Are you wondering why your case(s) are not getting coverage? You won the case, got a big verdict… but still no coverage. The media must have it out for you, right? That is probably not the case. Below we discuss four reasons why you may not be getting media coverage/exposure on your cases:
1) LACK A PR STRATEGY & PLAN – Every law firm should have a PR plan, devised in advance, for handling each potential newsworthy case. For each case, attorneys should identify: The goals and objectives, the target audience, the appropriate media outlets, and the appropriate distribution format (video, on-line, social, press release, press conference, etc.). Attorneys and clients must also be prepared for potential interviews and follow-up.
2) MISSED DEADLINES– All media outlets are deadline driven. Letting a journalists, producer or reporter know about a story as it is happening or when the latest edition has gone to press can limit your chances for coverage. Advance notification is critical for the accurate gathering of information and timely release of the story. Realize that you may not get TV coverage, but may get exposure on the outlet’s website, blog, Twitter account, etc. No matter the coverage you receive, media outlets need attorneys to provide timely and quality information.
3) IT’S NOT NEWS – Reporters cover stories that are newsworthy. They cover stories that their readers and viewers want and will grab their attention and interest; not a story that is self-serving and for your own benefit or gain. Build relationships with your local reporters, journalist and producers. Get to know their coverage area (state or federal courts; business news, real estate news, court news, etc.; geographical location). If you invest the time, you increase your chance to become a reliable source (expert in your field/a-go-to-person) when the news media is doing a story that pertains your practice/experience.
4) CHANGING NEWSROOMS – Newsrooms and staff are shrinking. Staff is doing more with less—in some cases a solo reporter is now the producer, writer, reporter, editor and cameraman. They are also covering multiple beats (coverage areas); with some media outlets (former competitors) banning together to share stories and reporters. Fewer reporter means there is only so many stories they can cover at one time. To accommodate this shift, attorneys must not overlook the value of new technology and platforms (social media, mobile devices, on-line, video) which consumers are using to access news and information daily.
Don’t wait for the last minute to issue your press release and then berate the media in hopes of getting them to cover your case. Instead, develop a PR plan that clearly states your media objectives and goals, customize a press release for each case that highlights what is truly newsworthy, and take the time to build relationships with your local reporters. Building relationships with help you and your firm develop credibility and often times will translate to visibility in the news.