Love your Bio: It’s Your best PR Tool

Your bio is your Valentine. You may not realize it but it is your best PR tool that if updated regularly, can show you love all year long. Clients often say it is the first way (after a recommendation has been made) for your qualifications and accomplishments to become known to that prospective client. The same holds true when a member of the press, or the public wants to know more about you. Studies show that attorney bios are the best-read portion of any law firm website, generating more than 50 percent of all page views on those sites. Now that is love.

The bio is the place where every lawyer can become noticed. Think about it for a moment; in 1994, when there were essentially no law firm websites, lawyers relied on printed books that only were updated once a year (or a CD-ROM) in the form of static Matindale-Hubbell listings. What did they do for publicity? They certainly gave presentations, wrote bylined articles and passed out business cards, but there was no central location to showcase all that they have done or accomplished.

And a bad bio (or out of date bio) speaks volumes. A poorly managed bio is a tremendously lost opportunity for an attorney. So, here are a few things that a lawyer should do.

First, keep the bio current. When you do anything of note that is public – win a case, receive an award, write an article, give a speech, teach a CLE program, and so on – put it on your bio within days. And, don’t forget to promote it on your Linkedin profile. Just train yourself to do that. If you don’t know how to update your web bio, ask your marketing or PR person. He or she will know.

Second, keep the bio interesting and make sure it says what you do, not just your practice groups. Too many bios are simply dry recitations of specialty areas and accomplishments. Your bio should be a projection of who you are, professionally. If you frequently win patent battles for lone inventors who are challenging big corporations, say so. If you help corporations fend off sexual harassment claims, tell us.

Third, keep the bio (relatively) short. Even though it should be interesting and comprehensive, it shouldn’t be exhaustive or exhausting. You can delete that great, but dated, law review article you wrote 20 years ago. And get rid of that speaking engagement from 1989 for a trade group that no longer exists.

Don’t forget your bio this Happy Valentine’s Day. It deserves some love too.