Lawyers are among the last professions to adopt communications strategies as added-value means of promotion, because the reputation of a lawyer has traditionally relied on his/her performance and on word-of-mouth recommendations.

Nevertheless, as the offer of legal services has lately diversified, the need to promote, rather than merely spread the word about one’s legal services has been recognised.

Despite this, legal PR runs under different dynamics, consequently generating a paradigm shift in the way the communications strategies are traditionally run.

Legal PR is strategic

Legal PR is like walking a tight rope. It requires finesse, attention, concentration, balance, perspective and courage. A small slip and a well-planned, well-intended PR campaign can turn into a crisis management. A legal PR consultant needs to know what to say and, equally important, when to say it.

Legal PR is trust-building

In today’s fluid world, the lawyer’s performance is not enough to sustain a good image and reputation in the community. Legal PR should draw more on substance than on form, as a law firm should be associated with relevant values for the larger community where it has its activity.

Significant content delivered by the law firm into the public sphere is part of the trust-building exercise.

Legal PR is added value

The PR-related clauses of the negotiations between lawyers and clients are often dismissed or overlooked because most of the time they are perceived by the client not as an opportunity, but rather as a breach of confidentiality. PR opportunities come as an after-thought. Good legal PR brings double value: directly for the law firm and indirectly for the client.

In conclusion, the tandem between the legal offer and the auxiliary PR content can bring enhanced benefits to the clients; an aspect worth mentioning to the client throughout the negotiations. From the client perspective, it is like killing two birds with one stone.

Article first published in the INSIDE Newsletter of the Geneva Group International (GGI), nr. 7, Autumn, 2018