Strategies for reputational success: Dos and don’ts in Legal PR

Law firms can often struggle with Legal PR because of how complex the industry is and how time-poor their teams are.

Communicating about complicated cases without getting bogged down in legal jargon is a challenge that all lawyers and their PR teams face. However, building a reputation centred on integrity, credibility and authority is needed if law firms are to achieve steady growth. So, what should law firms do to build such an essential foundation?

Here we have put together five practical tips for law firms looking to raise awareness and nurture a strong profile through PR.

1) Be concise

While you might have a lot of insight to offer on a high-profile or landmark case, the reality is that you won’t have the column inches to include everything.

It’s important to be snappy and discern the key points you want to focus on. Concise comments, shared quickly, will help you build a mutually beneficial relationship with the media. What might start as a two-sentence comment could lead to longer-term commentary opportunities in the future.

2) Understand your audience

An important point to consider when sharing copy with journalists is that, unless it’s the legal trade media, their audience is most likely to be business people or consumers rather than other lawyers. It’s important to tailor quotes and commentary accordingly.

The level of explanation needed depends on whether you’re dealing with sector-specific publications or national media outlets. Using simple examples and anecdotes can help to simplify an explanation in a journalist interview.

3) Use plain English

Related to the previous point is the need to avoid getting bogged down in ‘legalese’ when writing commentary – plain English is best!

Remember that it’s not a legal letter or a contract. Your writing must be accurate, but it doesn’t need to meet court standards. Giving too many references and citing unknown cases isn’t needed and will only create barriers to understanding.

4) Don’t assume you have to do it all

Law firms that efficiently communicate with their marketing team and PR agency will be more cost-efficient and able to capitalise on opportunities while also prioritising case work and billable hours.

At a basic level, you may only need a quarterly call with your PR agency to brief them on your current talking points of interest and firm developments.

During the day-to-day, your PR agency will source relevant stories for you to comment on, and use their network to find relevant target media for you to feature in.

You can read our piece on how legal marketers can engage fee-earners with legal PR here.

5) Don’t keep things to yourself

Law firms deal with a surprising number of media-worthy stories every day. It’s easy for lawyers to become desensitised to their cases and overlook the pieces from their everyday work that could achieve top-tier coverage. Having an open relationship with your PR team can help pinpoint the stories you’re sitting on with great PR potential.

Consistency is key when it comes to Legal PR. Building a strong relationship with your PR team and in turn, key target journalists is crucial for enhancing the reputation of your firm.

If you’d like to discuss your firm’s 2024 communications strategy get in touch with our Legal PR team today.

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