You’re ready to take your law practice front and center. You know a little PR will get your name out there and grow your business. Plus, wouldn’t your parents like to brag about their kid? – The super attorney, who was on the news last night.
While impressing the neighbors is great, public relations for lawyers is a little different, and it’s about a lot more than media exposure. Your best approach is a multi-faceted strategy focused on building credibility, establishing a network, and positioning you as the go-to expert.
To do that, you need to know the basics.
Over the years, we’ve seen some common elements to a successful public relations strategy. These principles give law firms a place to start and a guiding light when it’s time to adjust.
So, whether you’re being interviewed about a case (yours or someone else’s), providing a quote to a prestigious law journal, or putting out a press release about your latest jury verdict, it’s essential to understand these basic tenants of law firm PR and stick to them whenever possible.
You probably already understand your clients well. As their lawyer, you should know what concerns them. But what appeals to them, scares them, or excites them?
To truly understand potential clients, it means looking at some common factors and doing some research. Create a client persona and pay attention to what gets a response. It’s a great way to strengthen the relationship between your firm and your ideal clientele.
Be upfront about the legal knowledge you have. If you’re a corporate attorney, you should be someone’s first call when it comes to a big merger. You shouldn’t be giving a quote on a DUI involving a local little league coach.
Also, make sure your PR efforts are client-focused, inclusive, and not exclusively focused on selling.
Think ahead and brainstorm story ideas. This doesn’t need to be incredibly in-depth. As an attorney in the know, think about what’s coming or legal trends that may not be common knowledge. Are prosecutors in your area starting to offer lenient sentences in minor drug cases? As a criminal defense attorney, you likely have some valuable insight. Then stay alert for the best time to share that story with the right people.
That’s not to say it should be all about waiting. Put yourself out there for opportunities like legal seminars, speeches, and networking events with legal-adjacent professions. Your membership or affiliation with a credible organization could be what makes a reporter or potential client reach out.
Deadlines rule journalists’ lives. And your PR network won’t get built if you’re not a valuable asset. Therefore, if they reach out, it’s important to respond quickly, be honest, and keep your word.
As a brand, your law firm must accept a few things: Every pitch will not be accepted, some of your quotes won’t be used, and you shouldn’t let that deter you. It takes time to get media coverage and build your credibility, so you must remain patient and persist.
That being said, you have to track progress and assess results. For instance, if you see a few new cases from a public speaking engagement at your local chamber of commerce, maybe try another at a similar event.
Overall, public relations for lawyers is about finding the right balance between the message you want to convey to prospective clients with a relevant and fresh angle. That way, when any legal issue comes up — you’re their first thought.
Ready to make PR part of your law firm’s marketing strategy? Contact Postali.