Four tips to remember when preparing your legal press release highlighting new lawyers
By Geri L. Dreiling, Esq.
For most law firms, hiring a new attorney is a significant development. It is a sizable investment that sends a positive message about your firm’s growth and ability to serve your client base.
Many law firms send press releases to a variety of legal and mainstream publications announcing their new hires. The practice serves two purposes:
- It is a nice welcoming gesture that gets the new relationship off on the right track.
- It is an inexpensive way to generate publicity for the firm.
If you are considering announcing a new hire, be sure your press release submission meets these four criteria.
1. Keep it short.
As I mentioned in Press Release Writing Tips Part II, I recommend keeping the release under 400 words. Press releases are business communications, and your readers, busy journalists, will appreciate your ability to get to the point.
2. Identify educational institutions and graduation dates.
In addition to sending the press release to local, legal and bar publications, consider submitting it to the new hire’s alumni magazines. Most college and law school alumni magazines include a class notes sections that highlights recent alumnus achievements. Alumni magazine editors generally ask that the release identify educational institutions, degrees received and years of graduation. Including these details allows the editor to more easily verify the information.
3. Include a high-resolution photograph.
A photo of the new hire is a good way to complement the text. However, if the photo will appear in print, it needs to be of high resolution — 300 pixels per inch (300 dpi) or greater.
For Windows’ users, to figure out whether you have a high-resolution image, right-click on the photo and select Properties. You may have to select Advanced Properties, but you will eventually obtain the resolution information.
Many digital cameras have as their default setting 72 dpi, a low resolution that is great for the Internet and websites but terrible for print. To learn how to produce a high-resolution image, read this eHow article by Sharon Mcelwee.
You can also hire a professional photographer who will supply both high- and low-resolution images. At Legal Media Matters, we recommend using a professional photographer. For more information on why a professional photographer is an important ally when it comes to creating an image for your law firm and for tips on making the most of a professional shoot, read Legal Marketing: 4 Photo Shoot Tips.
4. Insert a paragraph describing the firm’s practice area.
Use the press release to promote the firm in addition to spotlighting the new hire. Make sure the last paragraph of the press release identifies the firm’s location and areas of practice. Although the complete information will most likely not make it into the final version that appears in the publication, you have used the opportunity to educate the reporters and editors responsible for modifying the content for their publication about your firm. That could translate into interview requests in the future when a reporter is looking for legal experts.
At Legal Media Matters, we provide legal public relations, law firm marketing and attorney website content writing services.