PR for law firms: what legal PR can do for you

PR for law firms: what legal PR can do for you

Law firms and legal service providers exist in a complex industry that’s often difficult for marketing or PR firms to navigate. This is why, until very recently, legal PR has been overlooked by law firms.

With the number of law tech startups and scale-ups growing at a rate of 101%, law firms are struggling to stand out. As such, the need for legal PR and marketing is growing rapidly.

What can public relations do for law firms?

Legal PR can dramatically shape the profile and reputation of a law firm. It can control public perception and improve a law firm’s reputation considerably. It can help a law firm stand out in a saturated market, and it can establish credibility and leadership in new ways.

Like lawtech, legal PR is a rapidly growing industry. Traditionally, public relations has been associated with big companies and big budgets. However, smaller businesses have realised the importance of investing in public relations.

This is the same for small and boutique law firms. Once associated with larger and more traditional law firms, public relations is quickly becoming essential for the legal industry as a whole.

Firms of all sizes are vying for an opportunity to stand out. And a solid public relations strategy can secure opportunities that traditional marketing can’t. Here’s what can legal PR do for law firms:

Tapping into the power of digital

Over a third of potential clients begin their search for lawyers online. And 96% of potential law firm clients use a search engine to search for legal services. Digital public relations, therefore, can be incredibly powerful for bringing in and building new business.

Those with better search visibility will get more traffic to their website. Unfortunately, smaller law firms don’t dedicate a large budget to website upkeep, so may suffer as a result of poor rankings. The larger share of search results will therefore inevitably fall to the larger firms.

Organic search has the second-best conversion rate in the legal sector. Digital PR can ensure that when a prospective client conducts an organic search, it leads to your website. A legal PR agency can do this by optimising the content on your website to ensure you rank for certain keywords.

They can also ensure you get backlinks to your website. By citing your domain as a source in publications, digital PR can enhance the visibility of your website. In fact, according to Google, backlinks are one of the ten most important ranking factors.

Did you know that mobile searches now outnumber desktop searches in ten countries? These days, it isn’t just important to make sure your website is up to standard, but it’s also important to make sure your website is optimised for mobile technology. Digital PR is clued up on mobile communications. A good PR campaign involves spreading awareness and gaining attention across as many channels as possible, and this includes a strategic approach to mobile.

Establishing authority

Public relations agencies use several strategies to help organisations establish authority. While the ‘news’ angle may not be practical with long-established legal services, legal PR can be used to amplify successes.

It can also be used to illustrate expertise and establish authority. Perhaps thought leadership can be cultivated by obtaining media coverage on a case study. This case study could reflect how you offered expert counsel to win a case. This information will be incredibly valuable to both potential and existing clients.

Perhaps your law firm could leverage the power of social media, or perhaps you could use public speaking to establish thought leadership. A legal PR agency can help publish and promote written, audio and video content via various channels wherever prospective clients might be present.

One PR strategy that’s increasingly useful for establishing credibility is media training. This is crucial for thought leaders. Media training can prepare you for a successful media appearance and help develop your communication skills. It can also help you communicate your expertise in a way that resonates with your target audience.

Crisis communication and reputation management

According to Lawyers Weekly, a staggering 1 in 5 people distrust lawyers, judges and the legal system in general. This is why building trust and credibility in this area is key.

A good reputation is one of the most powerful marketing and PR assets a law firm can have. Potential clients will conduct hours of research to find the right law firm for them.

They may conduct this research via:

  • Social media
  • Websites
  • Review sites
  • Press coverage
  • Search engines
  • Recommendations

Online reputation management is used by public relations agencies to create a positive perception of brands and individuals. They do this by auditing online reputations, creating an effective management strategy and monitoring mentions.

A good PR agency will also make sure they prepare for any potential crisis that might occur. This could be due to internal misconduct, unexpected departure, mishandling of high-profile cases or partnership disputes. The sort of support on offer would be the development of a crisis plan, plan implementation and help with creating a transparent and open communication strategy.

Effective reputation management and crisis communication will help boost your image, attract more qualified leads, protect a firm’s brand and improve credibility. It can also encourage recommendations and reviews, which is a powerful tool in the legal sector. In fact, 80% of people say that they take reviews for individual lawyers into consideration before hiring them. This makes client references one of the most important tools for law firms.

Not only are clients using the internet to find lawyers, but most legal professionals are putting a significant amount of money toward online marketing initiatives. Contact the team at AMBITIOUS and find out how your firm can stand out in an increasingly crowded market [email protected] or call us on 0117 905 1177.