A Royal Strategy for a Winning PR Team
Teamwork is everything, just look at the World Series champion Kansas City Royals. No matter whom you rooted for series, it is indisputable the Royals played baseball as a true team and embodied teamwork: having each other’s back and to help each other.
Teamwork between lawyers and their public relations professionals is as important as any other team. And to be the most effective member of a law firm’s PR team, the PR professional must have advance knowledge of what’s going on in the lawyers’ world.
An easy example: A court decision is coming down that may have major implications for the law or a client’s business. Obviously, the lawyer has deep insight and knowledge of the issues in the case and she wants to be a resource for the media. This is where practice and preparation pay off (the same kind of practice that leads to any team’s success. When the lawyer gives us advance knowledge to prepare for the decision, then the PR professional can be on deck and ready for to hit the ball out of the park. If we are informed about the ruling the day after it comes out, it’s not only a major a foul, but we can strike out with any media coverage.
Here are some of the things PR professionals need from lawyers to create a winning media outreach strategy:
- Tell us why will the case is important and who will be affected by the decision?
- Explain what your firm’s role in the matter: Were you counsel of record? Did you file an amicus brief? Do you have related cases? What did you do that was special?
- What you would like to say about it and why is that new or different?
There’s other prep that be done, too, which is where blogs can play a key role in not just being a player on the team, but managing the team. I talked about this recently with Kevin O’Keefe from Lexblog. If the firm has a relevant blog, write a blog post before the decision comes out so that we can share it with reporters. This gives the reporters background and positions you as a source to comment. Write a blog post the day of the decision to dovetail with the desired media coverage. Finally, write a follow up post a few days later to reinforce the your expertise in the legal or business area and send it to your clients for a better understanding of why the decision affects their business. If reporters are doing follow up coverage, these blog posts will be critical to expand their coverage and keep the lawyer, and the win, in the spotlight.
Your PR professionals are player-managers on your team. We help you prepare and spring into action with a plan to land the media coverage that we both want. If we work as a team, we will all win.