Are you harnessing the power of PR to grow your law firm?
Building law firm public relations into your online marketing campaign builds brand presence, subject matter expertise, and brand authority. But to harness these benefits, you need to run a digital PR campaign for your law firm, not a traditional one.
Traditional Vs Modern Law firm PR
Both traditional and modern PR have the same objective. They build brand awareness, paint a positive image, and engage a relevant audience. However, they use dramatically different approaches.
The most significant difference between traditional and digital law firm public relations is that digital PR forms a core portion of a wider online marketing strategy. Traditional PR doesn’t.
Digital PR for law firms is designed to align your public relations efforts with your broader online marketing strategy, including lead generation, SEO, and inbound marketing.
Traditional law firm PR has less impact on search rankings, link acquisition, and overall SEO. That is because it primarily focuses on the use of TV and print media to drive brand awareness.
Digital law firm public relations integrate seamlessly with your online marketing strategy. Proper execution garners quality backlinks from authoritative domains, boosts lead generation, and skyrockets engagement on social media.
Doyle Clayton, a UK-based law firm, launched a PR campaign that discovered that Generation Y managers felt strongly against hiring older workers. The campaign generated deep insights that gave the law firm a distinct viewpoint backed by irrefutable evidence. The campaign was hugely successful and resulted in widespread media coverage. It also painted them as leading experts and authority on dealing with Generation Y employees.
Law firms need a sound public relations strategy because their success ties closely to their brand image. A credible PR team can help you safeguard your brand reputation.
- Rumors can damage your brand. Research shows it takes around 2 hours to confirm a story but more than 14 hours to debunk a rumor.
- Brand reputation determines a law firm’s ability to attract new business
- Hiring a PR firm helps to protect attorney-client privilege.
How to Plan an Effective Law Firm PR Campaign
Using public relations to build your brand can be challenging, more so if you don’t have a concrete PR plan, which is simply a road map to help you launch and run a successful campaign.
Here are five critical elements of an effective PR plan for law firms.
1. Situation Analysis
Research and situation analysis let you grasp the breadth of the issue you’re trying to solve. It could be trying to quell negative publicity or simply trying to get your name out there. You can opt to carry out the research yourself or delegate it to 3rd party contractor.
The research should cover primary and secondary data, while using both formal and informal sources. It’s helpful to read & audit relevant new articles along with the latest trends in the legal sector. A comprehensive research brief should include competitor research as well.
2.Establish the Objectives
Efficient public relations for a law firm should have up to five objectives derived from the firm’s overall goals. It’s essential that you understand that goals and objectives have distinct meaning and application in this context.
The best law firm PR campaigns use SMART objectives:
- S – Specific
- M- Measurable
- A – Attainable
- R- Relevant
- T – Time-bound
For the best results, you should answer these questions:
- How effective are the objectives in addressing the issue at hand?
- Are the specific objectives clear and laser-targeted?
- Do all the objectives fit the SMART model?
- How will you quantify success for each objective?
This is the fun part. With digital PR, you have a multitude of channels at your disposal. These include social media platforms, websites, video, online news, and influencer campaigns. They also employ many different tools, including marketing automation services, SEO software, web analysis, and social media solutions.
Answering these questions will aid in the implementation of your law firm’s PR campaign:
- Do the tactics, strategies, and activities address your primary objectives?
- How will you roll out each strategy for maximum audience engagement?
- How creative or innovative can you get to expand your tactics and activities?
It’s best to evaluate the PR plan on a rolling basis to gain insights into its performance and ensure you’re on track. At the very least, you should assess the PR campaign quarterly. Take stock of the achievements, note the strong points and the shortcomings as well.
If you’ve already met and exceeded any set objectives, you might consider adding some more or expanding on the remaining ones. It’s best to build the evaluation schedule within your plan.
Be sure to define:
- What success look likes
- How to meet each objective
- How to document and demonstrate results
5. Budget Allocation
The amount of money you set aside for your law firm’s PR campaign determines the breadth and length of the campaign. It lets you pursue realistic objectives and maximize the results. Scale down the objective if you’re budget limited to avoid spreading your campaign too thin. Targeted focus on one or two objectives gets you better results than lackadaisical efforts over numerous platforms.
Benefits of Running Digital Law PR Campaigns
Unlike traditional PR, digital law firm PR campaigns can have secondary impacts, like improved search rankings. There’s a higher focus on creating quality content that your target audience is likely to share. Naturally, such content needs to be informative, educational, and entertaining. The key here is to build subject expertise and come off as brand authority.
Part of your digital PR campaign can entail getting published in a branded legal publications which can strengthen your SEO campaigns. We discuss this in more detail within our law firm SEO guide.
Featured posts on trusted publications attract views, comments, and social shares. They grow your web presence and increase the likelihood of referral traffic as well, all in a manner that Google can understand and give you “credit” for.
Digital law firm public relations is an incredible way to build your market presence and brand authority. It’s more effective than traditional pr for law firms because it helps you gain quick visibility while setting a foundation for long term SEO success.