Several law firms are using the pandemic to both survive and give back. That is intelligent PR. Savvy law firms use public relations to do well even during the Covid-19 pandemic, where one day is bleaker than the previous one. Almost all lawyers in law firms worldwide will operate from home, with comprehensive technologies and cybersecurity. The same cannot be said for health staff, distribution and transport workers, or our food supply producers.
Public Relations is a science of reputation construction. Public Relations has four objectives: 1) to develop, 2) to encourage, 3) to defend, and 4) often to preserve the law firm or organization’s image.
The sub-discipline for making lawyers cited in mass media news stories and influential business journals is Media Relations. As fantastic as social media is, and as daunting as news output is with declining advertisement sales in 2020, the truth remains: most mass media already have tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, and millions of subscribers (or viewers) coveted by lawyers and law firms.
Professionals in public relations collaborate with writers, editors, photographers, and producers to deliver news of interest to their respective audiences. Here are five ways to put your law firm as a pioneer during Covid-19 using Public Relations:
- Each pitch for a story must have a Covid-19 perspective.
Everywhere you look, there is just one tale gripping the world’s headlines: the pandemic of Covid-19. Reporters covering fields other than industry were conscripted to focus on reporting on Covid-19.
The publication of its Sporting and Travel pages has been briefly halted by The New York Times.
Doesn’t Covid-19 have an angle?
For 90 to 120 days before organizations are up and running again, wait on the story pitch. A fascinating and valid Covid-19 “hook.” can be found by a PR agency specializing in dealing with lawyers and law firms.
Corporate/Commercial Law (contracts, litigation); Employment Law; Labor Law; Real Estate; Construction; Taxation; Government and Emergency Measures; Wills and Estates; and Family Law are fields of law firm practice that are best placed to comment on Covid-19 solutions on behalf of law firm clients, governments and the public-at-large. And there are also connections from Covid-19 to Criminal Law and cybersecurity.
- The center of public relations is the over-arching concept of public “interest.”
A story becomes more attractive to a reporter, editor, or TV or radio producer when it includes hundreds of thousands or millions of individuals. There are so-called “service articles,” that is, papers that the vast majority of individuals impacted by Covid-19 are of service” (or helpful).
Reporters, writers, and creators looking at it in another light are proxies for their listeners, readers, and viewers. So, pitch what’s in the best interest of the media.
When law firms employ us to represent their views to the media at The Legal A-Team, our media preparation requires fundamental truths: first, regardless of what you can tell, you are quoted, not because you have hired a PR agency. In PR, we unlock the door, but our consumers need to step through the door by saying the right words. Second, we help you build so-called soundbites (or Main. Messages) with style and flair and are also substantive. This is what you are doing and how you are doing it.
You don’t get quoted, in other words, because you hired a public relations expert. You are quoted because you have been bold; you have spoken truth to power; you have said what no one else can say; you have held the opposite view, and you have helped advance the legal profession.
- The question about which all reporters are searching for answers worldwide is how?
The most critical question during a pandemic is how? How do we help people who have been laid off or relieved of duty? How do I effectively bring money into the bank accounts of individuals? When do we get the vaccine? How do we economy kick-start the economy?
“How do we collectively exit Covid-19 and get back on track?”How can we leave Covid-19 collectively and get back on track?
Now is a perfect time to pitch the media to get credit for your thinking and efforts if your law firm has been working on ideas that can address the question “How?”.
- Keep a brief public pitch.
The media pitch goal is to have only enough details to make a writer, publisher, or producer call or contact you back with an interview request. A decent media pitch should be between 150 to 250 words, and it should be clear who the authority on the subject is. Contact details, including cell phone numbers, should be provided.
Reporters are on deadline at all times. In minutes or, at best, a few hours, you must call them up. The news is happening today; history was happening yesterday. Not good enough three days later or next week; you’re going to have missed your chance to be interviewed and quoted.
Reporters receive even more emails than average today, usually in the ballpark of 500 to 800 emails a day. As a result, a large amount of a reporter’s mail remains unread.
Think of what to place in the “Subject” line carefully; it could be the first thing the reporter sees. The subject line of your headline or email would make reporters know that your pitch matters to their readers.
- Find out where the puck is going.’ and even pitch those stories to the public.
The Canadian hockey great Wayne Gretzky famously claimed that the secret to his success was to find out where the puck was going” down the ice. Where is the plot going to go next, in other words?