Blogging takes time. There’s no two ways about it. It takes time to come up with ideas for posts, to research the ideas, and to write the posts. For busy legal professionals, time may be the single-greatest obstacle to blogging, or at least to blogging regularly.
A new application aims to make it easier for legal professionals to draft blog posts and keep to a regular blogging schedule. Called Posthaste, it makes it easy for an author to quickly assemble a post using quotes, tweets and images.
How It Works
Let’s say you are a lawyer sitting at your computer in the morning reading the news. You come across a story about a legal development that you consider significant and would like to blog about. There is a particular passage in the story that you would like to quote and discuss in your post.
Highlight the quote in the story and click the bookmarklet that Posthaste adds to your browser. A blog-authoring window opens with the quote inserted, along with the link to the quote source. It also pulls in an image from the article. Now you can write your commentary around the post.
Perhaps the issue is also being discussed on social media and you would like to include some of that in your post. To the right of the authoring window, you can search Twitter for your topic. Of the tweets that appear in the search results, you can drag and drop any of them into your draft and they will show up in the final post.
You might also want to add another image to help illustrate the theme of your post. From within Posthaste, you can search the image service Shutterstock, select an image, edit it if need be, and insert it into your post. If you would prefer an animated GIF, Posthaste also lets you pull in images from GIPHY.
When you finish drafting the post, you can save it as a draft or click Submit to send the post. If your law firm requires review and approval prior to publication, this submits the post to that process. If you do not require someone else’s review, this publishes it directly to your blog. (It currently integrates only with WordPress blogs.)
Posthaste also includes an editorial calendar where you and others on your team can schedule posts, assign authors, and add notes about planned or potential topics. It will send you an email reminder on the day of, the day before, or two days before the post is scheduled, depending on your settings. Authors can be assigned responsibility for a specific date or recurring dates.
Law firms can purchase an annual license to Posthaste for $6,000, which allows unlimited use. Individual licenses are currently priced at $99 a month. Subscriptions include the Shutterstock images and use of the Shutterstock image editor.
More than ‘Press This’
Posthaste is not unique in its concept. Many WordPress users may be familiar with Press This. It is also a browser bookmarklet tool that similarly lets you highlight text on the web and grab it to create a new blog post. It also lets you grab images or videos from a web page and include them in your post.
But Posthaste is more than that, as I’ve described. It adds the ability to pull in social media posts from Twitter, to add and edit images from Shutterstock, and to manage a blog’s editorial calendar.
The Bottom Line
Posthaste was developed by Adrian Dayton, a former lawyer who now trains and coaches lawyers on blogging and social media. Dayton also developed ClearView Social, a product that facilitates social-media sharing by lawyers, with help from their marketing departments.
When I first wrote about ClearView Social, I was critical of it, expressing concern about the premise of having marketing departments feed lawyers with pre-programmed content to post to their social media feeds. In a later post, I softened my stance, at least slightly.
By contrast, I like Posthaste. I was a frequent user of Press This and, as I said, Posthaste is similar to Press This, but with even more features.
I like that Posthaste makes it easy to start a blog post by pulling in block quotes and images, and I particularly like the integration with Twitter that allows an author to easily add tweets to a post. (Dayton hopes to expand this functionality to LinkedIn.) The integration with Shutterstock is also a nice feature, especially given that the price of the images is included in the subscription.
As is so often the case, the question of whether this product is right for you comes down to cost versus benefit. If you blog on WordPress, you can install the Press This plug-in for free and get at least part of this functionality. A Shutterstock subscription would run you $29 a month for 10 images or $99 a month for 50 images. (There are plans allowing for even more images.)
I should note that Posthaste is a fairly new product and, according to Dayton, it is still evolving. That includes pricing, which may change over the next year.
The bottom line for me is this: I like the product. I’d use it myself. Would I pay $99 a month for it? No. Would it be worth $6,000 a year to a big firm? Maybe, depending on how many blogs the firm has and whether it has its intended effect of getting lawyers to write more.