There was a time, in the early days of legal marketing (mid-80’s) that hiring PR firms was what BigLaw management thought solved this “marketing thing.”
At that time law firm’s PR efforts were NOT very successful. Reason: Whether they were just bashful or afraid of repercussions from the state bar, some lawyers wouldn’t even cooperate with their own PR folks. Talking with reporters was out of the question.
Things have changed of course, but not for some lawyers. They still have failed to utilize the power of being quoted in the press.
No. 8 among my Top 10 Marketing Tips first published in 2005 still works; to wit: “Take a Reporter to Lunch.” The purpose is simple. When you get to know reporters and editors who cover the businesses and clients you would like, it can pay dividends. You could become a valuable source in your field or on general legal topics. If reporters/editors get to know and like you, your name could turn up in the trade and local press. That’s a good thing.
- Return their calls ASAP;
- Ask for their deadline;
- Don’t be afraid to tell them you will need to get back to them, if you have no immediate response;
- Or, refer them to another attorney; and
- Don’t reveal ANYTHING about a client or matter without permission.
I have quoted the August 21 meditation before from 365 Marketing Meditations: Daily Lessons for Marketing & Communications Professionals by Larry Smith and Richard Levick of Levick Strategic Communications:
“Don’t snub reporters because you’ve never heard of their publications. They have a funny way of eventually landing at The Wall Street Journal.”
Keep in mind that reporters can help your business development efforts by raising your profile and providing free publicity. So, don’t avoid them.
Start with lunch.