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3 Guidelines to Keep Crises at Bay

Crisis management comes with the territory of being a public relations professional. Part of your job is being the other end of a phone call when a crisis arises with one of your clients. There are some specific steps that the best PR professionals take that ensure you handle these situations in the most effective way possible.

  1. Take immediate and responsible action.

Your timeline goes out the window in times of peril. As a PR professional you need to be able to think on your feet and think of how to handle a situation that’s thrown at you on the fly. Take a step back and think about the long-term effects of how each approach could potentially reach the audience. It will help to think ahead and look at the best way to address the crisis while preserving the brand’s image and reputation.

  1. Don’t try to cover anything up.

Once a crisis arises, the worst thing a PR pro can do is to try to sweep it under the rug. You must remember that more people will know about the incident than you may think, and it’s easier to catch word of the crisis than to hear the responding action or statement. Address not just your entire audience but the public at large and own up to what happened. Give a reasonable explanation to avoid any more injury to your client’s name or reputation.

  1. Consider who would be the best spokesperson.

During crisis management, you need to think about the person best suited to represent the brand in a time of peril. It’s not always who you may think – CEOs or presidents. Nothing is worse in a time of brand crisis than an apology or explanation that seems disingenuous. Find someone who is trustworthy, reliable and personable to portray the message on behalf of the brand. This person needs to read as genuine to an audience so that the audience takes the message sincerely and wholeheartedly.

How to Attract the Most Reputable Law Firms with Your Resume

Be truthful

Sell yourself, but keep it real. Lying or exaggerating on your resume is never a good look, especially if you get caught! Just be honest about your experience.  Instead of making things up, provide real-life involvement and skills that you have developed—and be ready to back it up with details. Always be prepared to defend and speak to those details with facts and stories in face-to-face interviews.

Keep it short, sweet, and simple

We have all heard the saying “less is more,” which is important to consider when creating your resume.  The best thing any lawyer can do for themselves is to condense and not puff up their resume with irrelevant words. Saying less on your resume can actually help you to get your point across more effectively and give you more to talk about in your interview. The last thing you want is for an employer to find any reason to not want to hire you.

Stand out, but keep it professional   

Anything that you put on your resume should remain relevant to practicing law. Of course, you want your personality and individuality to shine through (slightly), but avoid mentioning random things about yourself such as previous businesses you started that failed, or even framing yourself in a way where employers feel as though you are conspiring to leave the company.  Leave out random jobs that you had prior to law school with no relevance. Do this in order to prevent painting yourself in a bad light.

Make sure it’s perfect

Remember that your resume is one of the best ways to market yourself.  And if you want any reputable law firm to take you seriously, it is imperative that you deliver the best of the best. One thing to remember is to triple check for grammar, keep it compelling, and easy to read.  Perfecting the mechanics of your work will result in employers taking you seriously.

3 Time Management Tips for Lawyers

As a practicing law professional, there’s no doubt that your job is demanding, and that time is your most valuable resource. In a field where minutes and seconds matter, there are a few steps you can follow to help make the most of your time.

  1. Adhere to the 80/20 rule

The 80/20 rule applies to many aspects of life, but it can also apply to time management and how you delegate tasks. In the work place, this rule suggests that 20 percent of your actions will equate to 80 percent of your work created. This holds true to your work as a law professional. Try to make sure you’re putting billable work first and foremost. Prioritize your tasks by giving your administrative tasks to staff so you can focus on your most important work first.

  1. Utilize technology

In this technology-based age, there are plenty of resources you can utilize to help manage your time and make the most of your work day. Many of these are accessible on your phone. Some options include Fastcase, perfect for faster legal research, or Trialpad for paperless trial presentations. There are also business card readers and to-do apps that you can download on your phone to help you easily keep track of contacts and manage your tasks.

  1. Minimize your task-switching

It takes a conscious effort for your brain to switch from one task to a completely new one. Going back and forth from one task to the next can take unnecessary time away from you. There are also dangers in multitasking, especially when you’re dealing with important material. You work your best when you’re focusing on a sole project so your ideas can grow. Try your best to focus on one task at a time and get it done before you switch to another. This will help you get your tasks completed successfully while minimizing the struggle of going from one idea to another.

