Legal Sales Development: Start the New Year Strong Raising Brand Awareness Through Media Comment

December 5, 2013

5273Whether your preferred morning reading is The Wall Street Journal, the New York Post or a local paper, you’re probably reading plenty of bleak economic news. The Dow is up, then it’s down, the end of the recession is in sight, no, wait, maybe not. But you aren’t the only one reading—your customers, competition, prospective clients and future employees scan the same business and articles you do. Why not give them something to talk about? Utilize this tried-and-true marketing strategy for lawyers: Put yourself into the story.

As more media outlets, both print and on-line, begin to rely on experts in every field to contribute to the news with sound bites, quotes, analysis and even full-length articles, relationship building opportunities arise to offer yourself as a credible source regarding issues affecting your areas of knowledge. You provide the perspective and intimate expertise that writers need to strengthen their reporting, provide alternate views and explain the law.

A good way to begin is to determine the local reporters writing about topics that relate to your expertise. Most papers now include either an e-mail or Twitter address that will allow readers to contact the journalist. Comment on the article by pointing out positive aspects of the piece (it’s always best to start with a compliment). Next, note something the reporter didn’t mention but you believe is crucial to fully explaining the topic. Invite him or her to contact for more information and provide phone number and e-mail. Make clear you are available as a source for future stories. A reporter will know you are really serious if you include your mobile number and give permission to be contacted any time of the day, including after business hours.

If you are privy to insider, non-confidential information about a particular industry – for example, an emerging trend – pitch that to the reporter as story idea.  Offer yourself as an expert. In addition, don’t overlook blogs as potential news outlets, particularly if you want to publish a “guest” blog. Become a journalist’s “go-to person,” and your name will appear in numerous future articles as trust is established.

When high-quality prospects see your name and quotes in an article they read, your credibility soars. That’s a value that legal sales through advertising just can’t buy. The news may be bad for now, but give it time. It could turn out very good for your business.