Over the years, countless lawyers – male and female – have told us they want to be like the media maven Gloria Allred. They want her visibility, her name recognition, her air-time and her ability to attract the kind of clients and cases she attracts. However, when we’re probing for material to pitch to the media and move into what could be interesting and perhaps mildly provocative territory within their area of expertise, they back off. “Oh, I don’t want to talk about that,” or “I don’t know enough to talk about that,” or “That’s not my case; I don’t want to comment,” even when it’s in the sweet spot of their expertise.
Gloria Allred has a lot of the characteristics I admire: she’s not afraid to be provocative in order to attract media attention for herself and for her clients; she’s not afraid to say what she thinks; she’ll go toe-to-toe with anyone; and she’s not afraid to take the heat. She built her reputation through the media and knows how to use it, but I’ll guess that she didn’t come straight out of the box that way. She started somewhere and at some point had to expand her comfort zone by doing things that were uncomfortable.
Not everyone needs to be or can be Gloria Allred. I know I’m not built to be her. Perhaps, on second thought, it’s not for you either, but if you want the power of third-party credibility that being interviewed by the media can bring, you have to start somewhere. We would never want to push a client to the end of a tree branch, but if you want media attention, if you’re tired of seeing your competitors quoted in the articles you should be in, then you need to consider at least starting to climb the tree.