We've mentioned it before as a by-product of a good blog, but it's becoming more and more prevalent.
News media, book publishers, and trade organization publishers are reading professional service firm blogs and like what they see. Accountants and lawyers are getting visibility they never anticipated.
Two accounting bloggers I know have been contacted by Wiley about working on books!
"Just wanted to let you know that all my blogging and marketing has paid off! I just got a contract with Wiley to write a book on fraud!
Who'da thunk that a little person like me would get a contract with a great big publisher for Wiley, for a book that I've not even written yet!!! The book is "Essentials of Corporate Fraud Management." It's geared for C-Level executives, attorneys, and other professionals who need quick knowledge on a particular topic.
I have been doing so much cool stuff. writing articles all over the place, getting involved in a high-profile investigation....business has never been better. (And has never been more fun too!)"
Another is Chris Laughton, a UK chartered accountant whose Insolvency blog is only a couple months old! With a born-on date of Nov, 2006, Chris' blog has already caught the attention of the reputable publisher.
Even for professionals who don't thrill at the idea of authoring a book, good blogs can garner solos, boutiques, or even big firms the attention and visibility needed to be a recognized expert on a subject of choice.
As Tracey Segarra of Citrin Cooperman reported in her comment to my recent post about her firm's SOX blog (that was recently halted), author Mike Rhodes received some excellent media attention.
"...his blog led him to being quoted as a corporate governance expert in many national media, including Reuters and Forbes.com.
Unfortunately, time constraints made it difficult for him to give the blog the time and energy he felt it needed to serve its mission as a clearinghouse of information related to corporate governance.
He is still regularly quoted in the media, and truly enjoyed the blogging experience."
This is real and exciting. Just a couple years ago, getting this kind of exposure and opportunity would not have been possible without spending many tens of thousands of dollars with a PR agency--or doing a LOT of legwork oneself.
Kevin O'Keefe (a recovering lawyer) of Seattle-based LexBlog (the blog development service for lawyers) wrote about the new phenomena in his post "Online newspaper journalists offer networking & PR opportunities to blogging lawyers."
"Over the years I've spent a lot of money for the services of PR professionals.
They were good folks with a tough job. First, while not working inside in my law firms and companies, they had to learn as much as possible about me and what made my firms tick. Second, while being pounded on to make an unknown famous overnight, they had to beg and borrow to get me an interview or the company a mention in the press. Third, they had to do it on a limited budget.
But we needed those PR professionals because they had the needed contacts in the press. And they, not us, knew how to communicate with the media.
With blogs and social networks, you, as a lawyer, have every opportunity to make contacts in the press. Plus with user generated content and email taking the formality out of communications, you're certainly capable of communicating with the press.
You also have a the growing advantage of the press coming to you - to your online community that is. Per Brian Chin, our Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Senior Online Producer, 3.5 percent of the journalists working in the newsrooms of American newspapers now work online full time. "That's 2,000 out of the 57,000 in the American Society of Newspaper Editors' 2007 newsroom census."
Practioners are better able to develop media relationships directly rather than through an agency. Through blogs, they can earn the respect and attention of high profile journalists simply by talking (blogging) to their target audience.
Further, through blogs, professionals can even bypass the cutting room floor, and get their message out to their target audience on their own terms. It's exciting stuff!