Some lawyers are more naturally extroverted than others, and more willing to trumpet their accomplishments to the world at large. But the fact is that, no matter how shy or outgoing you are, you need to issue a steady stream of press releases to let the local news media and prospective clients know what you and your firm are up to. Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease—and if you don't pay attention to public relations, that will only work to the benefit of your competition!
How Do Lawyers Issue Press Releases?
Issuing press releases is more complicated than uploading a .docx to a news outlet's website. It does involve building a network. However, it is easier than you may think to build a network of local journalists that can help you. Here are a few steps to issuing press releases.
- Research the journalists that write for radio, television, and other publications that publish legal stories. Don't limit yourself to just one medium. Check out your local Patch.com or other similar websites and learn about the writers that write about your niche.
- Contact the journalists that you have researched. Ask them how you can help them with their writing and offer your legal knowledge.
- Gather their information and store it in a special list in your CRM (Infusionsoft, Constant Contact, MailChimp, etc.).
- When you want to issue a press release, write a clear synopsis that allows the journalists to read and understand what the case is about and why it is important. Give them an easy way to write a short story about the case.
- As with your leads, nurture your list of journalists. If you can, send them 'thank you' cards, birthday cards, or other marketing touches.
Why Are Press Releases So Important?
If you're like most lawyers, you put in punishing hours at work and always have your clients uppermost in your mind. In these circumstances, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that virtually no one outside your office walls cares, or knows, what you and your partners are up to. That's why you should make it a point to issue a press release whenever you:
- Have won a substantial settlement for a client, or prevailed in a lawsuit using a particularly clever or innovative strategy.
- Are actively seeking clients for prospective litigation (say, a class-action suit), and need to get the word out to the public
- Can offer a unique perspective on a breaking news story, which may entice TV stations or newspapers to quote you in their coverage.
- Feel the need to warn the public about a particular legal hazard, which they may not have been aware of.
- Know that an event or deadline is approaching that pertains to your specialty (if you specialize in denial-of-insurance claims, for example, you can issue a press release before a major hurricane)
Remember: There's Nothing Wrong with Calling Attention to Yourself
At Great Legal Marketing, we know that the most successful lawyers are the ones who aren't shy about sharing their accomplishments with the public and the news media—and the best way to do this is by issuing regular press releases.