Thursday, 4 May 2017

Increasing the return on your PR budget part 1: cross-pitching

If you're a lawyer, and you 'do' marketing, chances are you sometimes wonder what you can do to increase the return on your PR budget, squeeze a bit more out of your activities or receive more 'bang' for your 'buck'. If so, this blog is for you.

Every so often, a news story breaks, a new piece of legislation is announced, or you win* an interesting case that sets a precedent or covers novel or newsworthy facts. As a fully paid up pro-marketing lawyer; you obviously leap at the opportunity to get your face and name on the telly, in the newspapers and talk, talk, talk about your involvement/showcase your specialism/promote your wares. Don't you? Hopefully yes, yes, yes...

Now a good agency will maximise your opportunities to discuss your newsworthy topic, by pitching to a range of different media - TV, newspapers, journals, trade publications, online sources (relevant, carefully researched outlets only though, of course).

Not only will they pitch to a wide range of media, they should also consider pitching vertically (to publications covering a specific industry - for example legal, fleet management, civil engineering) and horizontally (to publications not limited to a specific industry - for example HR, marketing, IT management).

Cross-pitching like this not only ensures your message reaches a wider audience, it also enables your agency to pull out and emphasise different elements of the 'story'. For example, a HR publication will be likely interested in different elements of a case in comparison to a broadsheet. A really good agency will be able to identify the elements of interest for each publication and write comments, or an article, that is drafted to perfectly fit within the readership's sphere of interest, thus guaranteeing (as far as possible) publication and hopefully, repeat opportunities in the future. Being able to identify different angles, and cover the same facts in multiple different articles and secure opportunities in this way is one of the marks of a great agency. If yours does this - congratulations, you're on to a winner!

If your chosen agency doesn't do this, or *horror face* they expect you to draft your own articles, it may be time to sit down down over coffee and map out your expectations.

So until next time, over and out. Look out for my next blog covering collaborative working... See you then!

If you enjoyed this post, check out the others on the LexRex blog

*even if you lose - a good PR may well be able to find a positive angle, especially if there's a chance of it going to appeal, it's a David and Goliath case (your client can be David or Goliath) or if it involves a human interest story.

By Victoria Moffatt

LexRex is a specialist consultancy providing strategic PR and marketing support to law firms and businesses that operate within the legal sector. Our services include media relations, social media support and training, award entries, legal directory submissions and online/offline content.

If you would like to know more about our services, please drop us an email on info@lexrexcommunications.com.  You can also tweet us LexRexComms or @vicmoffatt.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Time to spring clean your PR?

After a long winter the signs of spring are definitely here! With daffodils and tulips popping up all over the place and the evenings staying lighter for longer, it's a great time for taking a good old look around you.

The same goes for your PR. If things are going ok it can be easy to accept a 'status quo' and keep on with the same course of action. But is 'ok' really getting you the results you need?

In this post we hand over to LexRex account manager Kate, who gives three top tips on ‘spring cleaning’ your PR.

Have a ‘spring awakening’.
Any good spring clean means a thorough look at things you don’t always get chance to consider. From time to time it is an immensely valuable exercise to reassess what you're doing and why. After all, you don't do PR for fun; it's to achieve an objective. PR mapping is a useful process that looks at each area of a law firm, how each can meet a PR agenda and how these can work together as a whole. If you use an external PR agency, get them to come up with some new ideas. It can also be a worthwhile and revealing exercise to ask a number of PR agencies to come in and showcase what they could bring to the table.

Brush up on the basics. 
Now you’ve looked at the bigger picture, it’s time to get back to basics. Are all of your current systems working the way they should be? Are you making the most out of the activity you’re currently undertaking? If there are areas you feel you could improve on, you shouldn’t deny yourself the opportunity to improve. Training can not only help to improve skills but can also improve efficiencies. There are many tools out there now that can help PR and communications professionals and training can open your eyes to these.

Consider something different. 
The days when PR was just about press releases and well-placed sponsorship are long gone. There are a whole load of things law firms can do now to raise their profile; from blogging to social media, awards to email newsletters. The key is to be consistent in your approach and integrate each activity with the other marketing and communications you're doing to create a cumulative effect.

April is not only the early days of spring, it’s also the start of the new financial year for many law firms. So if you’ve renewed your budgets and have capacity to invest in outsourced PR activity, or else want to invest in training to help improve your PR skills and efficiency, we’d love to chat to you!


Monday, 8 February 2016

Rekindling the Love: A guide to getting the most out of your legal PR agency...

Do you love your law firm's appointed PR representative? Do you share your deepest thoughts and wishes for the future of your firm with the team on a regular basis. No? Why not?

You should do really, as you are paying that company or consultant to represent your business - so it follows that they should be as passionate about it as you are.

Just in time for Valentine's Day, we share our top tips for ensuring the chemistry with your PR agency is exactly as it should be. And if it's not - we offer advice on what you can do to remedy this, and how to recognise when it's time to move on to pastures new...

1. Question: Does your PR consultant/team really 'get' your firm and what you are trying to achieve? It goes without saying that the content they produce is legally correct*, but does the tone of the copy reflect how you would describe the business? If you can't hand-on-heart say that the messages your PR is putting out there reflect exactly how you want your firm to be represented, then it's time to consider taking one or more of the following steps...

2. Talk: If your representative is labouring under the false belief that everything is hunky-dory, then it's your responsibility to arrange a review to discuss where improvements can be made. Don't put this off - as with any relationship, talking helps to disperse resentment and prevent the rot from setting in. Don't allow niggles to become terminal.

3. Mapping: As part of the above, consider asking your PR to undertake a mapping process. This is should be something they do on an annual (at least) basis anyway. Done well, brand mapping draws out key messages, business objectives and targets and at the very least - should facilitate a discussion about what has and hasn't worked and what to aim for in the future.

4. Focus: Understand your representative's strengths and ensure that these continue to align with your firm's needs. If your focus is on media relations, but you have selected an integrated consultancy that prides itself on excellent social media strategies and delivery - it may be time to rethink where you spend your budget.

5. Review: Just stopping to take the time to think about where improvements can be made to an existing relationship can prove to be both insightful and empowering. Strong observations can be made simply by reviewing what your PR set out to do, against what is being delivered, and these may be very powerful in helping you to decide upon the best course of action when looking to the future.

*And if it's not - time to get the experts in. We're the experts, obviously.

By Victoria Moffatt

LexRex is a specialist consultancy providing strategic PR and marketing support to law firms and businesses that operate within the legal sector. Our services include media relations, social media support and training, award entries, legal directory submissions and online/offline copywriting.

If you would like to know more about our services, please drop us an email on info@lexrexcommunications.com.  
You can also tweet us LexRexComms or @vicmoffatt.