If you work in the legal field, you probably understand how a strained working relationship with a client can impact the success of a case. In that sense, trials and public relations campaigns aren’t so different. Certain traits make some PR clients great to work with—others, not so much. And having a great relationship with a PR firm has significant benefits for your business: public trust in paid advertising can be as little as 10 percent, meaning that PR has become a necessary part of the marketing mix.
What can you do to make your public relations campaign the best it can be (and make your PR representative’s life a little easier)? Here are three tips.
Have a working knowledge of how the media and the PR industry operate
You don’t need to know how to write a catchy headline, calculate impressions or draft a marketing plan. But you should understand the role that PR professionals play and their relationship with the media. Clients often don’t have a firm grasp on what their PR representative does on a day-to-day basis or even what the purpose of public relations is. Having a basic understanding of how your PR firm operates will help you align your goals and work better as a team.
Understand what’s possible—and what’s not
All PR professionals wish that every pitch and press release would immediately spark the interest of reporters—it would make our jobs a lot easier! But that’s just not how the media works. Reporters are swamped, there’s more news to cover every day, and not every story is going to make it to the front page of the New York Times. Earning media coverage takes time and persistence. Have reasonable expectations about when you’ll see results and what publications will pick up your story. And don’t think that being quoted in a smaller or niche publication is a failure. Oftentimes, that coverage can be equally or even more valuable than coverage in top-tier national publications.
Do your part to achieve PR success
Public relations initiatives are only as good as the clients they promote. If your law firm produces subpar work or acts unethically, there’s not much your PR representative can do to build your credibility among your peers and the public. And no matter how hard your PR firm works, if you’re unresponsive or slow-moving when a reporter asks for an interview, your campaign won’t be as successful as it could be. Your PR firm is there to advise you and advocate for you on your behalf, but ultimately it’s up to you to take ownership of your brand.