LAWCAST® legal information services
LAWCAST was a novel audio legal news service that allowed lawyers to stay on top of substantive developments in their practice (and earn Continuing Legal Education credits) while commuting or exercising. Paid podcasts before there were podcasts. Each LAWCAST service (Intellectual Property LAWCAST, Computer & Internet LAWCAST, Employment & Labor LAWCAST, etc.) generally published a 60-minute program, twice-monthly. We published from four to eight services simultaneously.
Here is what LAWCAST sounded like:
LAWCAST was a deadline-driven news and information product, a continuing education provider in a complex, professional field, and a bootstrapped, entrepreneurial organization that relied on recurring revenue. As an owner and founder, my contributions were broad, ranging from reporting on substantive developments in the law to presentations to potential investors.
But my primary responsibility was directing sales, marketing, and corporate communications, including subscriber retention and service.
I am most proud of my personal role in:
Directing a marketing and communications plan to establish a new national brand in a market of large, well-known competitors.
We used small budgets, creativity, and all methods available—including direct mail, email, broadcast, online, trade shows, events, speaking opportunities, print, and subscriber service tools—to build loyal communities of listeners. We had little money. We started from scratch. We were a novel product. We had to be scrappy and relentlessly innovate. We used email marketing before it was “a thing,” were early users of keyword marketing, and we built “social communications” into our product’s DNA. We invented ways to distinguish our high-quality product and reach our affluent, professional audience.
Identifying, initiating and executing a strategy for LAWCAST—a totally new kind of legal education product— to be accepted as an accredited Continuing Legal Education provider.
Eventually, lawyers in 29 states were able to earn CLE credit by listening to LAWCAST, an enormous enhancement of product value. We also extended our Subscriber Service operation to meet the significant demands related to CLE. In our original business plan, we never anticipated being able to offer CLE credit so this was an important development for us.
Developing a robust retention and cross-selling program that maximized the value of a recurring revenue business.
LAWCAST consistently attained renewal rates of over 90 percent, thanks in part to our great content and product, but also due to our retention and cross-selling programs. We moved aggressively to use cutting-edge subscription and marketing technology, pricing, and targeted marketing to ensure we were acquiring subscribers with long-term value.
Leading the company to consistently embrace new technology.
We built a fast and flexible organization able to report, produce, market and distribute 8-12 audio and print editions per month with a lean staff of 8-20. Notably, we developed an internal content management system and an all-digital recording studio before they were common. We were also among the first to implement comprehensive in-house subscriber service software, and we continually innovated its application; this gave us powerful agility in marketing and customer service.
Staff retention and team building.
In a challenging, entrepreneurial environment, we were able to build and retain a core staff that powered our company through more than a decade of growth.
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