Over the past few years, the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Communications Team noticed a steady increase in the number of its 25,000-plus members who were actively blogging as a way to communicate their expertise and build their reputation.
The problems they saw? For bloggers, it’s increasing readership of their blog posts. And, for members, it’s the hassle of finding and subscribing to multiple blogs and other news feeds to stay on top of their game.
Their answer? The launch of a new online blogging community exclusively for Wisconsin legal bloggers—WisLawNOW. Using LexBlog’s Portal solution, WisLawNOW brings together the blog content written by State Bar of Wisconsin members to a single community.
“We want WisLawNOW to be the hub for member-generated content in Wisconsin,” said Joyce Hastings, communications director for the State Bar of Wisconsin.
“WisLawNOW gives our members access to a growing, timely library of legal knowledge that is searchable and responsive to mobile devices,” says Hastings.
Aggregating numerous Wisconsin legal blogs into one hub provides bloggers and their firms with greater visibility. Readers can easily navigate to different subject-matter channels and view profile pages of author biographies and the blogs published by that author.
Peter Kraemer, digital communications coordinator for the State Bar of Wisconsin, wants to ensure that regardless of a blogger’s location or practice niche, they can widely share their expertise and create connections with a broader audience.
“We’re excited about the prospect of really bringing together a whole community within this easy-to-use product,” Kraemer said. “It’s their words that matter to our audience. We just want to bring their insight to everybody.”
Hastings sees WisLawNOW as a resource for lawyers and the public alike. “There are a lot of people who are interested in the law beyond the legal profession – especially for those whose work requires them to stay on top of change,” she said. “WisLawNOW also is a potential resource for referrals within the legal community as well as the public.”
This spring Hastings observed an abrupt surge in the amount of COVID-19-related content produced by Wisconsin legal bloggers. “The need for new information changed overnight, and lawyer-bloggers stepped up to fill the void,” Hastings said.
She noted that when the pandemic hit, the Communications Team lacked an effective infrastructure to quickly aggregate this new content. With LexBlog’s technology now in place, the new portal takes some of the pressure off the in-house team.
“As a small team, we need a way to efficiently develop and push content as issues evolve,” Hastings said. “We knew that LexBlog was a ready-made solution for us – and we could implement it without diverting organizational resources from other priorities.”
Both Kraemer and Hastings are passionate about getting their members’ thoughts out there, and to as many people as possible.
“We hope that as readers come to WisLawNOW, they get a real sense of who the thought-leaders are in Wisconsin,” Kraemer said. “We really want WisLawNOW to act as a forum for our members.