Thanks to "Apple v Samsung," the public is finding out what PR pros have long known. And that's that Steve Jobs had down cold how to create his own version of the Law of Attraction to pull in free publicity for Apple.
His version was engineering great mystery about products under development. Not even employee teams had full information about what they were working on. So, when there was the actual product announcement, the media felt honored to be invited to live blog, tweet, and file stories with WIRED and FAST COMPANY.
But any law firm could create the same kind of relationship with the media. All that is required are determination, persistence, and high emotional intelligence. Here's how to begin.
Share secrets with select media. Everyone wants to feel special, including members of media. That's the point of selective sharing. Around 2004, Chrylser had a digital site providing information, insight, and breaking news to select members of the media, accessible only by the secret password. No, the secrets don't have to represent breaking the laws or a confidence. They can just be as simple as how things really work.
That's what Aon attorney and Abovthelaw.com blogger Mark Herrmann reveals in his new book "Inside Straight." (Here you can order it.) The material is compelling not because it is confidential but because Herrmann recognized it could be bundled into narratives which provided titillation. Of course, the media went for it.
Figure out what's newsworthy in your operation on that day. Then share it with select media. This requires developing a nose for what's news, that is what will interest the media and therefore their audiences. Compulsively follow the media for a few weeks and you will be able to smell a story a mile away. Timing is everything. Patent anything is selling right now during "Apple v Samsung." Forget that when the verdict comes in.
Have someone in your office package that news bit for media contacts you are developing. That could be an email with a catchy subject header such as "Expense Not Culprit in Flat Law Firm Revenues." Offer to be a background source, on or off the record, provide an interview, or author a bylined opinion-editorial (op-ed).
Host a briefing to select media on coming regulation or litigation and implications. That puts you on their radar for quotes, interviews, and even submitting bylined op-eds.
Establish a publishing process. Designate those in the firm who will find placements for op-eds and full length articles and ghostwrite them. Post the clips from those in the Media Centre on your website. Links to them make it easier to sell ideas in the future. Work your way up to the most influential media with your target markets. If your prospects and clients read BARRON'S, that's where you want to be. If they read the blogging on governance published by Motley Fool, that's where your opinion needs to be cited.
Do videos. Attaching those to your digital content boosts the odds they will appear on the first page of Google. We are a visual society. Also Google has revamped its algorithm to give preference to text with video.
This is certain: Your prospects and clients, as well as the media, are more apt to open and pay attention to visual content than naked text. For example, when pitching to the media, even in the form of a press release, attach the video.
The trick is to keep doing this. Being busy is no excuse for a hiatus. Swamped? Contract with PR professionals who can fill in the gap.
Jane Genova and her team provide complimentary consultations (no pressure) firstname.lastname@example.org.