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Every business with a website has online terms in some form, but many companies oversee online terms management for multiple products that are constantly evolving. While legal is responsible for coming up with the terms themselves, they typically rely on other departments to get them in front of customers.
There’s just one problem: those teams aren’t equipped to work with the complex legal language that is essential in protecting the company from liability.
eBook Download: Guide to Legal Content Management Systems
If you’re currently sharing the responsibility of online terms management with other departments, a legal content management system is a great way to let everyone return to their own roles and focus on the work they do best. But first, let’s take a look at why companies should care about who is in charge of publishing terms.
In theory, the legal department should have control over every step of the contracting process, from conception to publication and management. But in practice, most legal teams don’t have the tools or skills to publish terms themselves. This means that the responsibility falls onto other departments: marketing, development, IT, or tech, depending on the company.
The marketing department is responsible for most of the company’s content, from website copy to social media and marketing materials. Why shouldn’t they just take care of online terms while they’re at it?
As it turns out, there are a few good reasons. Marketing team members don’t have the skills or knowledge needed to handle the contents of online agreements, and pretending that they do can be extremely harmful to the business.
To state the obvious, your legal team is just that: a group of legal professionals with extensive training in topics like contract enforceability. Marketing has their own skill set that doesn’t cover the knowledge they need to handle legal terms. Asking the marketing department to oversee them is risky because they’re not familiar with legal best practices and may inadvertently expose the company to lawsuits.
When legal and marketing both have a hand in managing agreements, handling publication and updates turns into a cumbersome process. Anytime legal needs to modify terms, they have to submit a request with marketing and wait for someone to get around to it.
If marketing has any questions, there may be a lengthy back and forth before the change is realized. In the meantime, all agreements that go out will contain the outdated or inaccurate terms.
Just like the legal department has its own set of tasks and responsibilities, marketing has other work to do that doesn’t involve managing legal terms. When marketing gets caught up in online terms management and navigating legalese they don’t understand, it wastes their time and takes resources away from the company’s marketing efforts, which impacts the business as a whole.
Related Content: Why You Need A Legal-Specific Content Management System
If the legal department possesses the skill required to handle online terms and marketing is the only one that can publish content, how can there be a solution without one team stepping into the other’s territory? The answer is a legal content management system. With this solution, technology handles the interface between legal and marketing, allowing each to contribute effectively from right where they are.
A legal content management system like PactSafe is a platform designed to publish and manage all of a company’s various terms and agreements.
Legal teams supply the technology with written terms while the marketing department decides where to place them. If legal needs to make a change, they can do so directly within the system. The terms are automatically updated wherever marketing has them published. In turn, marketing is free to focus on the areas they’re responsible for, like designing the best possible user experience.
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When marketing has control over publishing online agreements, they also become the recipients of every record generated when a user accepts the terms. If legal wants to get their hands on this data, they have to request it from marketing. This isn’t a sustainable solution. In a legal CMS, the legal team always has access to acceptance tracking whenever and wherever they need it.
PactSafe’s legal content management system is a complete solution that handles every aspect of online terms management. With the PactSafe CMS in place, legal teams finally get the ownership they need to publish terms themselves and let marketing go back to their own department.
Learn more about Legal content management systems in our eBook: Guide to Legal Centers.