By Geri L. Dreiling
For many attorneys, each new year brings with it a fresh resolve to do more to promote their legal practice, whether through marketing, legal public relations, networking or some combination of the three.
The year may start off strong, but, as with most resolutions, reality throws up roadblocks. The client who took a holiday from legal problems now urgently wants a solution. That trial date that once seemed so far off is much closer, and the need to schedule depositions and finish up discovery has become more pressing.
In the face of tight deadlines and worried clients, legal promotional efforts often get pushed to the side.
But you can still get back on course—and you may find that instead of wearing you down, your legal PR, marketing and networking efforts reinvigorate your enthusiasm for the practice of law.
To help you get back on track with your law firm’s marketing good intentions, here are seven things that you can do in February to boost your visibility, strengthen your networks and promote your legal practice.
- Send a handwritten thank-you note. If you’ve recently picked up a good client through a referral source, send a note of thanks. A token of sincere gratitude is always well received—and we like to help those who appreciate our gestures.
- Take an old classmate to lunch. Is there someone from college or law school whom you haven’t seen in a long time, or with whom your interaction is limited to Facebook? Reconnect in person by getting together for lunch.
- Seize a volunteer opportunity. Does your children’s school need volunteers to work the concession stand during basketball games? Is your neighborhood organization hosting a Valentine’s Day party? Volunteer a few hours of your time to help set up. Volunteering is a great way to meet people who share interests with you.
- Catch up over coffee. Meet a client, former client, expert or other professional— psychiatrist, social worker, accountant or engineer—for coffee. Find out how your acquaintance is doing and use the time to learn about new developments in that person’s field or business. An expert may also be able to offer insight into what is and isn’t working when it comes to pretrial and trial strategy.
- Send a note of congratulations to a colleague you know and admire who has recently been showcased in the media. Whether it’s a good settlement, a hard-won verdict, a guest article or a quote in the media as a legal expert, everyone likes to be acknowledged. Even if the lawyer practices the same type of law, there are always cases involving conflicts, and your genuine gesture could pay dividends later. For an extra boost, send a copy of the clip.
- Report a verdict or settlement. Perhaps you’ve tried or settled a case in the past several months but haven’t gotten around to submitting it for publication. Make February the month when you finally write the case up and getting it published. For a lawyer, real results are the best form of promotion.
- Inform the public about new hires, honors, awards and speeches. Send a press release to the legal, business and general media announcing your news. Include alumni magazines in your release. Growth, whether in the personnel department or professional development, is positive news indeed.
You know the old adage: Every journey, even the longest, begins with a single step. These are seven small steps for you to use as you begin your journey to boost your visibility and promote your legal practice.
As extra incentive for you to stay on track with your promotional efforts, Legal Media Matters is offering a 10 percent discount on the flat fee price of legal press releases and trial reports to new clients.
The new-client discount is good for one press release or trial report booked on or before Feb. 14. Simply fill out the online contact form and include “Promote Your Practice Offer” in the body of the comment section.
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