APRIL AND MAY represent financial year end for many law firms and the opportunity to tell the market how your firm is doing.
Communicating the firm’s performance at this time of year can be an effective way to maintain the profile of a business; if done the right way it can help with recruitment, staff morale, customer relations, brand awareness and a whole host of other strategic priorities.
Like most other PR opportunities there are some important considerations you should think about before issuing press releases or calling up reporters to tell the story of the last twelve months.
It’s essential to anticipate what journalists or publications are going to want to know so here’s the RTS Media countdown of what to expect.
- Journalists will ask you about your firm’s headcount, turnover and profits (including last year’s) so that they can apply this as a basis for comparison. Secondly, the profit per equity partner is also seen as an essential piece of data so be ready to provide this information if you feel comfortable doing so; reporters will most likely do their own calculations if you avoid the subject…
- Alongside these figures, reporters are likely to be interested in a law firm’s recruitment policy and whether the management/partnership has any predictions for the year ahead.
- It’s important to be able to break the firm’s performance down into component parts so that practice areas which are performing well can be highlighted. Obviously this means that departments which may be flat or under performing should also be explained so be ready with a sensible response in that regard.
- If your press release is short the press might dig out old stories to bulk up the article. Why not furnish them with your latest press releases yourself? Sum up the year’s events including big hires, office openings and so on.
- Tell your staff at least at the same time that you tell the press.
- Be honest! Don’t claim to have had a great year if profits are down. Focus on the positives but be realistic if you want to be taken seriously. If figures are down, explain why this has happened e.g. investment in IT, new offices, cost of materials.
With a strong network of media contacts and in-depth knowledge of professional services, Christina advises a range of businesses and law firms on media and business development initiatives.