Awards/Rankings, Writing Advice

Essential Guide to Successful Editorial NominationsFeatured

When I started working for law firms in 2001, I never imagined that my typical day would be focused on anything other than media relations. But times have changed and so have the publications. Today, much of our work week can be devoted to responding to awards and rankings — thanks to the increasing number of requests from news editorial (legitimate lists) and pay-for-play lists and what I will call pop-up publications (not legitimate) that send out requests for submissions. We can all agree developing an editorial nomination takes time, skill and some finesse, from navigating the politics of which submissions to make to compiling the details and facts of each matter that tell a compelling story. This was highlighted throughout the Legal Marketing Association’s recent Los Angeles panel program that featured Greg Mitchell, editor-in-chief of The Recorder; Julie Fei, global communications manager at O’Melveny & Myers; and Kristy Werness,…

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Media Relations

Facts are boring. Stories are Compelling.Featured

The human mind is constructed for telling and listening to stories. It’s just how our brains work. We are hard-wired in that way. Mark McKinnon, a leading political strategist recently told the New York Times you can’t win an election without storytelling. “Good stories win. Campaigns without a story lose.”  Noted trial lawyer Gerry Spence told a group of lawyers they will only capture a jury’s attention if they present their case as a story. “Of course it is all story telling — nothing more. It is the experience of the tribe around the fire, the primordial genes excited, listening — the old warrior, his voice alive, rising with the flames, now whispering away, hinting at the secret …” The same principle is true for public relations professionals. A PR professional succeeds when he or she develops a convincing story, with a clear beginning, middle and end. Yes, reporters like data and survey results, but…

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Press Releases, Public Relations, Writing, Writing Advice

Simplifying the Complicated News Release

There has been a lot of discussion among public relations professionals about the value of a press release. I don’t think the concept of a press release is “dead” especially went it comes to a complicated issue such as a court filing or a motion to dismiss. In these instances, the news release is very much alive but the dilemma on how to explain a complicated issue is real. It brings into opposition two essential objectives of communication that are extremely relevant in our efforts to reach out to the media and gain coverage: clarity and accuracy. It is possible to communicate effectively with the media and achieve our PR objectives without dumbing down the press release or making key details confusing. Here are five good rules for doing this. Take time to understand the details. You will write a much better press release if you fully understand what it’s about….

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Uncategorized

Unexpected PR Advice for Lawyers from a General Counsel

It’s a gift when an outside lawyer can hear directly from the client what they value most. Noel Elfant, Vice President and General Counsel of DeLaval, outlined the “small stuff” he expects from his outside counsel in this provocative article in law.com last week. I was doing my happy dance when I read this bullet point which hits home with what I advise my clients daily: Keep close tabs on industry news relevant to the client’s business, and share important developments on a regular basis, perhaps with a short, tailored explanation that contextualizes the information for its use. What Elfant is talking about is essentially routine services that benefit the client that doesn’t require a lot of time or specialized understanding – or other types of activities, such as getting to know the client’s business, that lawyers should do on their own time. Elfant emphasized not waiting for the client to ask….

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Why the Turtle Never Wins the Race

There are many times when your law firm is competing to tell the same big story for a shared client. And when that happens, being first to execute on a smart publicity campaignwill get you the desired outcome with the media. It is a simple fact: Journalists to turn to the first law firm that contacts them, and makes their attorneys available, when they need a comment for their story. This just occurred connection in major appellate case. Four major law firms, and two smaller ones, all participated in defeating a billion-dollar antitrust case on behalf of leading magazine publishers and distributors. A unanimous panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2ndCircuit upheld summary judgment for all the defendants. As Jenna Greene of ALM just explained in an interesting article,   it was New York’s Cravath, Swaine & Moore, a firm not known for being especially quick to toot…

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Bios, Writing, Writing Advice

It’s Time to Refresh Your Bio

Time changes. Another birthday passes. A new year. These are perfect reminders to revisit your bio to make sure it’s updated. As professional communicator, I am often asked about the best steps to communicate effectively with prospective clients. I always suggest starting with the bio. Whether it’s for a firm’s website or LinkedIn, the bio the first place people go when they get your name from a referral. Every study of law firm websites has concluded that, beyond the home page, the lawyers’ biographical pages are the most visited pages on the site. That’s because, with a few exceptions, people don’t hire law firms. They hire lawyers, who, after all, are human beings, and they want to know whether you are the right person to fix their business problem. That means the bio is your first and probably your only chance to make a good impression. So you should review it a…

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