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Press Releases

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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Press Releases, Public Relations, Public Relations Strategy

Internal Memos Should be Treated as if they are Press Releases

The old adage that you should act or speak as if the New York Times is quoting you is never more true than in an age of social media? While in most situations, that advice goes a bit far, but it doesn’t go too far in one important area: Law firms should write internal memos as if they could be on the lead page of Above the Law, today or another news outlet tomorrow. As some major firms have decided to raise, or chosen not to raise, their starting associate pay to $180,000, their internal memos to attorneys and staff have been leaked to the media and are out in the open for all to read. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It simply means that law firms need to expect this type of publicity and treat these memos as if they aren’t just internal communications, but what they actually really…

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Media Training, Press Releases, Public Relations

Ditch the News Release. Write a Brief Pitch.

Back in the old days, say in 2004, when a PR person had the assignment of getting the news out to the media about a client’s win in litigation or the completion of a corporate deal, there was one way, and only one way, to do that: write a press release. From there the release would eventually appear on the law firm’s website, of course, and be sent out via email to the media as soon as possible, but the text would read pretty much not just as it if was 2004, but as if it were 1954 and it had been banged out on a Royal typewriter. It would include a headline, a city dateline, and the contact information for a press spokesperson. Most likely, it would be eight to 10 paragraphs long depending on the details of the news and how many people had to be quoted. And,…

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Press Releases

Why Lawyers Should Never Write Press Releases

Many of us in the legal PR business have had the same experience. A law firm wants to issue a press release to publicize something that it has done – perhaps won a major award, picked up a new practice group, or achieved a victory in a client matter. A partner in the firm says he or she would be happy to write the release. This lawyer asks us why not: After all, he or she knows exactly what happened, and lawyers have been writing for a living ever since they were in law school. Why spend the time and money to bring a PR person up to speed in order to draft the release? Well, there are a number of good reasons. First, the way that lawyers are trained to write is not the way you want to write a press release. For good reasons, lawyers are taught to…

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Internal Memos Should be Treated as if they are Press Releases
June 28, 2016
Ditch the News Release. Write a Brief Pitch.
December 1, 2015