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It is always a winning idea to hire a public relations firm. It is an even better idea if your company is trying something new like launching a new service, marketing an improved product, promoting a big event, or expanding to another city, state or country. You can also get much more value for your money if you focus on hiring a PR firm that specializes in your niche or industry, which in our case, is the legal field. In fact, it trumps advertising and may very well be one of the best possible ways to promote your company.
While there are many things to consider when selecting the right PR firm, you will always come out ahead by picking one that has specialized in your industry.
Why Hiring a Specialty PR Firm Is a Good Idea
1. The PR firm knows your business’ strong and weak points and can emphasize its strengths and minimize its weaknesses.
It has gained this expertise through experience—working with other firms like yours and learning through trial and error. They understand what it will take for your firm to stand out. Their constant exposure to your particular target market has also sensitized them to how consumers will react to your latest promotion ideas. An example that comes to mind is a tip offered by Berbay, a PR firm whose clientele includes law firms, on their blog about how lawyers should take full advantage of using social media. This insight arose only because they knew from experience that law firms had the misguided impression that social media was mainly for teens and not the right place for professionals. However, their post entitled Legal Consumers Utilizing Social Media Is On The Rise said, “From a marketing and public relations standpoint, now is the time for law firms to jump in and take full advantage of all the benefits social media has to offer.”
2. They understand the media most receptive to your business.
Since PR firms that specialize in an industry are exposed to a narrow circle of media sources, they personally know the journalists and can suggest the best angles with which to broadcast your new business initiatives. Other PR firms—generalists—tend to have scattered their communication pieces across a wide spectrum of media and have a diluted list of favorite contacts. As a result of the rapport the specialized PR staff has with niche-journalists, your news releases will be highly focused and accurately targeted.
3. They have in-depth experience.
PR firms that have narrowed their approach by focusing on getting very good at understanding a specific industry, tend to have a very select range of experience and an insightful knowledge base. Moreover, it will probably have faced many crisis situations in your industry and learned what to avoid when it comes to promoting a company. They are also able to spot the best opportunities that might be available for your business since they constantly have a finger on the pulse of your industry. But that’s not all: they can even quickly kill a campaign that goes awry quickly and smooth out any bruised feelings. For instance, a faux pas by a company official at a public event can be rapidly pulled off the press before it becomes well-publicized.
Get Clear On Your Promotional Needs
Before hiring a PR firm for your legal team, decide exactly why you want one. Do you have a special promotion in mind? After that one-off event will you want to continue to deepen the relationship? If so, what branding ideas or services, specifically, do you want them to help you highlight? A niche-focused PR firm that serves your niche can help your firm by quoting you in the press as an expert in your field, get you public speaking engagements, develop your online website, design your collateral marketing materials, launch email or direct mail campaigns, and even facilitate you getting referral business from other legal professionals. In other words, PR firms, especially those that specialize in law, can do much more than simply send out press releases when you have a newsworthy event.