Last month, Ashley Brown, who heads up digital communications and social media for the Coca Cola Company, declared during a webinar that he wanted to “kill the press release.”
Under his watch, the company has embraced “brand journalism,” launching the online magazine Coca-Cola Journey and the company’s first corporate news blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled. According to Brown, his goal is to reduce the number of Coke press releases by half this year and eliminate them entirely by 2015.
Most law firms, regardless of size, don’t have the resources Brown has at his disposal to lead such a massive content marketing effort. However, he does make a good point for businesses looking to get their message across and transition from marketing to publishing.
Although I don’t completely agree about killing off the law firm press release altogether (at least not at this time), law firm marketers should think beyond traditional press releases, tool kits and launch packages. Instead, conceive of more creative and engaging ways to tell the firm’s story.
This is possible with the seemingly endless social media platforms at our fingertips – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. – as well as law firm websites, blogs and newsletters. These tools can be leveraged to tell a law firm’s story directly by enabling the firm to share content that it is passionate about and that clients will be interested in.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to begin thinking about what makes a good story within your law firm. Think about the audiences you want to engage and what most appeals to them. Is there an emotional element that you can weave into the story? Studies have shown that decision-makers base their decisions largely on emotional appeal. How can you create dramatic tension that will keep the audience interested? What larger thematic takeaways can you highlight in your story so it appeals to the widest audience possible?
What do you think? Is the press release a dying tool, or does it still have its uses? Leave your thoughts in a comment below, or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.