Stop Waiting to Make the 6 O’clock News: 3 Ways to Insert Your Firm into the News Stream
I was recently listening to a marketing podcast, wherein the speaker explained that one of the primary goals of marketing is to make others think about your business from a different perspective. This is true whether you’re a lawyer, CPA or a real estate professional. The podcast’s declaration resonated with me, as I’ve been saying almost the exact thing to our law firm, real estate and financial services clients for years. In fact, I’d recently given a talk on this subject to a group of service professionals. The talk was titled “How to Be Your Own PR Firm” and I was gratified when one of the attorneys in the audience told me that my points made him change his perspective on the spot. Bingo!
My main point in the talk was that, in terms of marketing professional services, you can’t wait for news to happen. It’s news because it doesn’t happen regularly — otherwise, it wouldn’t be news. Sure, large deals such as mergers and acquisitions, significant lawsuit filings, etc., may make news, but they don’t happen very often. This is why you need to insert yourself into the news stream, which is what we work with clients to do.
So how is that accomplished? Here are three ways to insert yourself into the news stream, even if you’re a solo practitioner or a small professional services firm.
- Identify Trends, Make Predictions and Forecast
You are an expert in your industry; use that expertise to become newsworthy. Are you seeing a large number of cases being tried in your practice area based on a specific precedent? How are changing laws about workplace safety, the legalization of marijuana, etc., going to affect the economy and the community? What potential “potholes” should investors or consumers be warned about?
Spend time formulating well thought out positions or forecasts to weigh in on the current news climate. From here, your trends, predictions, buyer beware warnings or other topics can be provided to news outlets for interviews or quotes.
- Write an Article
You can also insert yourself in the news stream by writing an article. To do this, you can offer an article on a timely topic as mentioned above to an editor that is willing to let you write a guest column for their publication, complete with your byline. Bylined articles are invaluable in that you not only get the coverage online or in print, but you can also share that article on your website, with your database and through your professional social media channels.
- Make News Announcements on Your Own
Recall that I said many newsworthy announcements never get covered by mainstream media. So, the onus is on you to make sure others are aware of your news by announcing it yourself. Whether through issuing your own press releases, publishing a blog or writing case summaries for your website, it’s important to remember that just because the major networks aren’t covering your news doesn’t mean it’s not valuable information to share with the public.
By shifting your perspective from one of waiting for the deal closing or trial success to happen, to proactively working to get your services or firm in the news, you’re in a prime position to be able to make others think about your business in a new way. Even better — you’re also likely to realize that by positioning yourself as an expert, there are unlimited opportunities for increasing your firm’s visibility, which can lead to new business.