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Public Relations Matters: A Few Self-Help Hints

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Lawyers and ClientsThis week’s Missouri Lawyers Weekly highlights some out-of-the-ordinary promotional tips

By Geri L. Dreiling, Esq.

Once a month, Missouri Lawyers Weekly includes a special section called “Practice, Practice” that provides useful tips, hints and practical advice, organized around a particular topic.

For example, the August special section addressed alternative dispute resolution practice. One of the articles within the section tackled the issue of ADR and divorce. Legal experts — including an LMM client, St. Louis mediator and divorce lawyer Marta J. Papa — weighed in on the pros and cons for clients.

In the September “Practice, Practice,” David Baugher shares 31 tips for building your law firm’s book of business in 31 days. I was pleased to contribute a few ideas for the piece. Among them:

  • Write a letter to the editor or reach out to a reporter who covers topics related to your practice.
  • Nominate outstanding attorneys in your firm for awards and honors conferred by business and legal publications.
  • Subscribe to Help a Reporter Out as a way to share your expertise.

1. Reach out to a reporter.

Contacting a reporter who has written something that interests you or is related to your practice is not as unusual as it might seem. As a legal journalist and investigative reporter, I regularly received e-mails and phone calls from readers with comments about pieces I had written. Whether the reader agreed, disagreed or wanted to add another thought, as long as the tone was respectful, the exchange was always welcome — and sometimes it led to new ideas for articles and helped me expand my pool of sources.

2. Nominate your firm’s attorneys for awards and honors.

Last week, Missouri Lawyers Weekly held a reception honoring 48 Up & Coming Lawyers. The St. Louis Business Journal is now accepting nominations for the 2010 40 Under 40 class. These are just two examples of ways in which your firm can make it into the news and build internal morale by recognizing the lawyers who contribute to the firm’s success.

3. Follow HARO as a way to share your expertise.

HARO, or Help a Reporter Out, is a free service that brings together journalists and sources. Three times a day, HARO — with the tagline “Everyone’s an expert at something” — sends out e-mail requests from journalists and bloggers looking for sources and experts to interview for print pieces, television and radio newscasts, podcasts and blog posts. Potential sources, or public relations professionals representing those sources, then reply by e-mail with their best pitches.

Subscribing to HARO is one way to connect with reporters and bloggers who are in need of your expertise. The downside for a busy practitioner is that the e-mail stream may be heavy and responses must be sent quickly. At Legal Media Matters, we monitor HARO for our clients.

To find out more about our services and our “success fee” rates, fill out our online contact form or e-mail geri@legalmediamatters.com.

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At Legal Media Matters, we provide legal public relations, law firm marketing and attorney website content writing services.

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