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PR Firms and Law Firms Go Hand in Hand

Although a lot of attorneys think PR is unnecessary and requires too much money, it can be a credible and useful tool to enhance business development and hiring efforts even in the law industry. Here is some fact-based reasoning that justifies PR’s potential:

  • PR assists law firms in maintaining and improving their images, further business development.
  • PR positions attorneys as leaders in key markets.
  • Attorneys and firms who are represented across the media as quoted resources or subject matter experts are perceived as more credible

Overall, the law industry is really competitive and the challenge is not just securing clients, but also keeping them. Public relations helps attorneys rise above that competitive noise paramount, building and extending a firm`s reputation, differentiation and expert thought-leadership. In addition, PR can also assist with:

Business development/increasing client revenue

Before being legal counselors, law firms are a business and it must make money to pay for paralegals, office staff, supplies, technology and copy houses. Attorneys need to ensure a steady stream of clients and they often research ways to increase billings and hourly rates. Therefore, showcase your firm`s expertise outside a courtroom is an optimal method of justifying this.

Improving hiring results

If a law firm wants to attract the brightest legal minds and obtain the most sought-after positions, it needs to earn public reputation. People need to see your firm as successful and high-profile in order for you to hire attorneys from the top law school grads. For this reason, a PR investment is a law firm`s secret weapon and it will elevate the firm`s profile and ensure participation in the most optimal event to procure greater mindshare.

In actuality, public relations and law firms share a lot of similarities: both professionals have to read, listen, write and prepare clients. Furthermore, they are both considered experts in matters that follow established rules and regulations. A critical first step for a law firm is to be aware that a relationship with a public relations firm is worthwhile. Then, they will learn that properly chosen PR support will not only deliver solid recommendations, but it will also educate firm members about how to successfully address everything to the media.

9 Reasons Your Organization Needs an Internal Newsletter

Getting the word in is as important as getting the word out to an organization. Having some type of intracompany newsletter keeps everyone in sync and is a great way to make sure everyone understands the brand`s tone. It can also gather resources and links for your organization and serve as a style guide, cutting down time spent looking for these resources.

The values underlying your newsletter content are the values you want your company to reflect so it is important to cultivate a strong employee culture. Here are 9 different ideas for what to cover in your organization`s internal newsletter:

  • Funnel content to internal pipelines.

It is hard to find information about what other teams within your organization are doing so this will make sure they know what you are up to. Share your work and encourage them to share as well.

  • Reinforce brand voice, style, imagery and personality.

Add some dos and don’ts to keep everyone on their toes and link to key documents. By doing that, you will be helping your coworkers create presentations, reports and any other documents for the organization.

  • Promote social advocacy and provide guidance.

Keep track of your organization’s social platforms and promote brand channels. Everyone should be aware of the different strategies for each platform and the specific messages to share.

  • Highlight evergreen content.

An internal newsletter can also be a resource for sales and front-facing colleagues to parse evergreen content to the public. Make sure they know about your great leadership pieces.

  • Highlight customer case studies and bring in suggestions for new ones.

New and relevant clients that are using your services are great resources. Highlight them!

  • Complement existing company collateral and resources.

Use the newsletter as an examination of what is important for the company’s evolution, such as welcoming new employees, announcing new product versions, highlighting successes or asking for input on a rebranding.

  • Highlight cross-departmental collaborations.

Appreciate your peers’ collaborations and results. Also, encourage them to share more ideas and resources!

  • Reinforce transparency as a mindset.

An internal newsletter opens up a line of communication that doesn’t clog up the email inbox and is the starting point to discuss company values and employee culture.

  • Include industry news, trends and insights.

Any industry is competitive, no matter how innovative a company is. But view this competitiveness as a healthy part of your job and highlight the achievements of close competitors. It can give your employees some insight into how to do their job and also motivate them to work harder. Performing competitive analysis and sharing with the entire organization also helps!

 

After reading those ideas the question should not be “why start an internal newsletter?”, but instead “why not start a newsletter today?’.

Is Your Law Firm Prepared for a Crisis?

A crisis can hit lawyers and law firms in many different ways and the best time to prepare is before something bad happens. A crisis plan and communication strategy is crucial for your firm and your leadership to overcome the situation. How would your firm respond to a crisis? We recommend following these 4 steps when preparing your response plan:

 

  • Have a Plan BEFORE any crisis has hit.

Think about the possible scenarios and prepare a response for each of the scenarios you envision. It should include a lot of different areas depending on the issue. For example, include the IT director if it is a cyberattack or make the HR involved if the crisis involves a firm employee. Your firm should have a customized crisis plan and an online strategy for each scenario that will determine who will communicate relevant information and draft key messages and media statements depending on the issue. Furthermore, speakers for the firm should be selected and agreed upon in advance with a protocol for communicating to the media.

 

  • Run through the plan.

Although the plan may seem solid in your head and on the paper, it doesn’t always hold up in real life. In order to ensure the plan works and that everyone knows what to do, your firm should create a real-life crisis simulation. However, don’t just try to get through the simulation. Focus on accomplishing the firm`s objectives during the crisis instead. While the situation may be fictional, the stakes are real. At the end of the simulation, ask yourself these questions: Did the right messages get communicated to the right audiences and in the right way? Did the response team know their roles?

 

  • Know how to deal with the media.

Remember, one person should be dedicated to communicate messages to the media and everyone in the firm should know who this person is. This will avoid conflicting reports or misinformation.

 

  • Create a media playbook.

