It’s not uncommon for law firms to put the cart before the horse when it comes to public relations. Legal marketers will often execute PR tactics without an overarching strategy in place to give purpose to the PR program. The result can be a disjointed effort with a reduced return on investment.
Here are several steps that a law firm can take to create a more-effective and efficient purpose-driven PR program.
1.Identify and prioritize business objectives: A quality PR program begins with identifying and prioritizing a law firm’s business objectives. This requires marketing and leadership to collaborate. Examples of business objectives might be raising visibility of a new practice group, increasing market share in a particular jurisdiction or attracting lateral hires.
2.Develop a strategy: For each business objective, develop a PR strategy that should include identifying target audiences as well as key messages and talking points.
3.Create a media list: Identify media that will help get your message in front of your target audience(s). For example, a firm wanting to grow its insurance practice in Florida would pinpoint outlets of interest to Florida insurance professionals, such as national and regional insurance trade publications and blogs, as well as business and legal publications and blogs in Florida.
4.Begin a tactical approach: Once you have a business objective, a strategy and a list of media outlets, it’s time to start executing your PR plan using a variety of tactics. These include press releases to announce firm news, bylined articles to share attorney thought leadership and media pitches to proactively generate media interest. For greater amplification, include other distribution channels, such as firm and attorney social media. Make sure to weave key talking points into all tactics so you can push your message consistently.
5.Review the purpose: Periodically review the original strategy and ensuing results to determine success. Has the business objective changed, and does the strategy need a shift? Or does the strategy continue to deliver positive and promising results? Make changes as needed to align with evolving needs.
How Can Jaffe Help You Create a PR Plan?
Jaffe has been helping law firms strategize and execute PR plans for more than four decades. We have helped law firms raise their marketplace visibility, broadcast their thought leadership and repair reputational damage. Our senior PR consultants are deeply familiar with legal, industry and business publications, and have forged strong editorial relationships. Because we use an integrated approach, our clients benefit from other Jaffe services, including social media consulting, brand strategy and content marketing.