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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. Create an opportunity to demonstrate your value. He wrote, “Bluntly, law firms can differentiate themselves by providing the following services for their clients, without charge.”

PR is about more than just pitching stories to reporters and getting coverage, placing articles and speaking engagements. The true value is getting the word out in the right way to the right people, which comes from understanding the clients, their business and industries. And it’s about identifying an audience, or a series of audiences, and what better audience is there for a law firm than their existing and prospective clients?

And another benefit beyond sharing articles that someone else wrote, is becoming the thought leader that keeps you top of mind. Share content that you wrote. Forward articles where you are the source of the commentary. What better way to demonstrate to clients that you know their business. You understand the issues that are of concern to them or topics that should be on their radar.

Now contact your PR professional to make this happen. We are standing by, ready to help you engage your client. And eager to help you add value to your, well, most valuable relationships.