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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Social Media, Video, Visual Storytelling

LinkedIn’s Live is Perfect Platform for Law Firms

LinkedIn’s just announced the launch of LinkedIn Live, a new service allowing its 600 million users to live-stream video content on the social network. Right now, the use of it is by invitation only, but soon the company will be rolling out broad availability. LinkedIn anticipates that the user-made videos will involve content such as Q&As, events, conferences, earnings calls, awards ceremonies, product announcements, and more. The successful use of video by law firms and lawyers will be a massive differentiator in a very competitive marketplace. Law firms compete for their client’s attention with newsletters and alerts, but more and more clients get important information via video, including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, as well as CLE platforms. While these other outlets already offer video capabilities, LinkedIn has the deserved reputation of being for business, not just for amusement. The other platforms appeal to all audiences, where LinkedIn’s business focus stands out. For…

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Media Relations, Media Training

Setting Ground Rules for a Reporter Interviews

Most PR people know about setting ground rules for a reporter interview, but most attorneys probably don’t. The vast majority of the time, you won’t need them, but there are times when ground rules can be indispensable. “Ground rules” is originally a baseball term that refers to the rules that apply to specific ball parks, or grounds. Those rules are set in advance of the game or the season, and they specify what the result is, say, if a ball hits the edge of a fence or if it lodges in ivy on the wall. In PR, “ground rules” refers to the terms of an interview, also set in advance. What statements by the subject of the interview can be used? What topics are off limits? What answers will be off the record? Is the whole conversation off the record? If you as a PR person think that a reporter…

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What to do When You’re Not Happy With the Reporting

All PR people have been in this situation: You work hard to pitch a good story or set up a good interview, and a journalist responds to your pitch and seems to be ready to publish something. But at some point before the piece is published, you get the sense that your efforts are being “rewarded” with a story that isn’t going to go the way you want it to. The reporter may be taking an angle that is unfavorable to your client or may be de-emphasizing your client’s point of view. The situation may not be your fault, but the lawyer or the law firm isn’t going to be interested in hearing about that. What should you do, and what should you not do? Do go directly to the reporter on the story in a timely manner with a phone call that is pointed but polite. Ask her if…

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