There is constant pressure for law firms to stand out from the crowd and on top of their game, with the legal profession being more competitive than ever before.
As lawyers compete for the same work in a crowded market – where clients have unlimited access to hundreds of firms at the click of mouse – reputation is critical to success.
Public relations is key to shaping the profile of your legal firm, a vital way to enhance your authority and grow the volume and quality of work in your firm.
A top-quality agency will have a team of PR and internal communications strategists, content specialists, award-winning designers and developers, social media managers and digital marketing professionals – individuals who are experts at what they do so they can offer exceptional services tailored to your specific aims and objectives.
So as another new year rolls around, we look at the top benefits of hiring a PR agency:
- Value for money
Hiring a PR agency is a great way to get the most bang for your buck when considering upping your exposure. They are usually hired on a retainer basis, so for a monthly fee, you get a certain number of days of work spread out over four weeks.
This gives you access to a range of experts rather than hiring one person who has to be a jack-of-all-trades, ensuring that your outputs, whether press releases, website support or social media, are created by the right person with the skills to make an impact.
- Reach your target clients
Media coverage can massively boost your exposure, making your firm the first one on clients’ minds when they need legal support.
This year Satsuma, a full creative and PR agency, secured amazing coverage for their client Will Aid, the annual will-writing scheme, in the Radio Times, BBC Morning Live, Martin Lewis Money Show Live, The Sun, Mirror, Guardian, Saga Magazine, and Chat magazine, to name a few.
The impact? Thousands of clients made appointments with participating solicitors’ firms, and such was the demand that the Will Aid website crashed after a plug by MoneySaving Expert Martin Lewis.
- Improve networking and recruitment
PR isn’t just about traditional media – it includes raising your reputation and opportunities in the digital world too. A strategy for using social media platforms like LinkedIn can provide massive benefits when it comes to networking both within and outside of the profession.
And bear in mind, the best job candidates will be keeping a keen eye on your social media presence too, so investing in your presence can reap rewards in more than one way when growing your business.
- Build credibility and authority
When your senior team deliver high-quality insightful content, they increase their standing as respected thought-leaders both within legal circles and in wider society.
Insightful articles in trade press and thought-leadership features showcase your accomplishments and highlight the expertise of your team, building respect and trust among peers, existing and potential clients.
- Counter negative press
Legal teams can face negative press for a variety of reasons – if you work in a controversial sector, you publicly lose a case or if a partner suddenly leaves.
It’s crucial to deal with these situations in the appropriate way, to avoid misunderstandings and damage to your firm’s reputation.
That’s where PR experts who are experienced in crisis communications can help you to navigate the situation, so you come through it retaining – and even building on – the trust and good standing of your firm.
- Boost team morale
Shining a light on good news and celebrating your team’s work is an essential part of making your people feel valued.
Internal communications, e-newsletters and social posts can all be used to spread the word about successes and achievements.
After all, employees who feel valued and recognised are more motivated, empowered and efficient – so it’s a win-win for everyone.
For some businesses – particularly smaller firms with little budget – investing in PR can seem daunting. You know you need it, but the outlay is overwhelming when you are trying to find your feet.
That’s why agencies such as Satsuma often offer smaller courses or workshops, as an affordable communications boost to navigate marketing, PR and social media management until they are ready to commit to an external provider.
Remember, these are not just restricted to those who are new to business.
They also offer established companies a chance to upskill members of the team or invest in a little refresher course in an area which is a bit rusty.
Often delivered remotely, they are quick and easy to do, and can be easily tailored to an individual firm’s specific needs, such as media training, persuasive copywriting, how to handle crisis comms or boost your firm’s LinkedIn profile.