Publicity Basics for Law Firms

Keep these publicity basics in mind when you’re trying to generate media attention for your law firm:

Use email, not the phone, to suggest a story idea to the media or to contact them about a possible TV or radio interview. People in the media are busier than ever these days given cutbacks at most outlets and they simply don’t have time to field phone calls. 99.9% want to be contacted by email.

Keep your email message brief and to the point:

-- Explain who you are and what your firm does

-- Be clear about what you are pitching and why it’s important. For example, put the subject of your pitch in context by tying it to a new trend, a change in the law, and/or recent statistics.

-- Let the media know the fastest way to contact you

Also, make the subject line of your email attention-getting so that busy media people will want to take the time to read your message.

By the way, if a media person sends you an email or leaves you a voice mail message, respond immediately. He or she may be working under a very short deadline and if you don’t respond right away, that person will move on to another attorney.

Don't assume that if someone in the media doesn’t respond immediately to your email, that person is not interested in what you are offering. People in the media receive countless emails everyday and so it may take 2 or 3 follow up emails from you before you get a response. However, if you don’t hear back from someone after your 3rd email, it’s probably safe to assume that that individual is not interested in what you’re pitching, so don’t contact them again.

Let the media know that you’re available as a resource whenever they are covering a topic related to your area of expertise. Journalists are always looking for new experts to talk to and most of them maintain lists of people they can contact to obtain background information on specific subjects. Offering yourself as a resource may not lead to immediate media attention for your firm, but it can pay dividends later when you contact the person you helped out to pitch a story idea or to suggest a radio or TV interview.

Before you contact someone in the media, google their name to make sure that he or she focuses on issues related to the subject of your pitch. Trying to generate publicity for your law firm by contacting media people who don’t will get you nowhere.

When someone from your firm does an interview on TV or radio or is quoted in an article, make the most of it, especially if the media outlet is prestigious. For example, feature a link to the attention in your web site’s newsroom; mention the media attention in your enewsletter; blog about it; tweet about it; post a link to the attention on your firm’s Facebook page.

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