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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Content, Content Marketing, Writing, Writing Advice

Writing is Not a Content Strategy

If “content is king,” content marketing is the king’s highway. Content marketing has been defined as a strategic marketing approach that is focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a targeted audience and ultimately to drive new and renewed business. Typical formats for content marketing include blogs, newsletters, webinars, client alerts, videos, and many others. Although in a law firm these materials will usually appear under the byline of an attorney, the firm’s PR team will normally have a role in planning the firm’s content strategy. And although content marketing started in the corporate world, law firms have been adopting content strategies in the past few years – and they have quickly become an important part of the law firm communicator’s toolbox. As a Huffington Post article reported in 2016, Which industry is absolutely crushing content marketing? Bet you’ll be surprised to learn…

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Events, Media Relations, Media Strategy, Public Relations, Public Relations Strategy

You’re Invited to Promote This

At the Legal Marketing Association conference in New Orleans in early April, the PR Pre Conference hosted a panel, “You’re Invited to Promote This.” The discussion centered on how law firms can generate their own PR from events they host or produce. Moderated by Elizabeth Lampert, president of Elizabeth Lampert PR, Carrie Brunelle from Baretz + Brunelle; Royal Simpkins, director of branding and communication at Bryan Cave LLP; and Anne Gallagher, director of global communications at Jenner & Block LLP shared their experiences with event PR. The speakers pointed out that just like most PR matters, this type of promotion is far from an exact science. A firm can spend a good deal of money and time promoting an event or a theme and can gain a commitment from a reporter – but the reporter might fail to show up or to pursue the lead because of factors that are out…

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Crisis Public Relations

United States of Crisis

Earlier this month, I attended the annual national conference of the Legal Marketing Association in New Orleans. The conference kicked off with a full-day pre-conference program on April 9, broken up into several tracks. I was a co-chair of the PR track that day – a program entitled “Breakthroughs in Public Relations, Content and Communications.” “United States of Crisis” featuring John Buchanan, senior communications manager at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP; Ben Harris, director of communications at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP; Elizabeth Hershman, vice president of iQ 360; and Kristy Werness, senior manager of marketing and communications at Irell & Manella LLP focused on living and working in a “United States of Crisis.” Almost daily, we hear, see and read news stories reporting questionable actions by lawyers and law firms, many of which cause considerable concern for PR professionals. We as PR people need to prepare well in…

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Uncategorized

When is the Right Time to Issue a News Release?

What is the best time of the week to send out a press release? The traditional answer is that Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days, while Mondays are rather iffy since people are going to be deluged by emails from the weekend. Fridays, according to traditional advice, are the worst days, especially Friday afternoons and evenings. I am going to register a partial disagreement. When it comes to real, dramatic news such as a jury verdict or an appeals court decision that matter to journalists and their readers, be prepared to issue the release and make your attorneys available at any time of the week, including Fridays (and weekends if needed). The 24-hour news cycle has changed many of the old rules, and journalists want to stay ahead of the news and ahead of their competitors. They don’t put down their phones and tablets just because it’s 5…

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