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, Journalism

Holding Law Firms Hostage with Sponsored Content

Plenty of legal publications like to write profiles of in-house corporate general counsels. Editors and publishers know their readers are interested in finding out what it’s like to guide the legal function of a major company like Google or General Motors. And GC’s of smaller companies are interesting because of the diverse nature of their work and they often have interesting and unusual backgrounds and experiences. For corporate PR professionals these outlets can be excellent opportunities to showcase their top in-house talent. However, some publications have emerged that appear to be unbiased news outlets but function more as “sponsored content” or “custom publishing.” That means they are essentially advertising material just as a company would produce a glossy brochure highlighting a new product or service. Vanguard magazine, recently founded by TrueLine Publishing Co. appeals to its clients with the tagline “Your Story, Here.” On its blog, it describes itself as being “dedicated exclusively to the…

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Blogging, Content, Content Marketing, Writing, Writing Advice

Blogs Are Not Law Review Articles

Last year on this blog we highlighted the comments from several experts on best practices in writing for a blog. We are reminded often by blog advocates that the platform is an essential tool lawyers use to communicate with their audiences, show their skills and expertise, and to become thought leaders. It’s an opportunity that law firms should take full advantage of. Kristi Dosh, a sports business analyst who blogs as The SportsBizMiss, said it is crucial for lawyers not to use legalese but to write so that you can be understood by a broader audience. Jacqueline Madarang, a senior manager for digital marketing communications and marketing technology who’s now at the D.C. office of the Bradley law firm, said she created a writing workshop at her firm so that legal bloggers there can understand expectations about what a blog should deliver. These two, and the other panelists, also noted that blog items are vastly…

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Content, Content Marketing, Public Relations, Public Relations Strategy

Is PR Ready for AI?

There’s no question that artificial intelligence (AI) is a “New Big Thing,” one of the innovations that is already changing the business world and will change it more and more as the decade goes on. A basic definition of artificial intelligence is “the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems.” That is a broad definition. According to that definition, the GPS system in your phone, since it accepts information from you, processes it and guides you to your destination, is an example of AI, and that’s technically true. But as the term is used today, AI generally refers to more sophisticated systems that are capable of learning, reasoning, and improving their own performance over a period of time. Artificial intelligence has begun to penetrate the worlds of law and legal marketing. The January/February issue of Strategies, the official magazine of the Legal Marketing Association, is devoted to…

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Uncategorized

Love your Bio: It’s Your best PR Tool

Your bio is your Valentine. You may not realize it but it is your best PR tool that if updated regularly, can show you love all year long. Clients often say it is the first way (after a recommendation has been made) for your qualifications and accomplishments to become known to that prospective client. The same holds true when a member of the press, or the public wants to know more about you. Studies show that attorney bios are the best-read portion of any law firm website, generating more than 50 percent of all page views on those sites. Now that is love. The bio is the place where every lawyer can become noticed. Think about it for a moment; in 1994, when there were essentially no law firm websites, lawyers relied on printed books that only were updated once a year (or a CD-ROM) in the form of static…

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