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How local law firms can build their brand by going national

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We love to hear from guest writers on our blog. It’s really helpful to read the experiences of legal and marketing professionals who appreciate the power of relevant and useful content – and how sharing it can help lawyers build their brand, support their clients and win new business.

In this blog, Alison Scarrott from legal specialist communications agency brookscomm, comments on how local firms can expand into the national media and why this is good for business.

Public Relations involves managing communications between a firm and its target audience, enhancing the reputation of the business and its individuals, and ultimately driving new business to the company.

Methods of communication have expanded hugely in recent years to augment the traditional press release. By implementing an integrated communication strategy, using both press releases and digital marketing and social media gives you a better chance of reaching and influencing more of your target audience.

This will create awareness, enhance a firm’s reputation and lead to new business.

Legal comment

For a law firm, one part of an integrated communication policy should be the production of insightful and timely comment relating to different aspects of the law.

Having represented a Surrey-based law firm for over ten years, brookscomm has seen how the reputation and standing of both the business and individuals within the firm have been enhanced through the production and distribution of good quality informative written material. 

You may wonder how a piece of content sent to national papers and specialist industry magazines could benefit a regional law firm.

But if a law firm has a level of specialism in particular areas of law, county boundaries are not a barrier to successfully having content published, raising awareness for the business, and positioning it as expert in particular areas of law.

Avoid self-promotion

Writing and distributing content can take many forms. A new service, or company changes are the subject of many press releases.

More beneficial, however, are articles and expert comments that are written in response to changes occurring within the legal sector, or in response to national breaking news stories.

Sometimes these can take the form of thought-provoking and quite controversial commentary which will create a “buzz” within legal circles or specialist sectors. 

For example, there are many controversial topics for debate within the property sector, with referral fees repeatedly raising its head as an area for hot debate. Being part of the debate will establish you as an expert in the area, and potentially lead to future business or referrals.

Be proactive

A good communications strategy will include responding to such stories. But initiating content before a story has broken can put you “ahead of the game”.

One such example is the extremes of weather we have witnessed recently. The ‘Beast from the East’ provided a great opportunity for our Surrey client to talk about the employment issues relating to the inability to get to work in bad weather, and the summer heatwave also provided opportunity for employment law advice.

Press coverage was achieved across national, local and specialist media, and included appearances on local radio.

Talking about national issues, both at a local and national level, will begin to establish your reputation as experts. It also provides a level of reassurance to your existing client base, and future clients, as they will see you as a firm whose opinion is respected within the press.

Be social

Social media also has a big part to play in an integrated communications strategy. Once your articles have been published, either on web sites or in printed format, further customer reach can be achieved via social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

With an integrated and strategic communications campaign your firm can greatly enhance its reach, profile and reputation, be seen as thought leaders in your area, and give you a competitive edge when potential clients are looking to engage a legal firm.

Find out more on how local law firms can promote themselves to their ideal clients.

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