Red carpets. Designer gowns. Glitz and glamour. The Oscar nominees were just announced last week, and that means it’s awards season again. And even though we’re not likely to take a spin in front of the flashbulbs, there is quite a bit law firm PR professionals can learn.

The reason behind all the frenzy during awards season is simple: word of mouth. An Oscar win – or even a nomination – means attention, and that translates into more money in ticket and DVD sales. Even in our supposed era of media sophistication, we are all influenced by media coverage. If a movie is racking up nominations and awards, we are more likely to go see it for ourselves, because “everyone else” seems to like it. The buzz draws us in.

Buzz is powerful, and we can use it in law firm PR as well. When an attorney is quoted regularly in a key industry trade, writes several articles for a legal publication, and is active on LinkedIn or Twitter, he or she creates buzz. By showing up where potential clients are likely to be looking, lawyers increase awareness of their work and experience.

Because buzz is so powerful, it also needs to be managed. Ever notice how some celebrities, such as George Clooney and Meryl Streep, manage to stay popular over time? First, they do good work and are known for their talents. Second, they control buzz. You don’t see stories of George Clooney carrying on like Justin Bieber, and you’d never catch Meryl Streep twerking. No, Clooney and Streep carefully craft and manage their public image.

A good law firm PR strategy does the same for lawyers. You want attorneys showing up in the right publications saying the right things. Each media opportunity for an attorney should be evaluated in terms of how it will bolster his or her image in front of potential clients. If the resulting buzz does not fit with the overall strategy, don’t waste time on the opportunity. Another one will come around soon; they always do.

Similarly, it’s important to craft an attorney’s social media presence, tailoring his or her footprint to present just the right image online. It takes time and effort, but it will be worth it in the end. Just think, would you rather have George Clooney’s reputation or Miley Cyrus’?

As we enjoy the glamour of awards season, it’s helpful to look on with the eye of a law firm PR professional to see what lessons can be learned. Have some thoughts on how to create buzz for your business? Leave a comment or contact Vivian Hood at