Public Relations Advice for Lawprenuers

by Cheryl on September 23, 2014

Whether you are a lawyer or legal marketing professional, public relations is an effective way stand out from the crowd. It’s no longer an option in today’s business environment, especially if your goal is to generate business.

I was recently featured on the podcast Lawprenuer Radio, a program that offers advice for attorneys who consider themselves entrepreneurs. The public relations insights I offer listeners is applicable to any professional who wants to generate name recognition among clients and potential clients.

You can listen on the site here or check out Lawpreneur Radio Show on iTunes!

I look forward to your comments and feedback about the show.

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Legal Reporter at Ars Technica Talks Good PR

by Cheryl on September 22, 2014

A big part of the being a resourceful PR professional is staying up-to-date on when reporters move jobs as well as what they want from us in their new positions.  Legal PR Advice asked David Kravets, a senior reporter at Ars Technica where he gets his sources and stories for the popular online news site.

Here are some questions:

Q. Tell me about your contribution to ArsTechnica how it differs from your position at

A. I became the senior editor at Ars Technica in April. I write about pretty much the same topics I covered as senior writer for Wired. I cover security, privacy, intellectual property, crime, legal matters and other material as it relates to the tech world. At Wired, I solely wrote. However, at Ars Technica, I write and also supervise our coverage for all of the topic areas I just described. Internally, we call it the “policy” beat.

Q. Who or what are your best sources?

A. My best sources are usually lawyers and me pounding the pavement.

Q. What makes a professional a good, quotable source?

A. Some advice to lawyers speaking to the media, is as follows: Try not to use jargon and try to get a sense of the reporter’s understanding of the topic so as to speak on their level. Sometimes a reporter is quite informed on the topic, other times not. Some reporters understand the legal system, and plenty do not. In my view, good quotes are the ones that speak smartly about the topic. Other reporters might want something more flashy or fist-pounding. Use your own judgement, but at least know the difference.

Q. What was the best story pitch you have received recently and why?

A. One of the best tips I got recently at Ars Technica was a call from a lobbyist to give me a heads up on the US Copyright Office’s triennial review of DMCA regulations. We talked about what new proposals might be made and by whom. Obviously, we talked about the lobbyists’ interest in the story as well.​

Q. What was the worst?

A. The dumbest story pitch I received recently was one with this headline: “A funny and smart video that describes the first App that allows users to book clean private home toilets (at least according to other users’ reviews) instantly for a few dollars.”
They even produced a YouTube video about it. Yet, there was no such app. So the app, which was ridiculous as could be, didn’t even exist.

Q. Since all of your stories published online, what is the best time to contact you? Are you on a daily deadline or is it hourly?

A. The best time to tip me to a story is at the earliest in the day as possible, and with plenty of time to check it out before action on whatever it is takes place. Whenever anybody asks me what my deadline is, my standard answer is “yesterday.” That said, we can publish at any time, any day of the week.

Q. Do you want evergreen stories or do you want to know what’s happening now?

A. The tips can be about breaking, soon-to-break or feature-length planned stories.

Q. You are also the guy behind the Yellow Daily News. Is it helping you raise your profile in the tech industry or are you doing it just for fun?

A. My personal blog is called TheYellowDailyNews. It’s is parody and satire that I publish once a day Monday through Friday. I do it purely for fun and to write about the absurdity of the world as I see it. Because I make a living reporting about others’ views, TheYellowDailyNews gives me a relief valve from that. I make no money from it. The only marketing I do, if it can be called marketing, is I post TYDN stories to my Facebook friends, to my Twitter followers and to my Linkedin connections.

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The Accidental Journalist: How Blogging Turned into a Journalism Gig

September 17, 2014

Jonathan Handel, an entertainment attorney in Los Angeles wrote about his experience as a blogger and now a journalist.  He gave me permission to post this article which originally appeared on MuckRack.
“I appreciate your fair coverage of the Writers Guild strike,” read the short email I received almost seven years ago. This was gratifying, but [...]

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Client Alerts in a Perfect World

September 5, 2014

In a perfect world, PR professionals would be alerted when a lawyer or team of attorneys starts writing a client alert. That’s because many client alert ideas are generated way before the finished product is posted to a website or sent to my inbox.
I realize that the attorneys do not often think of us when [...]

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Congrats! You Are the Best Lawyer. Now What?

August 22, 2014

 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 [...]

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Going Viral: Ice, Ice Baby!

August 18, 2014

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 [...]

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Expect Your Internal Memo to Get Leaked

July 15, 2014

When you write a memo for an internal audience you have to assume that it will be leaked. Above the Law has proven this over and over again. The website is known for easily acquiring internal memos which often become the source of its stories, especially the juicy ones. It is naïve, but I assume firms [...]

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Above The Law’s BigLaw Firm Survey

July 2, 2014

Above The Law just launched what looks like another insignificant survey. The site is asking people to rank a select group of firms based on 1) reputed strength and quality of the firm’s practice and 2) desirability of the firm as a potential employer.
I am sure this is one list that most law firms won’t [...]

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Media Training 101: Landon Donovan’s Emotionless Coverage of World Cup Soccer

June 24, 2014

Landon Donovan did not prepare for his role as TV commentator for ESPN as he would have had he actually been playing in the match. And he should have known better. If any of you watched the stone-faced Donovan after the last minute draw in the USA v. Portugal match you know what I mean. [...]

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Everything You Need to Know about Not Doing PR Yourself

June 9, 2014

In an article published on Fast Company’s website, Dave Llorens and Ashley Seashore did the business community a huge disservice by telling entrepreneurs that they can handle their own PR. They can’t and they shouldn’t. Fast Company couldn’t get away with an article written by an in-house counsel called “Why your startup shouldn’t hire a [...]

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