As highly qualified professionals, lawyers and barristers want to be known amongst peers as experts. A carefully planned, flexible and well resourced Legal PR campaign can be the ticket to securing respect and notoriety and gaining valuable kudos in your own industry and beyond. Issues-based PR is one means of achieving this goal.
This article provides some tips on how to point your law firm’s PR efforts squarely in the direction of your target markets, by focusing on the issues that matter to them.
Lawyers and law firms often have marketplaces with which they are more familiar – perhaps a commercial sector or industry – and like any industry or cohort it will have concerns of its own.
The goal of issues-based PR is that by highlighting those concerns and focusing on issues that are meaningful to clients, a lawyer’s comments will be appreciated by journalists, commentators and above all, readers.
Once the law firm client and PR adviser have agreed upon target markets, the following tasks are essential:
- RESEARCH: There really is no substitute so spend some time reading the top magazines or web sites in your sector to spot trends and issues. This will help you find out what’s hot and what’s not and also to understand the types of issues that worry your potential customer base.
- HAVE AN OPINION: Carefully position your likely stance on the big issues facing your target market; are you for or against? Should there be reform or change? Has the market ignored anything important?
- THINK AHEAD: What kind of risks or exposures can you predict for your customer base in the near future?
Turning your ideas into media-friendly material
Once you’ve got your portfolio of newsworthy ideas in hand, you need to make them eye-catching.
- BE CONCISE: Your ideas will need to make sense to journalists and commissioning editors so get right to the point.
- FOCUS ON THE AUDIENCE: For example, if you know that a major personal injury issue is going to snowball anytime soon and you want insurers to be interested, think about it from their point of view. Will it mean more claims? Higher payouts?
- FOLLOW UP: If you send an idea for a story or an article to a magazine, call them to see what they think.
A business journalist by trade, Ralph Savage represents a series of B2B clients on media and marketing matters. He provides strategic PR advice, media training and consultancy. He also ghost writes regularly on behalf of FTSE 250 CEOs, leading counsel and senior professionals including solicitors, accountants and brokers.