BLUF Your Communications and Avoid TL;DR
Communicating clearly and concisely is especially important for law firm marketers trying to engage incredibly busy people. Getting the attention of lawyers, clients and our own colleagues — people managing multiple deadlines and putting out last-minute fires — requires cutting through the noise to connect.
Applying the military acronym BLUF — “bottom line up front” — can help you enforce speed and clarity in your writing. The idea behind BLUF is simple: Put the most important details first.
This approach to clear communication is similar to the classic inverted pyramid structure of a news article. Both approaches focus on leading with most important details and arranging the remaining information from most to least important.
Say you’re writing a LinkedIn post for a partner to showcase your firm’s expertise in a specific practice area and need a few recent news articles on proposed legislation in this area to link to in the post.
Here’s how a less effective ask for help often plays out: You reach out to a colleague via Slack or Teams with, “Got time for a question?” They respond, “Sure,” then you reply, “It’s about XYZ legislation.” They ask, “What do you need?” and you explain, “I’m writing a LinkedIn post for [Partner’s Name] and I need two articles about the legislation to link to in the post. Who has written about it lately?” After this back and forth, your colleague sends a couple articles for you to reference.
Here’s the BLUF version: You reach out to a colleague with, “Question: Who’s written about XYZ legislation lately? I’m writing a LinkedIn post for [Partner’s Name], and I need a couple recent articles to link to.”