PR: it gets everywhere. However, one place where it has been relatively ignored is the legal sector – at least until now. The last few years have witnessed something of a sea change as law firms have woken up to the benefits of PR and content marketing as well as the need to update media strategies to cope with the new world.
First, let’s spend a few minutes thinking about the way things were. Law firms were likely to advertise on radio, TV or in the newspapers. Depending on their niche they would be highly selective about where they promoted themselves. It was not only a case of wanting to reach potential clients, but also to preserve their reputation. Appearing in an advert on daytime TV might be fine for a personal injury claims firm, but others would rather rise above it. However, the media has changed and so too has the legal business. Digital is on the rise and print media is in retreat. That’s not to say traditional avenues are dead – far from it. Print and broadcast media will continue to hold a crucial role in our society and will also be lucrative avenues for promotion. However, new media creates a host of new opportunities.
One of these is in digital outreach. Developing a comprehensive and integrated online marketing strategy is a great way to reach countless new clients who would have been far beyond the reach of traditional media. By engaging with people online and in social media, law firms can create a buzz and third party recommendations. That’s so much more useful than a simple newspaper advert. If we hear about a company from someone we know and trust we’re much more likely to use their services if and when we need them. New media is also much more complex which is why media strategies are becoming much more sophisticated. Firms are hiring individuals and entire teams of PR professionals and are also looking to specialist PR firms. For example, we’re seeing the emergence of specialist marketing law firms such as Berbay. They specifically aimed themselves at this lucrative and growing market. They offer the benefit of knowledge and expertise in the legal business as well as a background in PR and marketing. This means companies like these are much better placed to develop a comprehensive PR strategy which is suitable to the industry and to a certain practice.
Choosing your partner
That doesn’t mean you should just go out and work with a firm which promotes itself at the legal sector. Have a look at their own marketing. How well have they promoted themselves? It gives you a fair indication about how well they will work with you. Equally, spend time talking to them, getting to know their business and the way they work. Discuss strategies and get a feel about whether or not they can come up with something which can suit you. There are no hard and fast rules. However, the case for legal marketing services has been made time and time again. It only remains to work out the best way to bring it into your organisation.