How to Get Local News Outlets to Cover Your Law Firm’s Big Case

BY Bigger Law Firm Magazine

Journalist interviews lawyer
Journalist interviews lawyer
  • Establish relationships with local journalists.
  • Know what and when to pitch based on the news cycle.
  • Utilize press releases to get additional exposure after your story is picked up in local news.

LISTEN

Reaching out to local news outlets is a strategic move for law firm marketing directors aiming to enhance their firm’s visibility and establish its members as thought leaders in their practice areas. This article will guide law firm marketing directors through the process of engaging local news outlets to cover new cases, offering practical advice on crafting compelling pitches, building relationships with journalists, and leveraging these opportunities for maximum impact.

Understanding the Media Landscape

Before reaching out to local news outlets, it’s crucial for marketing directors to understand the media landscape. This involves identifying which outlets (television, radio, newspapers, online publications) are most influential in their community and which reporters cover legal issues. An understanding of each outlet’s audience and content style is essential to tailor pitches effectively.

Crafting a Compelling Pitch

A compelling pitch is succinct, newsworthy, and relevant to the outlet’s audience. It should clearly articulate what makes the case interesting and why it matters now. Here are key elements to include in your pitch:

  • Headline: A catchy headline that summarizes the story.
  • Introduction: A brief overview of the case, highlighting its uniqueness or impact on the community.
  • Significance: Explain why this case is important and how it affects the local area or its residents.
  • Visuals: Offer high-quality images or videos if available, as visuals can significantly increase the chances of your story being picked up.
  • Contact Information: Make sure to include your contact details for follow-up questions.

When crafting your law firm's press release and pitch, remember that journalists are inundated with story ideas. Your pitch needs to stand out and demonstrate immediate value to their audience.

Building Relationships with Journalists

Successful media outreach is as much about building relationships as it is about the stories you pitch. Marketing directors should make an effort to connect with local legal reporters and editors, understanding their interests and the types of stories they’re looking for. Attending local journalism events or inviting journalists for a coffee can lay a strong foundation for future interactions. Always be respectful of their time and provide them with accurate, easily verifiable information.

Timing Your Outreach

Timing is everything in news. Marketing directors should consider the broader news cycle and aim to pitch stories when they’re most likely to resonate. Avoid times of major news events unless your story is related. Additionally, understand the deadlines that journalists work under and try to time your pitches when they are most likely to be looking for stories, often early in the week.

Leveraging Coverage

Once a local news outlet decides to cover a new case, the work doesn’t stop there. Law firm marketing directors should leverage this coverage to maximize its impact:

  • Social Media: Share the news story across the firm’s social media platforms, tagging the news outlet and the journalist to extend its reach.
  • Website: Feature the story prominently on the firm’s website, possibly on a dedicated media or news page.
  • Newsletter: Include a link to the story in the firm’s newsletter to ensure clients and other contacts see the coverage.
  • Thank You: Send a brief thank-you note to the journalist or editor. This not only shows appreciation but also reinforces the relationship for future stories.

You can also utilize a press release to get even more coverage out of your news coverage. When the Chicago Sun-Times talked to personal injury lawyer, Paul Greenberg of Briskman Briskman & Greenberg about PTSD after a dog bite injury, he sent out a press release announcing that he had been featured in the Chicago Sun-Times. This doubled the media exposure for the firm using just one news event.

Ethical Considerations

While seeking media coverage, it’s crucial to adhere to ethical standards. This means being transparent about your role, respecting client confidentiality, and ensuring that all information shared is accurate and does not mislead the public or compromise legal proceedings. Never assume anything you share with a journalist is off the record.

Conclusion

For law firm marketing directors, effectively reaching out to local news outlets requires a blend of strategic planning, compelling storytelling, and relationship building. By crafting targeted pitches, engaging constructively with journalists, and leveraging media coverage effectively, law firms can enhance their visibility, establish credibility, and position themselves as leading voices in their legal community.

Bigger Law Firm Magazine

Bigger Law Firm Magazine has been helping law firms grow since 2011. We regularly publish helpful insights from industry professionals to help legal marketing directors, firm administrators, and lawyers build bigger and more efficient law firms.

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