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What’s on the Muse Reading List?

From legal news to content marketing and everything in between, here’s what caught our attention.

Week of Jan. 8, 2019

The Right Way to Close Out an Email. (Skip That Inspirational Quote.), by Jen Doll for The New York Times. No matter how inspirational your quote is, it still sounds ridiculous in a professional email. The takeaway: DON’T DO IT! One of my favorite sign-offs I’ve ever seen was “have a strong day,” but unless you’re a motivational speaker, you might want to stick with something more conventional. Take a look for ideas.
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The Persistent Myth of Female Office Rivalries, by Andrea S. Kramer and Arthur B. Harris for Harvard Business Review. We’ve interviewed Andie Kramer on the blog before, and we can’t get enough of her advice on marketing and empowerment, and office “mean girls” (fyi, they’re more hype than reality). If you’re a woman who’s struggling in the workplace, take a look at this article that might give you a new perspective.
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There’s A New Girl Scout Cookie in Town. Meet the Inspiring Lemon-Ups, by Scottie Andrew for CNN. We love supporting female business owners, so of course we’re stocking our pantries with Girl Scout cookies this year. For many women Girl Scouts is their first experience of entrepreneurship, so let’s support these young women by scooping up your favorites. From Thin Mints to Samoas, and the new Lemon-Ups, we’re ready for cookie season. (Not to brag, but Amy Hunt was named Rookie Girl Scout Leader of the Year in 2007.)
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Our Favorite Announcement Emails and Tips for Your Own, via Emma. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: start with a great subject line! It’s the first thing people see when your email lands in their inbox, and it needs to be compelling enough to convince people to open it. Read on for more tips on turning any announcement email into an engaging piece of content.
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Need help turning your legal marketing to-do list into reality? We can help with that! Just drop us a line.

Week of Dec. 4, 2019

How to — Literally — Sound More Confident and Persuasive, by Tim Herrera for The New York Times. I would argue that the first way to sound more confident is not to split your infinitives, but GRAMMAR IS GOVERNED BY ANARCHY! (Gotcha! Speaking loudly is tip no. 1.) Read on for more suggestions, including variations in tone and limiting your edits.
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Bad Batch, by Laura Beil. Earlier this year, we shared one of our podcast obsessions, Dr. Death, an investigative podcast by Laura Beil based on the D Magazine article detailing “the shocking story of a madman with a scalpel.” Now, Laura is back with Bad Batch, another medical investigation surrounding stem cells and miracle cures.
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3 Things Your Small Business Can Do to Flex Powerful Marketing Muscles [with examples], by Ann Handley for Emma. My favorite example is the first one, “obsessive focus.” Rather than casting a wide net, narrow your efforts to a handful of marketing tactics you do well and that are likely to make an impact. Just because Coca-Cola is on Instagram doesn’t mean you have to be.
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3 Ways to Train Your Brain to Perform Better Under Pressure, by Art Markan for Fast Company. There’s a reason why people conduct mock interviews with their friends before heading to their own actual job interviews: Practicing in a low-risk controlled environment helps your brain adapt to the actual high-pressure situation. If your brain thinks it’s just talking to a friend, you act naturally and are more likely to close the deal.
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Week of Nov. 6, 2019

What Makes a Newsletter Worth Reading — Lessons from Top Newsletter Writers, by Masooma Memon for Zoho Blog. Normally it’s difficult to find how-to articles with advice specifically for professionals marketing to other professionals. However, in this blog post we have a great example from the Oracle of Omaha himself (or, his writers) on how to turn a corporate memo into a narrative worth reading. Lawyers, be inspired by Berkshire Hathaway.
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3 Ways to Make the Most of Your Alumni Network, by Dorie Clark for Harvard Business Review. If you’ve ever wondered why we bother sending press releases to alumni publications, it’s because Harvard says so! Alumni news sources are far more likely to publish professional milestones than a traditional outlet. Plus, it puts the news in front of people you already know, and who are predisposed to like you because of your shared alma mater. And as we all know, former classmates, especially from law school, are great referral sources. Always make sure you’re nurturing these connections with personal and content outreach.
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‘Close’ Proximity, ‘End’ Result, and More Redundant Words to Delete From Your Writing, by Benjamin Dreyer for Forge. No tricks here – just a list of common phrases that can be improved by omitting a word. If you’re not in the mood for narratives, embedded Twitter posts or a step-by-step guide, give this a read. In terms of ROI, this is the best item we have on our rundown.
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3 Things Your Small Business Can Do to Flex Powerful Marketing Muscles [with examples], by Ann Handley for Emma. Just because you might have a small firm, doesn’t mean that you can’t compete with the bigger firms out there. In fact, your size is your strength: a small operation means that you can narrow your focus and really make a name for yourself. Here’s how it’s done.
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Week of Oct. 2, 2019

The Whistle-Blower Knows How to Write, by Jane Rosenzweig for The New York Times. The director of the Writing Center at Harvard analyzes the whistle-blower complaint against Donald Trump and tells us how we can all learn from its content and structure. Whether you’re writing a food blog or drafting a closing argument, take note.
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Let’s Go Back to Making Ads for Consumers – Not Each Other, by Shane Allison for Mumbrella. Burger King Argentina recently launched its “A Day Without Whopper” campaign, encouraging customers instead to patronize McDonald’s for it’s McHappy Day, when a portion of Big Mac sales is donated to fight pediatric cancer. It’s a nice idea, argues the author, but is it the best way for these corporate giants to support the cause?
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How to Stay Productive When You Work Remotely (And You Don’t Really Want To), by Tracy Brower for Fast Company. I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to work remotely, but let’s pretend to accept this premise. The two main takeaways from this article are staying connected (“humans are social beings”) and creating a routine. It’s almost like you never even left the office!
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Here’s Why Customers Aren’t Opening Your Marketing Emails (And How to Fix It), by Joyce M. Rosenberg for Inc. I love snappy subject lines, and this article makes the case for them. Your local Chili’s can send out an email with the subject line “Margarita Happy Hour All Day Friday” and even though it’s not clever, you know exactly what’s up. That’s not really the case for lawyers, which is why it’s important to stay both punchy and informative.
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Christina DiPintoChristina takes traditional legal marketing copy and upcycles it into snackable, click-able and shareable digital content. As Muse’s newsletter guru, she creates custom newsletters for clients from development to distribution. If you’re looking for a snappy headline or engaging email, send her a note at christina.dipinto@muselegalpr.com.

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