Lawyers and Public Relations
To try to attract or retain clients, most attorneys these days tend to rely on public relations and marketing efforts. The ones that don’t utilize these tools end up losing out. Several decades ago, most of the legal industry believed marketing and public relations to be unethical and tended to avoid promoting themselves.
However, these days, plenty of lawyers try their best to learn more about the ethics of communication with both existing and potential clients, and plenty of them also understand how important marketing, advertising, and public relations are when trying to attract new business for themselves.
Nevertheless, before any attorney or law firm can even think about all of the different ads that feature faces of various lawyers. The first step is to think strategically about all promotional efforts. Similar to how lawyers prepare for trials, with extensive research and planning, public relations campaigns require just as much detail.
The public relations segment of any law firm’s marketing campaign should be crafted strategically and become a part of a strong marketing plan. That is the only way in which any PR effort from an attorney or a law firm can complement the overall business development, branding, sponsorships, client services, social media, advertising, and all other communication efforts.
The goal of public relations for law firms is to help them build up equity and reputation. This is done by delivering key messages to a target audience, which will then elicit the desired response from consumers, which is usually making a purchase.
This also helps shape public opinion around a company, along with what people believe and feel about the company in question. PR is different from marketing and advertising efforts because its goal is to build brand awareness and promote acceptance of the law firm while positioning it as an expert for its clients.
Every single communication effort from the law firm should have long-term objectives, which are the essentials for any public relations strategy. However, the first step in every one of the different PR strategies is to identify the target audience, and the desired action that the audience should be taking when responding to a PR message.
Creating a PR strategy also involves allocating resources that are necessary to create the campaign, creating a manageable timeline, as well as metrics and benchmarks that will help in measuring how successful the efforts are, and pitching to media outlets and journalists for positive media coverage.
When done right, public relations allows companies to create an entire portfolio of positive media coverage, which helps establish credibility for that company with its target audience. When PR is utilized well, it helps raise awareness about accompanies legal services, while also positioning the same company as a thought leader in the market. Furthermore, PR is also especially beneficial for lawyers, since it helps in promoting they are legal services, both to the market, and their own communities.