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A Checklist for Law Firms Considering PR

This is a guest post by Paramjit Mahli from The Rainmakers Roundtable, formerly known as SCG Legal PR Network.

The old adage that the more things change, the more they remain the same may seem quaint but it actually still holds some truth.

Specifically, perception molded by large media outlets still has a strong hold in society. Visibility and credibility fostered by that exposure still go a long way in cementing business relationships and deals.

The credibility associated with getting cited in press or being seen as an expert is very hard to buy in advertising dollars. There’s no doubt that social media has provided various other platforms to tout one’s own accomplishments, but it’s just not the same as getting quoted in the press.

For law firms/solos embarking on a public relations campaign, here is a checklist of questions to get your firm’s decisions makers more focused on WHY they should incorporate public relations:

* Will the firm’s public relations objectives HELP business goals?
* How will public relations initiatives be measured? What will some of the benchmarks and milestones look like?
* Why does the firm want public relations at this particular time?
* Who is the target audience? Does the firm have several audiences?
* How does the firm wish to be perceived in its target market(s)?
* Is the PR strategy realistic?
* How long will the firm be committed to the PR initiatives?
* Which attorneys will regularly talk to the PR professionals to brainstorm ideas, etc.?
* How comfortable are the attorneys talking with the press?
* Do the attorneys have a basic 101 understanding of how the press works?

Becoming known as an expert in one or more areas is only part of the equation; the other part is leveraging these opportunities successfully into other marketing activities.

Articles, columns and/or bylines written by attorneys can be sent to prospects, strategic alliances and clients, ultimately lending value not only to the targeted audience, but to the authors themselves. After all, the act of reaching out and engaging one’s community is what public relations is all about.

Paramjit Mahli is with The Rainmakers Roundtable formerly known as SCG Legal PR Network. The organization helps law firms become clear on how to market by minimizing risk and increasing their ROI.

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