Attorneys understand the value of generating media buzz and in steering the narrative in the press when they catch a newsworthy case. But did you know that public relations – or PR, is about much more than that?
In today’s digital world, PR encompasses critical components of a firm’s reputation management, such as public sentiment toward your client or your firm, brand perception, brand visibility, and local search engine optimization (SEO).
Because the line between online and offline activities is increasingly blurred, these vital PR elements likewise overlap both realms when considering your reputation management.
Public relations efforts can be successfully leveraged within:
- Your local community
- Your social networks via social media
- National press/outlets
- Local press/outlets
- Press release distribution via news wire services
- Your own website.
For example, if you sponsor a local youth sports league team by paying for their team jerseys, your law firm’s name will be the team name, and you will benefit by establishing a positive perception of your brand in that local community. (If you do this yearly, it becomes good will.)
If you then announce that you are a “proud sponsor” of the youth league on your law firm’s website, you’ll have transferred some of that positive brand perception online.
To take it even further, if you’re able to have the youth league’s website mention your law firm’s sponsorship by way of appreciation and in doing so, they link to your site; you’ll have gained authority for your local search engine visibility!
Your good will may really reciprocate if one year the team makes it to the finals, or wins it all, as the local newspapers will undoubtedly cover it. This is one reason why team sponsorships are so popular among public relations professionals. Companies enjoy sponsoring something that promotes self-esteem and collaboration.
Of course, your firm’s brand needs to be both positive and authentic, so you should engage in the types of local relationships that you deem worthy and appropriate.
Public Relations 2.0
Have you written an eBook? Whether your pdf eBook is free, or behind a pay or subscribe wall, you’ll want a PR strategy in place to promote it.
If you’ve published a digital version of your book and offer it on Amazon, you can still benefit greatly by having a PR plan in place to help catapult it to success.
Maybe you’re still in the planning stages of your book. That’s great! Your PR consultant can help you at every stage of production, through publication to promotion.
An eBook PR program can include a press release that’s distributed regionally if your topic deals with state laws, or nationally if your topic is broader.The press release is designed to introduce your book to the public and to media outlets that will run it on their websites.
Your program might also list the eBook on social reading and review platforms like GoodReads, along with a specific landing page on your own website dedicated to its promotion and download, or information on where to get the book.
This landing page on your site should include a synopsis and selected reader reviews. Even better, planning ahead to find an influencer or two in your field who agree to write a book blurb that’s tactfully placed inside your eBook is PR gold!
Remember that public relations is all about creating and maintaining positive perceptions with your publics without paying for placements.
A neutral party who writes about your brand, product or service is much more persuasive to a prospect. And that’s the power of PR.
Next up we’ll look at how PR can help grow your law firm’s bottom line with nationally focused strategies. We’ll also explore reputation management, a sub-area of PR. Look for Part Two coming soon … See you then.