This playbook is for dealing with the media and should cover the details of what happened, a holding statement on what the firm is doing to address the crisis and a sincere apology if the firm is somehow at fault. Be prepared for the following media scenarios:

  • When you don’t know the answer, just tell the reporter you don’t know and offer to find out.
  • When you are asked a yes or no question, don’t feel confined to their question. Instead, provide a bridge to bring up the point you would like to make.
  • When they ask for your personal opinion, keep in mind that it is never about your personal opinion if you represent the firm.

 

Media is going to cover your law firm`s crisis with or without your firm`s input. But your involvement can help shape the story and improve your firm`s image in the public eye. A well-handled crisis will make the story runs and dies afterward.

4 important don’ts for PR professionals

In the digital marketing world, it is really easy to reach a broad audience, influence consumer`s behavior and obtain useful information about them. Since consumers are very vulnerable to scams and deception, it is critical for PR professionals to stay ethical when using marketing and PR strategies to convert them. Here are four actions PR professionals should avoid to stay ethical and continue building lasting relationships with their clients:

1. Invasion of privacy.

Any action that violates your clients’ privacy can potentially harm their personal and professional credibility. Never disclose sensitive personal information to a third party!

2. Spamming.

Unsolicited messages clutter email inboxes so don’t over-promote them! Too many unwanted messages will make your prospective clients miss useful information and real opportunities.

3. Dishonesty and distortions.

The best way to grow your customers’ trust is by using honest and transparent communication with them. Distortions and dishonest claims can damage the long-term image of your company and jeopardize your reputation. Don’t misrepresent your credentials, expertise and affiliations!

4. Misuse of intellectual property and expertise.

Always credit and compensate your customers when they provide their professional input for your business instead of just obtaining and misusing their ideas and knowledge through digital strategies.

The bottom line is: a PR professional should maintain honest and ethical practices when using the many digital tools available to obtain information from the audience. Respect for customers is a major key to effectively convert them into loyal customers and influence their behavior.

6 Tips for the Most Effective Law Podcast

 

As a lawyer, have you ever had the opportunity to have a non-rushed dialogue with someone you respect/admire or want to emulate? Imagine having the opportunity to speak to people you ordinarily wouldn’t or to ask someone else’s opinion on an important topic. If you want to differentiate yourself from other professionals, display your expertise on a subject and connect with other people, you should invest in podcasting!

Podcast is a series of audio or video media files that are released episodically and downloaded through web syndication, like iTunes. Think of a radio show that you edit in advance but then you decide to release it on the Internet instead of over radio. The entire experience is invaluable and worth the time. Here are some top podcasting tips for lawyers:

 

1) Being a podcaster doesn’t make you special – creating excellent content does. Don’t get into podcasting just to say that you have a podcast! You won’t have listeners if you don’t create quality content.

 

2) Ask for help. Don’t be intimidated only because you are not an expert in editing or in graphic design. There are lots of people who are willing to help you with those things so don’t try to do everything on your own.

 

3) Your podcast can open doors. It can be an exceptional tool for creating a professional niche. You can lever your podcast for professional advancement and open the door for books, public speaking and jobs.

 

4) Have a co-host. Your podcast will be much more effective and fun if you have someone to interact with instead of only discussing a topic and talking to yourself. Another way to liven up your podcast is to invite guests to be on an episode.

 

5) Release a new episode every week. Consistency is key and you should release new episodes on the same day every week. Your listeners will expect and look forward to listen to your podcast and they will also appreciate if your show have some type of structure, so they know what to expect.

 

6) Your show should cover the topic of the week, and then stop. Don’t add anything just to fill time. Listeners often listen to podcasts when they are working out or in the car and they won’t listen to it if they think it’s too long. Keep it short, about 25 minutes long.

 

If you’re thinking about starting a podcast, find yourself a co-host and do it. It’s a fantastic and fun way to share your passion and build a name for yourself.

We Need to Dispel These 5 PR Myths

Nowadays, “hiring a PR firm” means that your company is facing a crisis and you are calling to the rescue. Although PR firms have helped a lot of companies to handle a crisis and to improve the strategic team, it is still newsworthy when an organization utilizes its services.

Due to a lack of strong and ongoing advocacy for PR, this profession is not yet elevated within an organization. Aren’t PR professionals the go-to storytellers, writers, advisors, counselors, organizers, implementers and strategists? Some heavy lifting is needed. Let’s start by discussing 5 myths about PR:

  • PR is nice to have but not need to have.

The truth is that the strongest brands and reputations deploy smart public relations tactics that are integrated into the core mission and culture.

  • PR should not be seen – and needs to stay behind the scenes.

Of course not. You have the advantage of context and clarity – there is no reason you can’t be the spokesperson and certainly no reason why an organization shouldn’t be proud to have a smart PR counselor backing its reputation.

  • PR’s main role is media relations.

Media relations is just a subject of PR, not all of it. Strong relationships with journalists are critical for many PR people, but the public in Public Relations includes those hanging out on social media, the employees in an organization and the people on Wall Street. Let’s change the conversation from positive media coverage to positive coverage!

  • Good products don’t need publicity – only bad products do.

Puffing up a bad product while ignoring your good products is an odd and unproductive strategy. You want people to know about your best product and you should be proud of it. Make it the centerpiece of any publicity or marketing campaign.

  • PR is easy so I will just do it myself!

This is one of the biggest myths about PR. Many business owners think that they can handle PR themselves to save money. After all, all you need to do is write a press release and journalists will be banging down your door and asking for interviews, right? Not true. PR is not just about press releases or pitches. It is about creating a consistent brand, writing well, communicating effectively, acting strategically, creating relationships with media, having extensive knowledge about your industry and the media outlets that you are pitching.