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A press release may sound as outdated as a pager, but in reality the press release is a powerful way to present your law firm news to the public. Lawyers and law firms can self-publish a press release, instead of waiting for the media to present it. Your website, blog and social media platforms can take a press release and use it to proclaim your story to your clients and your target audience.
What is a Press Release?
A press release is a piece of written communication that reports brief and specific information about an event. Historically, press releases have been connected to businesses or organizations who want to introduce a new product or have an important announcement to make. But the media is not obligated to run a traditional press release. Writing your own press release is a potent way to get the word out about something important happening in your law firm — and you do not need to wait for anyone’s permission to publish it.
Why Write a Press Release?
The main goal of a press release is to promote something newsworthy, and to do it clearly and concisely. A press release is presented with the hope that:
- A reporter will take the news and elaborate on it
- The media will spread the news
- The information will be shared and promoted on the internet via blogs, social media and websites
A press release is still a favorable way to present your law firm’s important news, and doing it the modern way (publishing it yourself on the internet) is ideal because of the following reasons:
Story Started By You
Whoever has the first shot at a story has an advantage. Your press release is about your law firm, and you know the story best. It can contain the most accurate facts told in the most authentic way, and it will establish your law firm as the proper source if anyone wants to know more.
Offering a press release drives traffic to your website. Providing fresh and relevant new content on your website gives you favor with the search engines, and this will ultimately boost your rankings.
Choose Your Own News
The most shocking or noteworthy news gets published. But what about the smaller news that is meaningful to your law firm and its clients? A reporter may ignore the fact that one of your staff has made the “best lawyer” list, you won a hard-fought case, or you hired a new attorney. When you put forth your own press release, you can choose the news that is significant to you and your audience.
Tips For Writing a Press Release
Follow the Rules
A press release follows a standard framework, and it is best to keep within the guidelines. This forces you to write carefully and concisely, and communicates the most crucial information to your potential readers. A standard press release stays under 400 words and includes:
- The most important information told in the first few lines
- Additional words of explanation
- One or two powerful quotes from key team members
- A brief summary of your law firm
Start your press release with the date and the name of the city of origin. A well-crafted press release should include:
- An attention grabbing headline
- Information presented in third-person narrative
- Action words
- Quotations that push the intended agenda
- A high interest level
- Minimal detail
Time it Carefully
Press releases are usually available for immediate release, shareable as soon as it is submitted. If you are distributing your press release with the help of a service, you will want to designate the time frame to best suit your needs.
Avoid Back Patting
Nobody likes it when people or businesses congratulate themselves. Patting your own back in your press release will be off-putting for your readers and cause journalists to ignore you. If you want to self-promote in that way, leave that to your newsletter or to social media. Remember that a press release must be newsworthy and interesting. If it isn’t, it will go nowhere.
How Should You Share Your Press Release?
Once you have drafted your press release, run it by one or two other people. Better yet, choose a professional who is skilled in writing and knows proper grammar and AP style. Once you have your draft, try reading it aloud, to see if it flows and sounds interesting. If it sounds disjointed or unclear, go back and improve it. When you are ready, it is time to share it.
Your Law Firm Website and Blog
One of the first and best places to publish your press release is right on your law firm website, or presented as a blog post. The benefits of doing this include:
- It stays there as long as you like, without being archived.
- It can be noticed in the past news, offering background to future readers and potential clients.
- Comments are controlled by your law firm.
- Your important news gets funneled to your own clients and target audience.
Be sure to publish your press release as a post on your social media channels, where you can include a link to your law firm website. Encourage your law firm staff to include in on their own social media sites as well.
Email reaches its target 90% of the time, so be sure to send your press release out to all of your contacts. Leave a spot for your press release in the next law firm e-newsletter as well.
Other Media Outlets
If you have a newsworthy press release, you can send it to a reporter who would likely cover the subject. Take time to create an email list of potential media representatives who might care about your news. Fill the subject line with an impactful title and send the press release in the body of text, rather than as an attachment. Follow up after sending, and do not be discouraged if you do not get a reply — a reporter typically receives dozens of news releases every day.
Paid Press Release Services
There are paid news services who will distribute your press release. The most popular for hire are Business Wire and PR Newswire. Although these services have a large reach, using one of these can cost hundreds of dollars or more, depending on your word count and use of images.
Free Press Release Services
There are also services who will distribute your press release for free online in a limited capacity. Many of these offer upgraded service for a fee. These free services include:
How Law Quill Can Help
A press release added to your blog, website or circulated throughout the local media can offer a unique addition to your marketing plan. Consider submitting your press release to a media representative for a greater reach. Law Quill can help you write a powerful press release that will impact your target audience and attract potential clients.
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