By: Julie Price
When a water main burst under a community playhouse, it nearly destroyed the structure, and it sparked a dispute over liability between the utility company and the two local brothers who owned the historic playhouse.
To the townsfolk, it was clear: The brothers deserved full compensation for the damage caused by the breach. The utility was offering a relatively modest settlement. Without the resources to fight in court, the brothers didn’t have much hope against the big utility … that is, until two local attorneys from a prestigious law firm in the area offered to help – which they did for three and a half years, until the brothers received full compensation.
The attorneys’ help was a boon to not only the brothers and the community but also their law firm, a client of ours that asked us to share the story publicly. With our assistance, the story – and the law firm – remained in the news throughout the long legal battle. As the playhouse got its second life, the law firm’s business and reputation grew.
Over the years, we have represented countless lawyers in a variety of interesting ways. With their expertise and eloquence, attorneys provide excellent opportunities for publicity. If it’s not a local-interest news story, it can be one of many other things. For example:
Speaking engagements: Attorneys are public speakers by their nature, and they also tend to have vital information of general interest. With that in mind, we often arrange to have our attorney clients go out and address civic groups. These engagements are a great, positive way to give back to the community and also to keep the law firms on top of people’s minds.
Press releases: When a lawyer gets a landmark case or an interesting decision or a special recognition or a promotion, it’s often newsworthy. A standard press release distributed widely to all relevant media outlets is the bread and butter of a solid marketing plan.
Op-ed pieces: Sometimes – and particularly on topics of some urgency – it makes more sense to have the attorneys tell the stories directly, in which case we help them write and distribute first-person opinion pieces for local, regional and/or national news media and bar association publications.
Awards: The Los Angeles Business Journal is among the regional publications that present awards to leaders in the legal community. We nominate worthy clients and often succeed in having them recognized; as they learn, these honors are timeless and priceless.
Share with client base: We try to distribute all publicity and published articles to the law firms’ clients, so they’re apprised of what their attorneys have accomplished.
Weekly marketing plan: Bottom line, whatever they do, attorneys should do something EVERY WEEK to market themselves and their firms. The regularity of publicity is the single greatest tool to its success.