The legal market is affected by changes in the general economy and the way that business is done similarly to the other sectors of the UK economy. Being good or the best at what you do is no longer sufficient or a guarantee that your firm or practice will be successful. Years ago in order to start a new practice, you needed three simple things:
- An office space, so you could meet with clients.
- A phone line to make calls to your clients and be accessible to them.
- Finally a huge stack of business cards to hand out at every conceivable opportunity and function, after all, referrals are very important.
Legal Firms Today
Fast forward a couple of years and you need to add a computer or laptop to that list as well as a good legal PR for UK firms. Good or effective legal PR is not just about marketing. There are elements of marketing involved and advertising is a component of any marketing campaign. All three aspects must come together effectively in order to achieve successful public relations.
There is also another essential component, which is the essential difference between marketing and public relations, add the involvement of the law firm and the public’s perception to the mix. The PR firm cannot do its job adequately or effectively without input from the legal firm that is being promoted. It is important to identify some key issues and answer some specific questions:
- Who is the target market?
- What is the sector or group of individuals who you wish your message to be directed at? This dictates the clientele you will attract and end up doing most of your business with and so it is very important to identify.
- What is your message or objectives? Having identified them and gotten their attention, what do you wish to say to them about your firm?
The next step is the avenue and method of dissemination. It used to be press releases, radio, television and public speaking engagements.
Today PR Firms in the UK use the traditional means, but also incorporate new components such as:
- Strategic Management
- Crisis Management
Effective Legal PR
Introducing and making the right contacts can establish you or your firm as the authority or go-to person on topical issues of the day that are considered to be your particular area of specialty. This can be done through the traditional avenues. This also includes the channels now available through social media. Effective legal PR for law firms, such as provided by Blackletter PR‘s Jeremy Peters (on Google Plus here), is about building relations that can help the law firm to achieve its targets.
There are a host of PR firms that offer a variety of services, each with their own unique areas of specialties. The basic practice of public relations is the same. The finer points of the business of legal PR are definitely not the same. The job is best left to professionals with that specific area of expertise.