Managing a situation that involves a legal PR team is tricky but never impossible. Whatever the outcome happens to be in the court of law, the outcome in the court of public opinion is just as – if not more – important to the future of a business or organization that’s involved in a legal case.
Have Journalists on Key Trials
There are certain moments when the press is going to be very interested in reporting about a case that involves a business, so it’s important to think tactically. Having a timeline for key dates of when the press needs to be invited is a great way to add support to an argument.
This can happen during opening pleadings so that the media outlets can get an overall picture of the litigation, or it can be while the opponent is being examined by the legal team and generates more positive media interest.
Know Court Rules
When it comes to legal PR management, the key rule of engagement is knowing when it’s a good time to speak about the case to the media outlets in a meaningful way. Breaking any rule means that the client and the legal PR team end up in contempt of court, which can lead to serious ramifications.
Lead the News
It’s important for the legal PR team to take any opportunity to showcase factual information surrounding the case. For example, once the court documents become public, the legal PR team can release them along with their own narrative on what those documents really show. This way, the public is going to be informed about the details that are important to the client.
Think Beyond the End
The legal PR team and its client always has to have the narrative that will be built surrounding the case. What happens if the client wins the case? What happens if the client loses? It’s also important to remember that winning inside the court of law isn’t always a victory, especially from a reputational standpoint. Think about how the case is going to affect the reputation of the business in the long run, and make sure that there’s a strategy in place to repair any damage.
Rebuild the Reputation
Once the trial is over, that’s where the involvement of the law stops, and the involvement of PR starts. Depending on the litigation and all the PR work that was done during the trial by the legal PR team, there could either be more work that needs to be done, or less.
The legal PR team now needs to assess the position of the client and see what kind of work needs to be done regarding the reputation of the business, so that the brand can go back to the same position where it was before the litigation event.