While much has changed in the media industry, one trend remains constant—a law firm press release is a powerful way to raise awareness of your services.
That’s especially true if you don’t want to hire an expensive public relations consultant. One of the advantages of working with the media is you can reach a larger audience of potential clients—often at no additional cost. This can help increase your firm’s revenue and build your reputation, especially for new law firms.
Of course, success begins with knowing how to write a press release. While you may be excited about your story, reporters need to feel that same enthusiasm. In other words: you have to give them a reason to care by offering something newsworthy.
It’s also worth noting that journalists and editors work with extremely tight deadlines. Having a clear sense of your story—and presenting it succinctly in your pitch—shows them that you respect their time and increases the likelihood of it being read.
Read on as we share tips on how to write a law firm press release that gets noticed, along with a few other tools for good measure.
Why legal press releases work
A press release is the most common and efficient way to pitch news organizations. It communicates everything you want to say, while giving reporters what they need to follow up for more information.
The act of writing a press release has two main advantages.
For one, it lets you frame your story the way you want to see it written and published.
It also forces you to zero in on the most important information to share—and why reporters should share it with their audience.
Say, for example, that you want to create a press release announcing your new law firm. What unmet need in your community are you aiming to fill? This is one example of a story you’d want to tell in a law firm press release.
How do you write a press release for a law firm?
Here are a few core components of law firm press releases that stand out.
- Craft an attention-grabbing headline. Your headline is your best opportunity to get a reporter to read your press release. Avoid using too many words, and make sure it ties into the actual content of your release.
- Get straight to the point. Your first paragraph should attempt to tell the whole story of your release. Aim to answer the five Ws (who, what, where, when, and why), and leave the rest of the body for additional details.
- Keep your writing jargon-free. Lawyers often deal with highly specialized and complex subject matter. But in press releases, it’s best to write to an 11th-grade reading level, like the average newspaper. This will help you reach as wide an audience as possible.
- Add a dose of personality with quotes. Quotes can humanize and add color to your press release. Strong ones focus on feelings and opinion rather than facts—making it easy for reporters to copy and paste it in their story.
- Include a location and date. Including the location (typically, the city) at the start of a release answers where the news takes place, while dates indicate that what you’re sharing is in fact new.
- Include a boilerplate. This should include a short bio, contact information, and a link to your website—everything a reporter will need to follow up if required.
Looking for inspiration? Here’s an excellent law firm press release sample from Jacksonville Area Legal Aid that covers all of the best practices outlined above (and the story in the ABA Journal) Many sites also offer useful templates, like this new hire press release template (with example quotes).
How much should you pay for a legal press release?
If the thought of putting pen to paper feels daunting, you can always turn to a content writer or agency to help. Costs will vary based on experience—but generally speaking, expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $2,500 for 300-400 words, which is around how long a press release should be.
When to send a media advisory instead of a press release
A media advisory is similar to a press release in its formatting and writing style. But there are differences.
The main one is that a media advisory typically includes very brief information—sort of a teaser—that encourages reporters to learn more. It shares the highlights without giving too much away.
If you’re hosting an event, a media advisory can be a good way to encourage a reporter or photographer to attend in person. It also gives the media an opportunity to prioritize your story ahead of time.
What to include in a media advisory:
- Who’s hosting the event
- The time and location
- A brief teaser about what to expect
- Details on any photo opportunities
Other pitching tools
There’s more to PR than just your pitch. Creating additional resources will help save reporters time, and make you appear professional and credible. Here are a few that can supercharge your law firm marketing efforts.
- Media kit. A media kit is a general collection of resources explaining who you are. When writing about you and your firm, reporters can refer to it for additional information. Include a personal and company bio, images, and links to past coverage.
- Pitch list. This is your list of contacts from the publications you’ve identified as targets for your PR engagement. Ideally, this will be a living list that you continually update.
- Website. Reporters will often look you up online to get a sense of your firm, who you are, and what sorts of services you offer. It can also be a means for reporters who want to reach out for contact information.
- Social media. Being on social media can increase your public profile and can help reporters find you. It’s also a way for you to keep up with publications, and to connect with reporters quickly and easily.
Getting your story told with a law firm press release
We’ve looked at some of the key resources that communications professionals use in reaching out to and working with the media. Following the tips above will ensure that you’re putting forward a good impression of your firm while meeting the expectations of busy media professionals.
But learning the tools is only part of the job. Knowing what stories to share, and being able to present information that is truly newsworthy, is key to getting your story told.
We published this blog post in July 2017. Last updated: .
Categorized in: Marketing
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