4 ‘Soft’ Skills for PR Pros

Yes, your job entails writing press releases and coordinating accounts. However, the best PR pros utilize a few essential soft skills that boost their business and relationships with others.

  1. Leadership

You’re the go-to person when a work emergency occurs, and problems need to be resolved. By showing genuine leadership on the job, people will turn to you for advice, listen to your ideas and have your voice heard in the decision-making process.

  1. Interest in current events

In order to do your job to the best of your availability, your knowledge of current events needs to be broad and up-to-date. You need to know who your audience is, what they are thinking and feeling and how to best reach them in a manner that they will respond to.

  1. Teamwork

Part of your job involves communication with various people including staff, clients and journalists. Even if you are the decision-maker in your work, you still need to be able to work with other people. You’ll save yourself a lot of unnecessary time by working as a team. Remember, staff and clients are just people, and they will appreciate your genuine attitude if you are working together.

  1. Composure

In the PR world, you are guaranteed to encounter some sort of crisis or client emergency that you need to handle. Many times, you will be on a strict time schedule to get the issue handled. You need to be able to look at a problem and find a solution without panicking. Think about how the problem can be fixed with the least amount of issues possible and act accordingly.

3 Ways to Abridge Communication with Your Clients

Try these tips that will guarantee effective and efficient communication without overwhelming your clients.

  • Ditch the Legal Jargon

Within the world of law, it is appropriate to use legal jargon amongst others in the profession. However, it is important to use simpler language with your clients.  We often forget that our clients are not lawyers, and the last thing you want is to make them feel inferior or confused while conveying messages to them. For instance, instead of using legal terms such as append, Choate, nul, ordinance and preclude, try simplifying by using attach, complete, no one, local law and prevent.

  • Explain Your Reasoning

Make sure that you are on the same page as your client when it comes to their case. They need to know that you fully understand their goals and have those goals in mind when you are making decisions. After all, happy clients make your job run a lot smoother. It is important to remember that when you begin working on their case, you need to be able to effectively communicate the reasoning behind your choices.  Always offer to clarify or explain things further to ensure they have a real understanding of the information you provide to them. This will not just help the case itself but improve your credibility and trust amongst clients. Lastly, have an explanation prepared at all times both for them and for the court.

  • Give Ample Facts, but Do Not Overwhelm Them

Although it is important to keep your clients in the loop, it is equally as important to not completely bombard them with information. As you advance within your career, you will find that, sometimes, less is more. It is important to also recognize that each client is unique. A recommendation would be to tailor the way you convey information to each client. Keep it short and simple. This is where all of your education, skills and knowledge of the legal practice and effective communication will come into play.

4 Ways to Energize Your Scripted Speech

Authenticity is key to giving a speech. Speeches you prewrite can sometimes come off as fake and robotic. To strengthen the overall effectiveness and authenticity of your speech, follow a few key steps.

  1. Make your big choices first.

The use of varying emotion is vital to any successful speech and the impact it has on your audience. One tip is to use highlight your speech, marking various tones and emotions with different colors. After you do that, look at the speech and make sure there are enough turning points to keep the audience interested, but don’t bounce back and forth between two separate tones. It could confuse your audience as to the point you are trying to make.

  1. Know the information you are conveying and why.

It’s important that you disseminate the information you are going to be speaking about. It’s easy to get lost in a list of words and lose focus of the meaning behind those words. Make sure you fully understand the topic you are speaking about and that you can answer questions about it. It will improve your confidence level knowing you are skilled in the meaning of your words.

  1. Rehearse.

Giving a speech and reciting a paper are two different things. You don’t need to know your speech word for word. In fact, public speakers will sometimes run into this issue by trying to recite their speech perfectly. If you forget a word, however, your mind can go blank and you can forget where to start up again next. Rehearse by keeping bullet points of your main points on the side. In essence, public speaking is going to be somewhat impromptu. Be able to pull yourself back to your talking point if you misstep on a word to finish your speech with a bang.

  1. Deliver it effectively.

If possible, a good idea is to visit the venue before you make your speech. Visualize yourself in front of the crowd and give the speech you envisioned. Make eye contact and slowly build the energy up until the very end. Remember, it’s okay to start your speech on a subtle note and build energy until the end, just don’t get depleted before you finish.