To many attorneys, public relations is a bit of a mystery. In a profession where attorneys are trained to say “no comment” regarding pending cases, it’s counter intuitive to switch tactics and release newsworthy information about your law firm or your cases. But if you’re not harnessing the power of public relations, you could be missing out on big opportunities to extend your attorney marketing.
Public relations is all about creating buzz, about earning organic press to draw consumers to your law firm instead of pushing out interruptive advertisements. Using public relations, your law firm can gain organic endorsements that are viewed as more trustworthy in consumers’ eyes as opposed to publishing slick advertisements. Because it’s organic, it can take a lot more work, but the rewards can be much higher, producing better results for your law firm at a lower cost to your bottom line.
How to Use Public Relations to Market Your Law Firm
Public relations is a leader when it comes to return on investment on your attorney marketing. For a relatively low cost, you can create buzz, increase links to your website, and highlight your attorneys’ achievements. Using the power of public relations, small firms can level the playing field, gaining more attention than their richer counterparts who are outspending their competitors in terms of advertising dollars alone. With this in mind, let’s examine the following ways in which you can use public relations as a tool of your attorney marketing:
• Submit a press release. A press release can be a powerful tool of attorney marketing because it not only pushes out to media outlets, but it also goes directly into consumers’ hands due to the power of the internet. While the temptation can be to “paper the web” with spam press releases, press release distribution sites stop publishing these, news outlets stop picking up your stories, and consumers catch on that you don’t really have much to say other than you are so great. Resist the temptation and instead, focus on communicating your value as an integral facet of your attorney marketing. This means releasing news that will further your conversation with your potential clients. They deserve to know about your law firm’s achievements, your work in the community, and the awards your firm has won. When you focus on releasing valuable information to your potential clients, the opportunities for your press release to get picked up by multiple news outlets increases, extending the life of your attorney marketing.
• Pitch interesting stories to the media. As attorney marketers, we’ve seen firsthand just how powerful a carefully crafted media pitch can be. We’ve gotten clients onto the front pages of industry publications as well as large regional and national news outlets. If you’ve got a story with some teeth to it, consider crafting a media pitch as a part of your attorney marketing. The key is to show a journalist just how interesting your story is and how their readers will benefit from reading the story. When you land a splashy story in the press, you boost your attorney marketing incredibly and you’ve done it for free.
• Connect socially. Social media has become an interesting and integral part of public relations. Using social media, your law firm can connect personally with potentially millions of people. The reality is that most attorneys do not pursue social media as a form of attorney marketing because they often fail to see an immediate benefit of doing so. Fan engagement is often low on law firm pages because law firms typically aren’t very interesting. Law firms tend to post dry content and forget that people really don’t care about the same issues that attorneys are concerned with. But when law firms take the time to craft interesting and engaging social media strategies, analytics show that while fan engagement may still be low, traffic to the firm’s website can grow.
• Host interesting events. Are you introducing your services to your community? Or are you seeking to integrate more into your community? Try hosting an event. This is a wonderful public relations strategy because it marries offline and online attorney marketing techniques to gain press. Your law firm doesn’t need to stage a p.r. stunt, but you could be hosting legal workshops in your community, or hosting an education day to rally community members around an issue. The possibilities are limitless.
Public relations is a strong driver when it comes to attorney marketing. Can your law firm afford to ignore this powerful tool? If you’re looking to boost your attorney marketing, harness the power of public relations. Get a buzz going and get your name in the press so consumers know exactly who to call when they need legal help.