A photo of a law office

The importance of law PR

Law public relations (PR) plays a critical role in the success of law firms operating in the B2B space.

Law firms can struggle to stand out in a regulated industry, where the assumption from potential clients is that all law firms are qualified and it therefore makes little difference when picking the right law firm.

In addition, the legal sector as a whole has a reputation issue – over-priced, out to take advantage of you, keen to blind you with legalese – that it can be hard for individual businesses to disprove.

Implementing effective PR strategies is essential for a law firm wanting to maintain a positive reputation, attract clients and establish credibility within the legal industry.

Legal public relations helps prospective clients find you

Whereas a big corporate business will be used to engaging traditional law firms for a variety of reasons, if your clients tend to start-ups or scale-ups they will likely need an element of hand-holding through the process.

They may well be looking for assistance on a particular project or with a legal dispute, but have little idea which legal firm specialises in the right legal area.

The purpose of your legal PR is:

  • To clarify your practice area of specialism
  • To explain how you’re different to your competitors e.g. price, services, processes – particularly true for boutique law firms who don’t appear at the top of search engine results.
  • To cut through the legal jargon so customers. know what to expect.

Reputation management

Law PR helps manage and enhance a law firm’s reputation. By actively shaping the narrative surrounding the firm through media relations, thought leadership and strategic communications, PR efforts contribute to building trust and credibility among potential clients and partners.

Your firm’s brand needs to clarify your values and culture so both future and current clients feel comfortable you’re the right fit for them.

Every PR campaign you run boosts this and reiterates to a layperson the reasons they’d come to you for advice – whether you’re a full-service law firm or provide expert counsel in one area.

Positive PR can also amplify the successes of individual lawyers or the whole team of legal professionals.

Business development

PR activities play a vital role in generating new business opportunities for law firms. Establishing a strong online presence, participating in industry events, and leveraging media exposure can attract potential clients, increase brand visibility and drive referrals, ultimately leading to business growth.

For example, a legal PR campaign could target your ideal new clients where their team usually spends time.

You could sponsor a networking event for their industry or publish the results of a survey on legal issues among your target audience on your website and in the trade press for their sector – consider using a legal PR agency with existing media contacts for the latter.

Thought leadership

Law is often thought of outside the industry as being complicated and boring but good PR firms can help you establish credibility with prospective clients looking for legal support.

PR allows law firms to position themselves as thought leaders within their practice areas. By sharing insights, publishing articles, speaking at industry conferences and engaging in panel discussions, firms can demonstrate their expertise and differentiate themselves from competitors, attracting clients seeking specialised legal services.

If you’re using a legal PR agency, make sure they secure opportunities for relevant media coverage in places your future customers will see.

Although a news story in the legal sector trade press can cement your position as a thought leader, it’s unlikely to be read by potential referrers.

Crisis management

Effective PR strategies are crucial for managing and mitigating potential crises.

For any law firm working on high-profile cases with existing clients, there is always the chance for reputational damage if lawyers lose the case.

However, the need to plan for crisis communications in public relations will also extend to bad reviews or unethical behaviour from lawyers within the law firm.

These things are best planned for before they happen.

Media training for your spokespeople can ensure they position your law firm in the best light during a crisis, and specialist legal PR agencies will have worked with existing clients on a wide range of crisis communications.

Timely communication, media relations and repair efforts can help protect the firm’s image during challenging situations, minimise reputational damage and preserve client trust.

Competitive advantage

Law PR can provide a competitive edge in a crowded legal market. If a business Googles “law firms in my area” they’ll be faced with a huge list of search engine results (mostly of law firms called an unmemorable collection of co-founder surnames) and it’s very hard to get them to select you.

To gain a competitive advantage, PR for law firms can help you climb up the search rankings.

For example, optimising your website and utilising digital marketing properly can increase awareness of your brand while also improving your search rankings.

By consistently promoting the law firm’s strengths, successes and client testimonials, using media channels, social media and targeted communications, PR efforts help position the firm as a trusted and reliable choice, leading to a competitive advantage over other law firms.

Summary

Law PR is essential in a saturated legal market. Public relations can assist law firms in managing reputation, driving business development, establishing thought leadership, handling crisis communications, and gaining a competitive edge.

Whether or not you work with a PR firm for lawyers or have an in-house public relations team, your PR strategy should focus on clarifying to future customers the specific ways you can assist them, demystifying the complexities of your law firm, and amplifying your good reputation e.g. through client references.

By implementing effective PR strategies, law firms can enhance their brand, attract clients, and solidify their position as trusted legal advisors in the B2B arena.

 

Get in touch to transform your law PR strategy today.