The ROI of Legal PR: There’s Still Value if You Look for It

Just a short meditation today…

I’ve been involved in a LinkedIn group discussion thread that has veered into calls for comparative ROI data on the range of social media marketing platforms — Facebook vs. Twitter vs. LinkedIn vs. blogs. Conspicuous by its absence from that discussion is the comparative value of traditional media relations. Although online social media has eviscerated traditional media, law firms still spend not insignificant amounts of time and money chasing trade press, local print and broadcast outlets and — the Holy Grail —  national publications and news programs.

As I’ve written before, apart from trade outlets, media relations for law firms is a low probability proposition at best. And even when you do get a good mention or score an interview, how much is that worth? Whatever your reasons for pursuing a media relations strategy, there are steps you can take to improve your odds of garnering general media coverage while streamlining effort and reducing costs:

  • Calendarize your opportunities: Your odds of getting included in a story are significantly higher if you time and customize your pitches for holidays and annual events (Tax Day, back to school).
  • Have bulleted content and a media relations — not website — version of your bio ready for opportunistic pitching: “Top 10” lists — the actual number of items can vary —  are a staple of what now passes as news. So if a local or national story concerning your practice area breaks, you can immediately send you media target list some ready-to-run content instead of calling up to explain why you’re a subject matter expert.
  • Pitch trend stories: Use your handy dandy “Top 10” lists to sell your feature story ideas.
  • Pitch morning shows instead of news programs: Morning shows feature extended interviews, while news reports just need soundbites.
  • Focus on trade media outlets that also post their content online for free: Online content that requires a subscription cannot be readily added to your site, publicized or shared. Nothing galls visitors more than slamming into a pay wall when they click one of your website or Twitter links.

How much time/money do you spend on media relations? How do those efforts compare with your social media results?

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