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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Internal Communications

You promote everyone else. Why not you?

The schedules of public relations professionals tends to be full and unpredictable – if we’re not putting out a fire here or signing off on a press release there, we are looking ahead, planning the next campaign, and simply educating ourselves on the changes in the legal industry, business and communications. That sometimes doesn’t leave enough time for us to promote ourselves and what we can do for our attorney clients. How many times have we had a deadline and spoken with an attorney who didn’t realize we were prepared to help in any number of ways including promoting the client success or placing an article? How many times has a PR professional been asked nearly too late to craft a media strategy? Too often. That’s why promoting our role as a pivotal part of the firm’s success is a critical parts of our jobs. We have to continually remind…

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Events, Visuals

Hosting an event? Invite a professional photographer

I’ve written a good amount about the changes in the media scene and the practice of public relations that are constantly affecting our daily responsibilities. One thing that never changes is the necessity of quality video and photography. Not all reporters have the interest or the time to attend your events, but they will do a post-event story if you can provide a thorough write up and quality photos with detailed captions. Besides the written content, delivering quality photos is your responsibility as well. That means you have to ensure whoever you appoint to take photos, gets exactly what you want and what can be publishable. Consider it a part of your event budget. It would be a huge mistake to trust your photography to a firm employee, say a marketing assistant with no photography experience. Even worse is giving an attorney the responsibility when he or she has to…

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Client Alerts, Content, Writing, Writing Advice

So What? How to Write Client Alerts That Get Read and Get Results

When you are writing or editing a client alert, have you asked yourself, “So what?” That is the first question you should ask according to Peter Darling of the Repechage Group, a consultancy that advises law firms and others on content strategy. Peter was the featured speaker on a Legal Marketing Association Webinar hosted by the PR SIG on November 29. During the webinar, Peter provided detailed advice and examples to help law firms increase the odds that client alerts do not become a wasted effort. Peter shared the first thing he learned in his writing career: before you write something, you need to ask who is the audience and why the content is important to them. More importantly, the author needs to give the reader a reason to care. As a former practice attorney, Peter said lawyers are trained to ignore the key principles of creating great content, largely because they…

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July 11, 2013
Writing, Writing Advice

How to Write a Headline That Captures A Reader’s Attention

Clickbait proves the theory that a headline is the most important part of your content. A great headline is the key to whether a reader will actually read past your headline and get to the meat of your article. But, I continue to notice headlines in the legal industry for client alerts, studies and attorney-authored articles can be too long, too awkward and downright boring. Why does this matter? Law firms publish tons of content that consumes valuable attorney time to create. Ergo, don’t waste their time  distributing content that won’t get read. That was the focus of a recent Public Relations Shared Interest Group (PR SIG) webinar for the Legal Marketing Association featuring Anne Marie Grewal, Client Communications Manager at Latham & Watkins. Grewal has a strong background as a journalist and has been hired by law firms to be the last stop before content leaves the firm. Capturing…

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