IIn my opinion, too much content in the legal industry is behind a paywall.
What is a paywall by the way?
A paywall is a method of restricting access to content with a purchase or a paid subscription, especially news. Beginning in the mid-2010s, newspapers started implementing paywalls on their websites as a way to increase revenue after years of decline in paid print readership and advertising revenue.
This is very frustrating for clients who don’t have a subscription to these publications (such as Law360 and Am Law), as well as others who don’t want to pay for a monthly subscription at rates that just keep increasing.
Paywalls are becoming increasingly common for content providers of all kinds, from niche publications to author newsletters.
So what should you do about paywalls?
Post an excerpt on social or your website if your audience won’t otherwise have access to the full article.
Make sure to write “subscription required” on the post so they know they won’t be able to access the full version of the article. This is putting your clients first.
This is when firms should spend the money to purchase a reprint or a link – make it easy for people to read your articles so they engage with it.
When creating a public relations strategy, be very strategic about which publications you decide to pitch and accept offers from – consider those that give a free or reduced reprint or where the content is available to all to view.
I have negotiated deals with publications where we were allowed to publish a plain text version of an article on our web site as long as we included proper attribution. Sometimes you just have to ask.
Adopting a client-centric strategy in all you do is always the right choice.
Let me know if you agree.