect that most of us didn’t get into the legal industry because we love data, right?

If we loved data, we’d be elsewhere.

But…bad news. Data is one of those things that we have to start embracing as the industry changes in order to stay relevant. It sounds terrible and cumbersome, but truthfully, once you invest the time to put processes in place to collect and mine your data, the return you’ll get is huge. You’ll see where you can be more efficient, create more value for clients, and identify ways for the firm to be more profitable. More value AND more profit? Data doesn’t sound so bad after all, does it? 
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You’ve probably heard a lot of chatter about “big data,” “data,” “metrics,” and other buzzwords, which can sound like a lot of fancy talk about things you can’t be bothered with (Spoiler alert: in general, it’s not).

While I’m not going to get into a big discussion about data and all the ways you can use it, I AM going to talk about two practical things you can use today in order to support and improve your content marketing efforts. If you’re thinking “hey, ‘content marketing’ sounds like something for other people to do, and not me!” ask yourself – do you write articles or blog posts? Do you participate in speaking engagements? Do you write memos that you send to your clients and prospects? Do you want more people to know about the kind of law you practice, and how you can help them? If the answer to any of those questions is “yes” then content marketing IS for people like you, too. And for our purposes, when I use the phrase “content marketing” I’m talking about the actions that we undertake to promote the written and oral work  you do as a lawyer to a wider audience – it’s likely something you’ve done all your career, but it just may not have been how you referred to it. 
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Grunge cracked zombie virus concept background with some soft smooth lines

On all The Walking Dead quizzes I’ve taken, the results always show that I’m a Carol (TWD fans, you know what I mean).

But we’re not fighting actual walkers (or Saviors) – just the zombiefication of legal content marketing that’s been happening over the last couple of years as the patina wears off on our shiny new toy of content. Who’s with me?

This week, we’re looking at the second tactic that Shane Snow of The Content Strategist outlines in his piece for combatting content zombies, and that’s data – YAY DATA! 
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When did it become April already? This year is going by so quickly – the first quarter is already over! Our attorneys have once again been producing some excellent content, so without further ado, here is this week’s round up from ILNToday!


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Once again, we’re at the end of another week and here for a content roundup! So without further ado…

  • PETERKA & PARTNERS Newsletter: Our colleagues in the Czech Republic bring us the latest news on the amendments to the Commercial and Labor Code, to the Act on Transformation of Companies and Cooperatives, to the Code of Administrative Justice, and to the Employment Act, along with new legislation on corporate criminal liability and increased fees for entries in the Land Register.
     
  • ILN Social Media Roundtable: This isn’t legal content, but it comes straight from the marketers at ILN member firms – if you’re wondering what the mid-sized firms in our Network are doing with social media, some of their challenges and triumphs, this is worth a read. 
     
  • Not only is it reasonable but it is now obligatory: dilapidations from Fladgate LLP: Alison Mould of Fladgate discusses the courts recent adoption of the pre-action protocol for terminal schedules of dilapidation, thanks to ten years of efforts by the Property Litigation Association.


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The third session of ALM’s Social Media: Risks and Rewards conference focused on social media’s impact on e-discovery, and was presented by Michael Lackey, Jr. a partner at Mayer Brown LLP. 

Lackey started with an overview of his presentation, saying it would discuss how social is coming up in litigation and the roadblocks to be aware of. He commented that there are a couple of high profile cases that are defining the limits of what you can get and how you can get it.  For organizations that have social media content that becomes relevant in litigation, there are obligations for preserving this information.  Often, it is being hosted by someone else, so that creates challenges.  

As many of us involved with social media would agree, Lackey said that there’s no doubt that social media is not a fad – it’s here to stay.  He mentioned some of the more traditional platforms for social media, but also included lawyer rating agencies and other kinds of technology, such as FourSquare, for consideration in litigation.  

He said that consumers have a lot of trust out there and like the interactivity, especially in terms of connecting with corporations. Lackey added that digital word of mouth marketing would top $3 billion by 2013. 


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