Coverage Pointers app a boost for newsletter
By MATT CHANDLER
[email protected] | 716-541-1654
The year was 1999 and, like many attorneys, Dan Kohane was using a newsletter as a means to communicate in bulk to clients. When important legal decisions came down, he would assemble them in a multi-page letter and mail it out. Archaic by today's standards, but at the time it was seen as an effective tool for reaching clients.
"We sent them out to a list of maybe 100 clients," said Kohane, of Hurwitz & Fine P.C., Buffalo.
Then, a funny thing happened - email began to grow in popularity, and Kohane saw the chance to take communication to the next level.
"I remember sitting down with the late Shelly Hurwitz and telling him that I wanted to convert the newsletter to email," Kohane said. "I have always been interested in the technology and the latest gadget so they knew this was my thing, and he said yes."
And so it was that in July 1999, Coverage Pointers was born.
"That first email went out to maybe 25 people because, at that time, email was still new for a lot of our clients," he said.
The premise of Coverage Pointers was - and is - simple. Kohane and his team, which today consists of about nine attorneys who contribute to the newsletter, gather the most relevant legal decisions in the insurance industry and email them every other week to a subscriber base that has grown to nearly 3,000.
"Nothing fancy - no gimmicks, no photos, no fancy layout," he said of the newsletter, which has an international following. "We want it to be simple, easy to read and, most importantly, useful to our readers."
In fact, a primary reason Kohane said he has foregone any high-tech production tools for Coverage Pointers is because "we want people to steal it."
"We use Microsoft Word because it is easy for people to cut and paste columns and the legal decisions and share them," he said. "We don't put this out to make money; we put it out as a service to our readers, and we want them to be able to get the most out of it."
According to Kohane, the newsletter also has been a tool to integrate new attorneys into Hurwitz & Fine's insurance practice group.
"When we get a new attorney, we try to work them in and give them a column," he said. "We might run out of room eventually, but we haven't yet, and it gives them a chance to share their work with our clients."
Thirteen years and thousands of legal decisions after Coverage Pointers began, Kohane has maintained the simple, straightforward formula. He proudly points to the archive of newsletters on www.hurwitzfine.com, noting that the format has barely changed over the years.
Still, Kohane is thinking about taking the newsletter to the next level.
"About eight months ago, I started thinking about creating an app for Coverage Pointers," he said. "I've worked on websites a lot through the years, and I really feel like they have changed. I see them as a place to view archived material, but if you want current, fresh information, people are using apps for their mobile devices."
After fidgeting with different features and looks, two weeks ago Hurwitz & Fine launched a Coverage Pointers app. It is currently available for iPhones and iPads, as well as the Android market, and Kohane said early feedback has been positive.
"I think, like everything else we do, it is a matter of giving the clients the information they need, when they need it," he said. "Hopefully this is one way we can do that."
To subscribe to Coverage Pointers, email Kohane at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @Kohane.