Why the Turtle Never Wins the Race

There are many times when your law firm is competing to tell the same big story for a shared client. And when that happens, being first to execute on a smart publicity campaignwill get you the desired outcome with the media. It is a simple fact: Journalists to turn to the first law firm that contacts them, and makes their attorneys available, when they need a comment for their story.

This just occurred connection in major appellate case. Four major law firms, and two smaller ones, all participated in defeating a billion-dollar antitrust case on behalf of leading magazine publishers and distributors. A unanimous panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2ndCircuit upheld summary judgment for all the defendants.

As Jenna Greene of ALM just explained in an interesting article,   it was New York’s Cravath, Swaine & Moore, a firm not known for being especially quick to toot its own horn, that issued a press release within hours of the decision. Dechert, another firm that represented a winning defendant, also quickly put out an announcement.

Greene wrote, “In a case like this, where there are at least six potential attorneys from six different firms to call for comment, the publicity edge goes to those who make themselves easily available.”

Greene’s advice is the same advice we regulary tell our clients regularly: If you expect there to be a favorable outome having a press release prepared, approved and ready to be issued once a verdict comes down or an appeals ruling is issued. There are other steps that have to be taken, too. This includes getting the cleint’s approval on the PR strategy, having a statement ready, and keeping the internal PR team updated on the status of the matter in advance of the decision. It may take extra work on the legal team’s end, but if the legal team wants to be referenced in story, or even be quoted, it will be worth the time and effort.  Slow to move is a losing strategy in media; it is a sprint and that’s why the turtle never wins the race.