There are time-honored ways of telling a law firm’s story – conferences, one-to-one meetings, networking – and of course social media can amplify all of these efforts. They are all worth trying. But thoughtful deployment of a public relations strategy can reach more people, more quickly, and with more focus than anything else.
Public relations has long been undervalued as a tool to get a law firm’s message out to current and potential clients and more broadly to the public. And the key to success is a clear and acted on PR strategy.
By way of example, let’s say your law firm is opening a new practice that deals with the legal impacts of artificial intelligence (AI). You could develop a conference on AI or become a sponsor of someone else’s conference. You could use your CRM system or go to LinkedIn to build a list of people who are AI innovators or whose companies are using AI. You could post on LinkedIn or set up a series of one-on-one meetings with possible clients. There are many other steps that are possible.
It would probably be more effective, however, to use the media to broadcast your message. Your PR team can quickly make a list of online and print publications that deal with AI from all perspectives. Then she can develop a strategy to have your partners quoted in those publications or to place bylined articles in those publications on key aspects of AI.
Not only will the bylined articles be read by a substantial audience when they are published; they can, and will, be repurposed and live on your website and will be sent to new connections your lawyers are making. Even in the digital age, nothing can beat the depth and breadth of national and trade media and the imprimatur that it can give to your firm and personal reputation.
This is just another reason why marketing and business development needs to be coordinated with the PR and communications functions.