Press releases are an excellent way to highlight the outcomes of cases, changes in your practice, and other legal news. But attorneys regularly overlook this easy and effective marketing strategy.
If you’re wondering when you should use a press release and how to write one that really showcases your practice, read on.
Benefits of a Good Press Release
The first and most obvious benefit to writing a press release is that it could generate a news story about your firm. Even the smallest mention in the local press can bring awareness to a large number of people. It can also help potential clients or referring attorneys find you.
A good press release will highlight your legal expertise, generate website content, and drive traffic to your website once it has been distributed through a wire service.
When to Issue a Press Release
A press release is appropriate when you want to draw attention to the following list of events:
- Noteworthy verdicts and/or settlements
- Bar association awards or other legal honors
- Community and/or alumni recognition awards
- Filing lawsuits with public policy implications or which connect to current events
- Certification achievements
- Hiring new attorneys at your firm
- Firm mergers
- Joining non-profit boards
- Seminars and speaking engagements
How to Write a Good Press Release
A legal brief, like you’re used to writing, is a long process that begins with supporting facts and builds up to your conclusion. Writing a press release is the exact opposite. It starts with the conclusion or outcome and then lists supporting details. The goal is to keep it short and succinct.
Components of a Press Release
- Headline and subheading – Be sure to include your firm’s name in the headline, along with a brief description of the body of the press release. The subheading should provide greater detail without repeating the headline. Between the two, your reader should have a concise synopsis of the entire release. If you can, insert keywords to assist with search engine optimization.
- The Nut Graph – This is the first paragraph of the release. It should explain the value of your story. This is where you put your conclusion. If the reader only reads one paragraph, or the news outlet only has space for one paragraph, then the most important information has been conveyed.
- Details – Any good reporter will independently verify the information you’ve provided in your press release. It’s a good idea to make his or her job as easy as possible by providing as many supporting details as possible. This is particularly important if you release regards a suit filing or a verdict.
- Case caption, i.e. ABC vs. XYZ
- Date of filing
- Case number
- The court that the case was heard or filed
- Your firms contact information
- A brief description of the firm that includes your practice areas and a hyperlink to your firm’s website.
Where to Send the Press Release
When it comes to announcements for law firms, journalists in the news section of your local media outlets are the best bet. You should also send them to legal publications, alumni magazines, and other business publications with cross over into your areas of practice – especially if a lawsuit involves a company.
Depending on the content of the release, you might also consider public interest publications and blogs that cover the same topics.
When it’s well written and made a regular part of your marketing strategy, a press release will help you and your firm develop relationships with the media. They’ll also provide you with website content, personal connections, and keep your firm positively in the public eye.