"Do you have enough business?"
We've spoken to many attorneys throughout the country and Canada and the answer we get to this question over and over is a resounding, "No!"
Well, that is not surprising. According to the American Bar Association there is one attorney for every 300 people in the United States and 1 for every 450 people in Canada.
Yikes! So, how does an attorney stand out in this very large and ever-expanding crowd? You need to become the expert in your community in the niche that your serve.
How you become this is through a combination of efforts- many of which are quite affordable (sometimes free) but often overlooked. Once such great tool is the development and implementation of a public relations strategy.
Inside of the public relations strategy you will have many tasks but the goal is to demonstrate yourself as an expert in your field to increase your presence in your industry and attract new business. The question is … how do you accomplish this? Simply put you must inform the public (your client base) and referral sources of the services you provide and how you are different from the thousands of other attorneys in your community. And there's no better way to do that than being quoted and identified as an expert in the media. Being interviewed on television, in your local newspaper or other publication can vastly increase your credibility.
So, how do you gain this type of exposure?
One of the best ways is to create relationships with reporters and become their 'go-to' source for stories or news broadcast reports. You have to reach out to reporters and prove to them that you have expertise but if you make the right connection it can result in huge rewards. But, building this type of relationship takes work. A great way to start building this relationship is to help them do their job! They are constantly looking for ideas for stories. Be sure to keep an eye out for trends or news where you can showcase your expertise that would also be interesting to the public. Pitch the story idea to them in a complete package so they can easily pick it up and make it news.
Here's three other ways to increase your chances of getting picked up by the press:
-Splend just as much time on your "pitch letter" as you do on your press release! In most cases, it's the pitch letter that opens the door for free publicity. The press release is often a secondary tool in this process.
-Recognize the media's interest is to cover timely stories- not just to provide free advertising to any small business owner that wants it Before you pitch, think "is this something I would care to read if I saw it in the paper about another local business in town? " If the answer is no, go back to the drawing table.
-Tie into holidays and national observations when possible. These "hooks" dramatically increase your chances of getting covered as they automatically provide you with a timely platform when pitching the press.
Follow these simple tips above to increase your media attention, befriend your local journalists and become the legal expert in your community without spending thousands of dollars on an expensive legal PR firm.