Congrats! You have been chosen as one of the best lawyers in America. The best place to post this listing is your bio, the firm’s website, the news section under press releases. You can even send it out via social media channels. But, do not send it to a newspaper expecting it will make the cover of that publication or a feature story will be written about you. Especially if you are in big media markets like Los Angeles, New York or Chicago. I was at lunch today with a legal industry reporter who said she continues to get press releases from law firms announcing rankings by other news outlets.
“I used to respond with a note that we do not cover these lists,” She said. “Now, there are too many press releases. It would take me all day to reply.”
We can all agree there are too many of these rankings and awards, many that list hundreds of lawyers from around the world. How can anyone expect each announcement to be picked up?
“Frankly, she said, “It’s not really news.”
In smaller media markets, publications may use this content, but not in places where reporters are covering more significant announcements like firm mergers, notable lateral moves or even interesting cases or legal issues. Just because lawyers want the world to know about their upward trajectory in the legal industry, especially when it is noted by a news outlet, does not mean you should push send.
Have you dumped a bucket of ice over your head yet? If not, you may be the only person to not participate in ALS Association’s Ice Bucket Challenge. Anyone who studies the practice of PR has to give props to the ALS Association for its cool idea. Here is how it started.
News reports indicate even ALS was surprised its challenge went viral and it dominated social media this past weekend. Many of my friends and family members posted videos on Facebook responding to “the challenge”. I was called on too, but I could not manage to get a bucket of ice together within 24 hours, so I made a contribution instead.
It’s a challenge for any organization trying to stand out among the thousands of other non-profits doing annual fundraising. But, thanks to social media and the power of sports stars and entertainers, fundraising can be even more engaging and successful. As of August 18, ALS has raised over $15.6 million.
While it may not be obvious or easy for any law firm to take a page from the ALS playbook or to ask its contacts or clients to dump ice over their heads for a cause, it is not unreasonable idea to have them participate. One law firm Venable LLP generated great PR as a result. And, many other attorneys and law firms accepted the challenge. I challenge a law firm to come up with an equally great idea that would cause the media to spin out of control.
It’s the ultimate example of an great idea that will be used in PR classes and seminars around the country. Kudos to the folks at the ALS Association for dumping the coolness factor on the heat of the summer.