One of the biggest PR boosts that can happen for a firm or attorney is being quoted in coverage of breaking news. You can’t plan for this. Only good preparation and solid reporter relationships will get you quoted when news breaks.
Such was the case recently for a Jaffe PR client. We were working with a China-based labor and employment attorney for a major international firm. Our task was to raise his profile with foreign employers operating in China. We had already arranged several background briefings with key reporters, and he had received some good coverage.
And then, news broke of a U.S. executive being held hostage by employees at one of his company’s Chinese factories. He had traveled there to meet with employees to discuss layoffs, and they had reacted badly to the news.
This was the opportunity we had been waiting for.
As a legal practice, the business of intellectual property law is one of the most fiercely competitive arenas. To win ground and gain new business in this highly regarded space, IP practices must strategically find ways to leverage legal PR to position themselves and their attorneys as thought leaders on high-profile and timely intellectual property-related topics.
In the spring of 2013, opportunity presented itself when one of the most-watched IP lawsuits of the past several years became ripe for commentary.
Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics put issues up for debate before the Supreme Court of the United States related to the patentability of human genes. Because of the case’s potential massive ramifications for the biosciences industry and the general public, it was closely monitored by every major news outlet in the country, as well as IP and life science attorneys across the world.
Competition for commentary would be intense, as every intellectual property attorney who practices in the biotech space would be clamoring to be positioned as a leading voice.
Fortunately, our clients had one thing the competition did not: the skilled expertise of Jaffe PR’s media relations consultants.
Law firms relocate all the time and without much fanfare. But for Delaware-based Young Conaway, its move from a traditional office building to the iconic courthouse on Rodney Square in the heart of Wilmington was anything but typical. Transforming the nearly 100-year-old structure—which had declined over nine years of vacancy—into a 21st-century office space was a mammoth undertaking. Still, the firm knew garnering significant press coverage and public attention would be a challenge.
Young Conaway sought the help of Jaffe PR. The firm tasked the agency to not only make the routine announcement exciting, but to compellingly convey the strategic messages of superior client service and commitment to Wilmington’s restoration to the firm’s target audiences: clients, referral sources, community leaders and the media.
Our client was a publicly traded, international electronic discovery software provider and consultancy. Facing steep competition in the marketplace, the company wanted to enhance its position as an innovative thought leader by developing an integrated content-marketing program that would leverage pre-existing marketing collateral and original content and distribute it across multiple channels.
As part of Jaffe PR’s overall marketing and communications strategy, we are constantly looking for ways to maintain and grow our brand. Recently, we felt it was becoming more difficult to capture the kind of premium media hits that we need. The sheer number of competitors – mainly in-house publicists – had grown over the years, and we needed to try something new to get our story told.
When we decided to embark on a Brand Journalism strategy, our goals were threefold:
- To expand the original content we had been providing to subscribers for the past 10 years in the form of our Marketing Tips of the Week.
- Drive those subscribers back to our website as often as we could, by providing the best and most useful content, and
- Continue to drive and support our traditional media relations outreach through our Brand Journalism efforts.
At the time, we were sending one “PR Tip of the Week” to approximately 60,000 subscribers, including legal mar- keting professionals, attorneys, law firm administrators and other legal influencers. We started looking for more effective ways to reach these and other audiences.
Clients often wonder how we decide which opportunities to bring to them – though often, as Jaffe PR is known as a one-stop shop for legal media sources, reporters actually bring the opportunities to us, knowing that we will be the only call they need to make! And being known for having valuable sources helps put our clients at the top of the list when we do approach reporters about an upcoming hot topic.
The co-chair of the labor and employment group for an AmLaw 100 firm recently moved within the firm to California from Texas to be closer to the West Coast clients that she had served for years from Texas. While she was Chambers-ranked in Texas and well known by the general public there due to a legal segment that she anchored at a local television station, she was unknown in California. It was somewhat frustrating to her and her firm because the legal teams she was leading in the Americans with Disabilities Act area were creating new ADA law both in California and nationwide and it seemed as if her participation was being marginalized.
On June 19, 2001, five current and former female Walmart and Sam’s Club employees filed a class action lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco called Dukes v. Walmart. Their suit charged that Walmart discriminates against its female employees in making promotions, job assignments, pay decisions and training, and retaliates against women who complain against such practices. The class was comprised of all present and former employees of Walmart’s retail outlets, including Walmart discount stores, supercenters, neighborhood stores and Sam’s Club who believed they had been discriminated against. Five law firms were working together on this case. One of the overriding themes our client pursued was Walmart’s status as the largest private employer in the United States, and the largest retailer in the world with a comparatively smaller proportion of women it had promoted into management.
Our client was an attorney with an AmLaw 200 national defense litigation firm. In his review of recent case law, he noticed an alarming trend for his clients: that even though they had anti-harassment policies and posting notices, they were still at risk from some types of harassment claims. He wanted to be known as an attorney who could help clients with this specific – and largely ignored – matter.
Our client, co-head of the appellate practice at one of the largest law firms in the Southeast U.S., and an AmLaw 200 firm, wanted to be positioned as a source on the Walmart v. Dukes Supreme Court case. The case was one of the most important of the court's 2010-2011 term as it had significant implications for class action suits of all types and employment class actions in particular
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