How can a law firm ensure effective PR?
Four Twin Cities law firms – a DWI lawyer, a disability lawyer, a criminal defense firm and an expungement law firm – provided me with three pieces of law firm PR advice:
The law firm’s attorney(s) must play a role in PR.
Because the prospective clients of a law firm need to trust the lawyers themselves more than the brand, it is important that the lawyers are placed front-and-center during any publicity campaign. This strategy differs from a PR strategy for a food company, for example, where the brand needs to be trusted more than its specific staff members. To verify the authority of the lawyer, the lawyer must engage with the media and the public alone without conveying his or her message to a PR firm employee.
The law firm’s attorney(s) must be skilled in media engagement.
Given the nature of a lawyer’s profession and the sensitive issues that he or she may be dealing with professionally, it is especially important that attorneys watch what they say when they are face-to-face with media representatives and reporters. During big cases, the media has the power to significantly influence the public opinion of an attorney’s client. In these cases, the attorney will actually act as the client’s lawyer and as his public relations consultant. That is why it is important for attorneys to learn the proper methods of interacting with the media.
A law firm should make an aggressive effort to connect with the public.
Tools such as social media are very effective in a law firm’s ability to connect with an audience and gain a following. If a law firm consistently publishes alarming statistics and facts, the evidence may generate buzz in the public and could even result in the law firm influencing a change in the state or federal policy. This, in turn, will lead to a major improvement in the recognition of that law firm and a probable growth in its client base.