The summer seemed to drag on, or at least it did for folks like me who live in Texas. Now fall is finally here, and the holidays are quickly approaching. For journalists, the holiday season means a break from a demanding 24-7 news cycle. But between holiday celebrations and time off, this time of the year can also create a lack of content for reporters. This means the holidays are the perfect (and often underrated) time to provide news outlets with story ideas about your firm.
Media outlets and their readers are hungry for seasonal how-to advice, year-end wrap-ups and inspirational stories that warm their hearts. Here are five PR ideas to consider.
New Year forecast stories
Pieces about forward-looking predictions are a great way to showcase your thought leaders on trends in their practice areas and how their related industries will evolve next year. Most types of publications — business, trade and legal — publish these forecast stories, and several publications even have New Year prediction guides. Remember: The time to strike is now, especially with publications that have long lead times. Although these stories are unlikely to run until the end of the year or early in January, most journalists seek and complete these predictions well in advance.
Highlight your law firm’s successes of the past year
If no one matter or transaction stands out, consider compiling them. Have you had a number of successful trial results or closed some big deals? They may not be newsworthy individually, but the result might be impressive if they are combined. For instance, the firm successfully represented clients in matters valued at over $100 million or closed real estate deals valued at more than $250 million. Don’t get stuck on the calendar year — these can come from the past 14 months if you want to include a large matter in the total.
Don’t forget to highlight the firm’s large amount of pro bono hours in addition to all of its client work, especially events or services related to seasonal events.
Pitch evergreen story ideas and content
Is there a topic that one of your attorneys has been eager to discuss in the media, but you can’t seem to secure interest? If it’s an evergreen — that is, timeless — story idea, then the holiday season may be a good time to offer it up again to the media. Since reporters want to have their stories ready to go before their days off, the timeliness of your story isn’t as important during the holidays, but make sure it’s still topical. Cybersecurity issues, for instance, are continually in the news. Reporters will appreciate your evergreen contributions with the inevitable news holes they’ll face in the coming weeks. You might even see quicker turnaround on contributed articles since editors can fit those pieces in whenever they have a space to fill.
Profile someone in your firm
The holidays are a time for feel-good stories. Take this opportunity to profile someone from your firm who has an interesting story to share. This is a good way to highlight your law firm’s culture. Maybe an attorney, practice group or staffer is doing exceptional volunteer work for a local charity, or has a unique hobby or side hustle. Ask around the firm if you need ideas. Several years ago, I had an attorney profiled who was part of a female roller-derby team. I secured another for an attorney who is a master sommelier (only 269 individuals have received that distinction since its inception in 1969).
Don’t overlook the staff. Many non-attorneys make important contributions to the firm, have interesting hobbies or are doing worthwhile work in your community. They might even be inspired by the attorneys.
Highlight a holiday media event
Your firm might already have something planned that could become newsworthy with a little tweaking. If not, be the one to suggest such an event. In this regard, it’s important to create a visual for print and television, such as a gift-wrapping party at the firm to wrap presents for an organization that provides gifts to families in need or a group of employees gathering to create holiday care packages for members of the military who are serving abroad.
Timing is important
Don’t wait until late November to start pitching your holiday story ideas. Since reporters plan their holiday stories well in advance, the best time to pitch holiday ideas is now. Also, identify those potential thought leaders in your office who won’t take time off during the holidays. This will make it easier to know who is available in case any media interviews come your way.
Don’t miss the opportunity by going dark on PR during the holidays. This time of the year offers a unique opportunity to foster relationships with reporters and secure great placements. Before going into time-off mode, continue pitching throughout this month — you’ll reap solid end-of-the-year results by providing reporters and readers with fresh content.
Finally, use any downtime at the end of the year to analyze how to improve your law firm's PR strategy for the upcoming year.
If you need help with your PR ideas, reach out to me, Carlos Arcos, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment below.
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