“I just got a call from Josh,” Lance said to Linda in her office.
“Josh, the reporter?” Linda asked.
Lance nodded. “He’s doing a story on elder abuse, and he knows we focus on elder law.”
“That’s great,” Linda said. “The publicity is good for the firm.”
Lance and Josh met during their undergraduate days, and they stayed in contact as their professional careers progressed. Lance is fortunate to have a reporter working in his area of interest who is a long-time acquaintance. Most of us must take the time to cultivate relationships with the press.
How to Meet the Press
Your first step in cultivating a relationship with reporters is to establish yourself in your area of practice. Write articles, maintain a regular blog, or offer to guest post on other websites. Writing useful content for your target audience is an excellent way to make yourself known.
Contact local reporters and offer to be a resource. Sending a blanket email to a long list of media outlets is not effective. Take time to research media that attracts viewers or readers of interest. If there is a recent news story and it is relevant to your practice area, offer to explain the law to the reporter. Reporters like to look for local experts.
Telephone calls are also effective. Send an email and then follow up with a phone call. That personal connection will stand out in today’s world of texting and email communication.
Use a Press Release
A simple press release will promote your law firm and connect you with the media. A press release generates a news story and helps future clients and fellow lawyers find you. It highlights your legal expertise and provides content for your website, blog, and social media.
Law firms use press releases to draw attention to various events such as:
- Community and alumni recognition awards
- Future workshops for the public or other lawyers
- Appointment to boards
- Law firm mergers
- Filing of law suits with public policy implications
- Hiring new associates
- New publications by members of the firm
- Announcement of a new office in a new location
Law firm press releases are sent to editors in the news sections of local media, legal publications, business publications, and alumni magazines. Other possibilities include your local bar association newsletter and publications that cover specialized topics such as personal injury litigation or intellectual property.
A well-written press release creates personal and professional connections, keeps the local community informed of important changes in your law firm, develops website content, and cultivates relationships with the media. It’s well worth keeping in your marketing plans.
After years practicing law, Roberta Gubbins served as editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides writing services to lawyers ghostwriting content for websites, blogs, and articles. She is editor of The Mentor, the SBM Master Lawyers Section newsletter.
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