Previously, I discussed selecting the most effective legal marketing techniques to boost your law firm marketing plan.  The techniques include referrals, speaking engagements, networking, online presence, public relations, promotional events and advertising.  This post explores the benefits of public relations, promotional events and advertising  in your law firm marketing strategy.

Public relations, promotional events and advertising are three similar, somewhat interrelated but distinct strategies in a sound law firm marketing plan  This post provides a brief overview of each of them.

Public Relations
As a marketing strategy can take the form of writing articles or columns for local newspapers, trade magazines, professional journals, offering an advice column, being a content expert for the media; television, radio or newspaper interviews, writing a press release, or having stories published about your clients and how you helped them.

Public relations can be great for building credibility and brand awareness, but generally does not result in immediate clients. The major benefit of PR is that it positions you a recognized expert and creates awareness of your firm. This is a long-term strategy (6-12 months).

Promotional Events
Generally, this strategy revolves around participating in trade shows, sponsoring a local event, having an open house, or offering “Free” seminars or workshops. Promotional events can be useful in lifting your visibility among your prospects and for building your database, but sometimes cost you a lot more in terms of time and money than they are worth. Plus, it’s often hard to measure the success of the event.

Usually advertising is described as mass market media like radio and TV ads, newspaper classifieds or magazine ads, yellow pages, flyers and websites. This is the area most people incorrectly identify synonymously as marketing, but is really just one of the forms marketing and is usually the least effective for attorneys. This strategy is not recommended unless you have a large marketing budget.

Here are the 5 Biggest Mistakes in Attorney Advertising

  1. Most Ads are Not Meaningful.
  2. There is a High Cost to Mass Advertising
  3. Ads can help your firm build “brand awareness” but are not good when it comes to encouraging people to take action
  4. Most Law Firms Lack Follow-up Systems
  5. No Tracking of Real Results

If you are going to commit to the cost of an advertising component in your legal marketing plan, keep these mistakes in mind.  Advertising is a significant financial commitment.  Make sure that your law firm marketing budget is well-spent on a system with good follow-up and measurable results.

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