In the era of online content marketing, the press release seems as quaint and outdated as the fax machine. But a well-written, concise, timely press release remains one of the most potent vehicles for getting your law firm’s story in front of important audiences.
If anything, press releases are more important today than they were back in the day when they took over newsroom fax machines and made one of my editors “cry for the trees” they were written on. (Fortunately for those trees, press releases are now almost entirely distributed electronically. You’re welcome, Earth.)
The reason press releases are more important today is that we’re no longer solely, or even primarily, interested in winning over increasingly hard-to-win-over reporters. Lawyers and law firms who use content marketing are essentially their own publishers now. As long as you have a website, social media or email (ideally, all three), you can tell your own story directly to your clients and potential clients.
Need help turning your legal marketing to-do list into reality? We can help with that! Muse Communications was named one of Dallas’ best legal public relations firms by the readers of Texas Lawyer (although we represent clients all over Texas). Just drop us a line.
Why write a press release?
Here’s why a good old-fashioned press release is still a great way to get your story out there:
You set the tone
If there is more than one side to a story, and there usually is, whoever tells the story first has the advantage because everyone else has to respond to that version. Your press release can provide an accurate timeline and recitation of the facts, as well as establish who is the proper source for more information.
Your hands are tied, in a good way
Press releases follow a formula, the same formula most news stories follow: most important information up top, a few paragraphs of explanation, a quote or two from important players that put the news in perspective, and, usually, a boilerplate paragraph about your firm. That formula forces you to tell your story clearly and concisely. And, ideally, it forces you to do all that in 400 words or less (online press release distribution services, like PR Newswire, tack on an extra charge for releases longer than 400 words, so brevity is usually in your economic best interests as well). The process of writing a press release helps you see your story the way others will see it and tell it more effectively.