It may not deliver high-level strategic messaging, but there’s a lot of value to be derived from even the most routine media placement. I’m talking about announcements of personnel moves, especially new attorneys joining a law firm. This is particularly true for a law firm that wants to be transparent and visible about its lateral recruiting.

News about a new attorney will help to raise a firm’s and the attorney’s profile – particularly through search optimization of online placements – in a controlled, positive manner. In a world with so much competition for credible editorial space, why wouldn’t you put a full court press on the “easy” stuff like personnel news? Consider these general best practices for publicizing an attorney’s arrival at your firm.

  • Issue a formal press release, rather than a simple paragraph with only the information you want published. It’s better to provide all facts than risk not meeting a publication’s guidelines. For example, an attorney’s former employer, title and even age may be perquisites for publication by certain news outlets.
  • Consider building a bigger story around any new hire – and certainly involving multiple attorneys or an established group – to highlight firm growth, new offerings or practice areas, or enhanced service to the local business or nonprofit community.
  • Include a photo of the attorney whenever possible. A photo actually could increase the likelihood of publication or, at the very least, help secure prime or top-of-section placement for your news.
  • Distribute to local newspapers and business publications, keeping in mind that many may require submission via online forms on dedicated web pages. Follow up if the news doesn’t appear within a reasonable time frame. Personnel news can easily slip through the cracks.
  • Send to major national legal publications. Some will publish, while others will not, but it’s good practice, even if only to keep leading industry reporters up-to-date on the comings and goings of attorneys. That can keep your attorneys and firm top of mind when those reporters are looking for sources.
  • Include key trade publications in the attorney’s niche industry areas on your email list. These outlets often have industry/personnel news features. And don’t forget to share with local bar publications, newsletters of organizations where attorneys are members, and law school/undergrad alma mater alumni publications.
  • Also remember to post on the firm’s website, send out a client alert and tweet the news to the firm’s followers.

Have questions about best practices for this and other media relations initiatives? Contact Randy Labuzinski at rlabuzinski@jaffepr.com.