Monday, 15 July 2013

Re-using Law Firm Content Part 1: Press Releases

This week's post is a guide for lawyers on making the most of and re-using press release content. In later posts I'll cover articles and blogs.

But first, a moment of reminiscence... Back in the day when I was a practising solicitor, I had a ring-binder full of precedent documents. This included sample particulars of claims, defences, grievance letters and letters of advice. To save time I would turn to this folder at least once a week, and either use the content as guidance or as a refresher, or even; in straight-forward repeat matters such as residential landlord and tenant claims, reuse the copy verbatim.

Now I'm sure I'm not the only person with a sneaky ring binder. Although these days it would probably be a file on my desktop. But why is my precedent folder relevant to this blog?

Well, it's the concept of re-using and recycling that's relevant here.

When I speak to lawyers about their PR and online marketing strategies (if indeed they have such a thing), one of the complaints I hear over and over again is that they simply don't have the time to create as much content as they would like.

Now, I 'get' this, but there are ways to make it easier upon yourself - you just need to learn to recycle. If you have some great news - big deal, new partner announcements, year-end results etc. you will most probably issue a press release. That in itself is probably at least half a day's work for somebody.

Now - what else do you do with that copy once you've issued the release? Nothing? More fool you.

If your news is covered anywhere, you've probably got the basics right and you should stick a copy of the release in your firm's version of my ring binder. You can then use this as inspiration next time you have something to say.

In addition, after you've given your target media the chance to use or discard your press release, reword it slightly and publish it on your website.

Then - share it on LinkedIn and think about putting it on your Google+ page.

Consider tweeting a few links (over time) to the announcement on your website or any online coverage and whilst you're at it, retweet any tweets covering your news issued by any of your target media*, or any indeed other friendly tweets that mention your firm in this context.

Finally, you can re-use the copy all over again when you create your next client newsletter.

Honestly... that's quite a list of things you can do with a 500 word press release...

*You do follow your target publications and the relevant journalists on Twitter - don't you?

By Victoria Moffatt

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