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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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Developing Law Firm Content like a Hollywood Script

“Law is a talent business, like Hollywood,” said Brian Kiefer, Director of Communications at Seyfarth Shaw LLP, speaking at a webinar June 19 sponsored by the Legal Marketing Association’s Public Relations Shared Interest Group (SIG). In the webinar, titled “Building Blockbuster Content into a Thought Leadership Franchise,” Kiefer focused on Seyfarth Shaw’s annual Workplace Class Action Report, now in its 15th year, that has become indispensable for class action defense lawyers. Kiefer continued the analogy to the entertainment industry throughout the webinar. “There are so many parallels between what we do as marketing and PR people to bring content into the marketplace and what Hollywood does,” he said. “Our first step is to align talent with content, like casting a film. It’s important to cast the right lead. The lawyer who is to be the face of the franchise can either be a highly experienced attorney or a relative unknown…

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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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You’re Hired! Finding the Right PR Talent

It is no longer enough to be a hard worker and team player. The skills valued by PR professionals and their bosses mirror some of the qualitative traits most coveted by employers in any industry. The just-released Global Communications Report, by the University of Southern California’s Center for Public Relations provides some interesting data on current trends in the media and in the world of public relations. Last week, I wrote a post exploring the changing media mix and the projections for further, possibly dramatic, change in media usage anticipated in the next few years. The study also shines a light on another challenge that has not received adequate attention in our industry: hiring the appropriate talent. One of the key conclusions of the USC report is that there remain questions today about the PR industry’s ability to attract the right talent. In fact, top executives in PR agencies and in…

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