Law Life: Why PR is important for a firm, even in a pandemic

By Ellen Keiley
BridgeTower Media Newswires

Why invest in PR? Because the legal landscape is very competitive.

Securing positive media coverage and getting one’s name out in various ways can set an attorney and a firm apart, build brand awareness, and provide a competitive advantage.

Additionally, a PR campaign can energize a firm. Particularly during these times, staying visible is important as the in-person opportunities are less frequent — and non-existent for some.

Brand-building should be a continuous focus year after year, and appearing in the media regularly will build and strengthen your brand. Among the benefits to engaging in a PR campaign:

1) Appearing in the media adds to your credibility and shows expertise and thought leadership in specific areas;

2) Media coverage keeps you top of mind and is a great way to help gain referrals;

3) Media coverage increases rankings in search engines and improves the chances of coming up higher in a search;

4) Media coverage provides content for a firm’s website, social media and newsletter;

5) Media coverage can help secure new clients, whether it is someone seeing you in the media as an expert or a potential client who is assessing you against a competing firm; and

6) Media coverage can lead to other opportunities such as speaking invitations and further media coverage from other reporters.   

In-house counsel friends tell me they get their legal updates from major media publications and not necessarily from the law firm newsletters that fill their inboxes, which they can easily ignore. If you are going to take the time to write an article for your firm, why not get your expert legal advice published in an actual media publication? It has so much more audience reach than a blog or firm newsletter alone.

Lawyers often ask me why a lawyer or law firm always seems to be in the media. My answer: They probably work with a PR firm. Reporters and editors get hundreds of emails and pitches a day, and PR professionals have existing relationships with the media and are more likely to get noticed. An effective pitch is key to getting noticed, and PR professionals specialize in that.

Additionally, reporters often reach out to PR professionals they have a relationship with when seeking out a lawyer to quote or interview.  

Distributing a news release through a news distribution service will not necessarily get a reporter to write a story. But a release can serve as a great background piece for pitches, help with SEO, and some media outlets will publish the release. PR professionals can help identify the right media for the target audience you are trying to reach, and open a door to getting your release noticed.

National and global law firms often have their media relations handled internally in an out-of-state office. Firms that engage a local PR firm with local media contacts can be better positioned with chances of media coverage.  

Many law firms do not have the capacity, expertise or media contacts to effectively gain optimal media coverage and can greatly benefit from engaging a PR firm. There are so many benefits to media coverage, and you may be pleasantly surprised to see that there is a return on investment.

Lastly, it is always a great feeling to see your name in the news and to get calls and emails from clients, potential clients and contacts who see the coverage.
Ellen M. Keiley is president of EMK Consulting Group, which offers business development coaching and consulting, public relations and training for law firms and other professional services firms. Email her at


Subscribe to the Legal News!

Full access to public notices, articles, columns, archives, statistics, calendar and more

Day Pass Only $4.95!
One-County $80/year

Three-County & Full Pass also available