By Geri L. Dreiling, Esq.
When it comes to using press releases, not everyone is on the bandwagon.
Silk stocking firms, state attorneys general, U.S. Department of Justice officials and U.S. Attorneys’ offices around the country — entities that often have built-in legal marketing and public relations departments — routinely use press releases to circulate their news.
For many solo, small and midsized law firms, though, legal press releases are still an underused tool in legal PR efforts — but the Internet has turned this oft-overlooked legal marketing strategy into a powerful PR option.
Circulating your news through a distribution service such as Business Wire or PR Newswire can transform your legal press release from a regular cup of coffee into a double espresso.
Real Legal PR Results
For example, a recent Legal Media Matters legal press release — which included links to the law firm’s website — was circulated through BusinessWire. The results:
- The press release was posted on more than 170 news websites.
- At least nine search engine news sites, including Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com, posted the press release.
- The legal press release received more than 13,000 headline impressions, and the full release was viewed hundreds of times.
- Traffic to the law firm’s website, by way of the embedded links in the press release, increased.
- The legal press release also generated news stories about the merger.
At Legal Media Matters, we write with search engine optimization in mind and we’ve seen the releases we’ve written land on the first, second and third pages of Google organic search results.
Press Release Benefits
After writing, circulating and measuring the effectiveness of legal press releases, I’ve come up with five tangible benefits for law firms that go beyond generating a news story. Legal press releases can:
- Dramatically extend the reach of your good news.
- Help clients and referring lawyers find you. At Legal Media Matters, we’ve issued releases that have brought in new, good cases for our clients. How do we know? Law firms we work with have been called by prospective clients who lead off with the comment: “I read your news release on the Internet.”
- Highlight your legal expertise. Internet research is often used by journalists working on an article. Our press releases have helped reporters find lawyers with knowledge relevant to the story topic.
- Provide content for your website. Put your press release to work: In addition to sending it out over the wire, upload it to your law firm’s website. (Be sure to slightly revise it so the content is not an exact duplicate, because Google loves fresh, unique content. Take a few moments to make a few tweaks before uploading it your website and you’ll give your press release a search engine boost.)
- Build inbound links. Websites with inbound links reap search engine rewards. Wire press releases allow you to embed hyperlinks to your website in your release before it is circulated across the World Wide Web.
Has your law firm sent out a press release? If so, how would you rate its effectiveness? And if you haven’t sent out a press release, let us know what’s holding you back.
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