The Future of Public Relations and Law Firms

Do you wonder about the future of law firms and media relations? In the presentation, “Outside the Law Firm – How the Message Gets Out,” at the Legal Marketing Association Texas Conference held on November 6-7 in Dallas, panel members discussed how spreading the message to media is a critically important part of a law firm’s marketing. The group of senior media professionals answered some telling questions.

  • What are you looking for when writing a story?
    • Stories that affect people are the most important. We want to know right away, “How does this affect our audience?” You should also focus on timeliness and impact. If it’s in regard to a specific case, explain why the audience should care.
  • Do you prefer email or phone?
    • If it’s something the reporter needs to digest, send an email with key documents. If there is a strong immediacy, pick up the phone.
  • Do you have interviews that are off the record?
    • “Off the record” needs to be defined. The reporter needs to understand and agree to the terms.
  • Are Friday or weekend pitches likely to be overlooked?
    • For radio and television, Friday or weekends are great because they still need to fill their news over the weekend. For print, they don’t mind Friday or weekend pitches. In fact, it helps tee up Monday or early-in-the-week stories. It’s a good way to get your foot in the door for the next week.
  • What are your thoughts on mass emails?
    • The more you tailor your pitches, the better. The biggest issue with public relations professionals is that they don’t always send to the right people. It’s always better to have personalized, thoughtful emails.
  • What about trend stories?
    • Trend stories are great, but you need to show the trend is actually happening, not just tell the audience that a trend exists. Oftentimes with trend stories, media outlets may not jump on the story right away. Regardless, the more you can document a trend, the better.
  • Does the subject line of an email really matter?
    • Yes, media professionals judge your emails by the subject line.

Panel members included: John Council, Senior Reporter with Texas Lawyer; Mark Curriden, Senior Writer with The Texas Lawbook and The Dallas Morning News; Jess Davis, Senior Reporter with Texas Law360; Bill Hethcock, Staff Writer with The Dallas Business Journal; Bustillo Miguel, Southwest U.S. Editor with Wall Street Journal; Richard Ray, Anchor/Reporter with KDFW-TX/Fox 4 News Dallas; and moderator John Eix, Regional Marketing & Business Development Manager with Hunton & Williams LLP.

Read more about the Legal Marketing Association Texas Conference on our blog:

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