Law firms need PR to effectively manage their reputation and communicate with clients, employees, and the media. It also helps them to craft compelling messages, develop strategic communication plans, and build positive relationships. In today’s highly competitive legal industry, PR has become a crucial component of a law firm’s overall business strategy.
In today’s digital age, a law firm’s website is often the first point of contact for potential clients. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that it is easily discoverable by search engines. PR can help because of its emphasis on content marketing, which involves blog posts, articles, and infographics. By regularly publishing relevant content, the law firm can be positioned as an authoritative source of information, which in turn can improve its search engine rankings.
Link building is also useful. It involves obtaining links to the firm’s website from other credible sites. By securing links from reputable sources, the firm demonstrates its credibility, which impacts - you guessed it - its search engine rankings, too.
Through public relations, a law firm can leverage communication channels to disseminate information about its accomplishments and successes. A prime example is press releases, which contain newsworthy information about the firm. Compelling releases can generate positive media coverage and increase the public’s awareness of the brand.
Social media, of course, is an example way to keep the community informed about a law firm’s achievements. An active presence on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, to name a few, is a must, but be sure to consistently post about case victories, new hires, and awards.
Thought leadership content, while not always overtly connected to achievements, represents a good chance to “slip it in” for the writer who is creative. Any articles, blog posts, or even white papers represent a chance to reference, at least a little, the firm’s successes. This ultimately enhances the reputation of the firm, attracts new clients, and grows its caseload.
Negative perceptions of a firm can arise from many factors, such as high fees, lack of diversity, a controversial client, lost cases, or negative media coverage.
The damage to the firm’s reputation can be significant but can be offset by public relations strategies. It begins with a crisis communications plan, which should identify the key messages that the firm wants to convey to clients, employees, and the media. The messages should be designed to counter the negative perceptions associated with the law firm. For example, if it has been criticized for its high fees, its communication plan could emphasize the value it provides to clients through its legal services. If the law firm is associated with a controversial client or a lost case, it can focus its PR efforts on successes, achievements, and positive outcomes. Also beneficial is directing the public’s attention to case studies, testimonials, and other positive content so that the firm is presented in a better light and develops a stronger reputation.
The first step to developing a successful PR campaign for any law firm is to define its values and mission statement. Its purpose and principles will factor heavily in a client’s perception of the firm, so make sure these are nailed down before launching a campaign.
Identify the firm’s unique selling proposition (USO: A firm’s USP is what differentiates it from competitors. It also leads to a better mission statement, one that highlights the strengths of the firm and sets it apart.
Conduct a values audit: This involves evaluating the current values of the law firm and identifying any areas where improvements can be made. Always include input from employees, clients, and other stakeholders to ensure the values are representative of the firm’s culture and beliefs.
Define a clear purpose: Create goals, values, and objectives that support the firm’s purpose and make them S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound).
Align with a target audience: By understanding and incorporating the needs and concerns of clients, the law firm can develop a mission statement that resonates with the public.
Communicate effectively: This can be achieved through various PR strategies, such as press releases, social media campaigns, and thought leadership content.
Storytelling is a powerful tool that law firms can use in their PR campaigns to engage their target audience and build their brands. Here are some of the more effective ways to use stories:
Case studies: By highlighting a client’s problem, the legal strategy used, and the outcome achieved, a law firm can use case studies to demonstrate its expertise and successes to potential clients.
Personal narratives: These can humanize a law firm by sharing stories from its employees, partners, or clients. They are particularly effective for conveying the firm’s values, culture, and achievements in a relatable and engaging way.
Thought leadership content: Through articles or blog posts, a firm can present real-life scenarios and examples to illustrate the knowledge of its attorneys.
Social media campaigns: Platforms such as Instagram and Facebook are ideal for sharing short, compelling stories about a law firm. Videos, images, and other multimedia are equally effective.
Press releases: These can be leveraged for telling the story of a law firm’s achievements, such as winning a significant case, hiring new talent, or expanding into a new market.
Setting goals is an essential part of any successful PR campaign for a law firm. Goals provide a clear direction and a purpose for a campaign, allowing its success to be measured and adjustments to be made. Below are some key strategies for goal setting:
Define the target audience. By understanding the needs, interests, and preferences of the target audience, law firms can set goals that are relevant and achievable.
Identify key performance indicators (KPIs): KPIs are metrics that are used to measure the success of a PR campaign. They include website traffic, media coverage, social media engagement, and lead generation. By identifying KPIs, law firms are better able to set specific, measurable, and achievable goals.
Align with business objectives: For example, if the firm’s goal is to increase its revenue, the PR campaign should focus on generating leads and increasing conversions.
Set a timeline: PR goals can benefit from timelines, which help ensure that campaigns stay on track and make progress.
Monitor progress: Regular monitoring and evaluation of a PR campaign is crucial. Firms should regularly review their KPIs, analyze the data, and adjust the campaign as needed.
Evergreen content is content that remains relevant and useful regardless of when it was created. Law firms should incorporate it in their PR campaigns because it can continue to generate traffic and engagement over time. This can include how-to guides, glossaries, FAQs, and other educational resources that provide value to the target audience.
The benefits of evergreen content are numerous: law firms can establish themselves as thought leaders and as a resource, more traffic can be driven to the firm’s website, and the firm can rank higher in search engine results.
Including a press page on its website is a smart strategy for a law firm looking to build its reputation. It will provide a centralized location for journalists, bloggers, and other media professionals to access information about the firm, its attorneys, and its recent news and accomplishments.
On its press page, the firm can include press releases, media coverage, bios of key personnel, high-resolution images and logos, and other resources that can help journalists to write accurate, compelling stories about the firm. It can also improve SEO, as it provides a central location for links to be directed to and shared.
PR is a long-term strategy, not a short-term solution. It takes time and consistent effort to build a firm’s reputation, establish credibility, and develop relationships with the media and target audience. A successful PR campaign requires a clear strategy, thoughtful planning, and ongoing execution for its goals to be achieved. Focus on building sustainable, long-term relationships with the media instead of just generating quick hits of publicity. By doing so, law firms will be far more likely to achieve the success they seek.
Imperium Group is an American public relations and marketing consultancy firm. Founded in 2016, it specializes in guaranteed placements, creating utmost transparency for its clients. Imperium Group generates over 15M impressions a month for its clients. Its team is based out of New York, Dallas, and Los Angeles.
For more information about Imperium Group, please see https://navigator.imperiumgrouppr.com/.