How to Handle Law Firm PR
Big law firms were one of the last industries to embrace PR. Historically, law firms were opposed to PR and marketing. Lawyers viewed advertising and PR as unseemly. Once one large law firm started marketing, the others followed.
Today many top ranking law firms have in-house marketing or use PR agencies. They are fully committed to it, but in some cases they can be among the more difficult clients for PR professionals.
Here are some things to keep in mind when working with lawyers and law firms:
Big law firms have a lot of PR potential.
- Large law firms often have exciting news and high-profile clients.
- Competition can be ruthless and creating the need to elevate your legal name above the competitive noise and be noticed
The bigger the firm, the stickier some things can be.
- Sometimes, getting the news out or commenting to reporters can be sticky.
- The problem can boil down to internal policies and client conflicts that prohibit talking to the media on certain topics.
Sometimes, law firms are their own worst enemy.
- Dewey & LeBeouf is a law firm that stands out among recent disasters. It overpaid certain lawyers, began to sink, partners left, and the firm collapsed into bankruptcy. The press had a field day, and PR was of little use to help the firm.
Lawyers need to be trained to talk to media.
- Make sure lawyers are media trained, but also that they speak to reporters in plain English and not legalese.
- Big news can boost law firm PR when done well.
- Lawyers can become go-to sources for media.
PR for big law firms can be rewarding, but it can also have its fair share of roadblocks and false starts.