Why Attorneys Can’t Act Busier Than Journalists

Many lawyers know the feeling. You’re reading a news story or journal article and come across a quote from a fellow attorney, wondering why the reporter didn’t contact you instead. Chances are it’s because that reporter doesn’t know you. While researching media outlets, deciding on a story to pitch and how to pitch it will get you on the right track, it’s the relationship with a journalist that will lead to an interview and likely the inclusion of a linkback to your firm’s website. Here are some tips to help you develop your relationship with media members.

Do Your Research

Like a marriage, friendship or business partnership, a relationship with a journalist is a two-way street and requires effort from both parties. Before you ever reach out or deliver a pitch, explore the previous works of a reporter to get a feel of their coverage area. You can even reference a previous story of theirs to showcase your understanding of them and their beat. A good first impression can go a long way toward securing a fruitful partnership with a reporter. 

Even when you don’t have a story to pitch, it’s important to keep in touch with journalists to maintain that relationship. Follow them on social media and show your support by sharing a story on your personal social media channels. Developing your relationship with reporters will also help determine their various preferences. It’s safe to assume an email is a good form of communication, but as you get to know them better, you may come to find they prefer a phone call or text message. 

Be Easy to Find

While it’s still important to do your part in fostering and maintaining a relationship with a media member, there will also likely be times that a journalist or reporter wants to reach out to you first. And nothing will jeopardize your earned media opportunity like not having contact and background information readily available and easy to access. Keeping your bio, a photo and any other assets in a centralized location on your firm’s website will make it easier for a journalist to contact you when the time comes. 

Sticking to a consistent schedule with your content marketing efforts can also help in this practice. The more often you publish relevant content, particularly with the right keywords, the more likely you are to be found through a Google search. Plus, the more content you produce on your own will give a reporter a better understanding of your work to determine whether or not you would be a reliable resource for future stories. 

Be Available

One of the most effective ways to cultivate and protect your relationship with a reporter is to always make time for them. Journalists often don’t set their own deadlines and there are times that they’ll be racing against the clock to finish a story on time. This is where you can improve your standing with a media member by always being available to provide a quote or relevant information for the story. 

That’s not to say that if a reporter calls or emails that you should drop everything you’re doing and devote all your time to their needs. Keep in mind that you’re the expert and thought leader in the legal industry and providing some assistance to a journalist in need likely won’t take too much of your time. However, there are few things as beneficial for your relationship with a media member. Help them out and you’ll become a trusted source that they rely on again in the future. Ignore it and the opportunity may never present itself again. 

Be a Resource

It’s no secret that having a good relationship with a journalist can be greatly beneficial for you as a lawyer and for your firm as a whole. The credibility and expanded reach can open the doors to an entirely new audience and recognition as a thought leader in your field. To ensure that you remain top-of-mind to a reporter, it’s important to provide benefits of your own by being a trusted resource that they can reach out to whether the story involves your firm or not. 

Create a profile of your background and professional experience to send to reporters that can be kept in their database. This gives them a clear understanding of who you are and what you do, putting you at the top of their list when they have a question related to your field. You should also consider sharing information that isn’t always self-serving. Even if it doesn’t immediately lead to recognition in a story, being a resource for a journalist ensures that you will always be considered when the time comes that they do need a direct quote or mention of your firm. 

The most important thing to remember is that a relationship with a journalist is like one with any other acquaintance. You didn’t become best friends with somebody on the first day you met them. It took time for the relationship to grow and the partnership with a reporter is no different. Stay committed to becoming a resource and a media member will have no choice but to work with you. 

If you find yourself struggling to develop a working relationship with journalists and missing out on earned media opportunities, give us a call. Our agency has particular expertise in helping law firms and legal marketers create thought leadership platforms fueled by an integrated strategy of earned media and content marketing that increases leads and cases, improves brand recognition and reputation, while also equipping attorneys to sell.

SAME process. Unique results.

If improving lead generation is a priority to your law firm, we would love to be your partner. Schedule a free 1-hour consultation.

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Mitchell Williams Law

Legal Content Marketing

We helped this growing mid-size law firm better position its attorneys as experts in key practice areas by delivering curated content.
 

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Are You the Next Rock Star on the Ghidotti Team?

The Ghidotti Team is overflowing with full-fledged rock stars. Sure – we’re looking for the best, brightest, most creative, most organized. You get the picture. But what we REALLY want is someone who we can laugh with, depend on, learn from and do great work together. Learn more about who we’re looking for and what you can expect.

Ghidotti is currently hiring for three positions listed below – Account Executive, Account Supervisor and Media Relations Manager.

Account Executive Job Description: 

In the Account Executive position, emphasis is placed on growing independent work within the areas of project management, client relations, media relations, digital/marketing, and/or lead generation among other skills. You are the face to our clients and will play an integral role in daily communication and should be able to demonstrate tactical excellence. 

  • Write client and internal correspondence effectively and with limited supervision.
  • Successfully plan and execute client activities such as media tours, digital and social campaigns, business missions and/or other special events. 
  • Proactively identify blog content story ideas and work with the supervisor to develop. 
  • Develop relevant blogs, e-newsletters and website content effectively and with limited supervision. 
  • Successfully manage independently the execution of all client content calendars, which can include media relations pitch calendars, blogs, social content and paid media campaigns.
  • Exhibit competency and efficiency in drafting copy for client marketing materials and/or campaigns, such as website content, e-newsletters, collateral materials, paid media campaigns, etc. 
  • As it relates to social/digital media, regularly suggest ideas, manage the planning, and comfortably execute campaigns on behalf of clients. Efficiency with Canva, a plus!
  • Assist in the management of interns, when applicable. 
  • Be proficient in WordPress.
  • Easily navigate agency platforms such as Cision, TVEyes, Sprout Social, Sprinklr.
  • Depending on the needs of the service area, responsibilities may extend beyond the items above as skill sets, client contracts and other extenuating circumstances dictate.

Apply for this open position by emailing Bethany Siems at bethany@ghidotti.com.

 

Account Supervisor Job Description: 
In the Account Supervisor position, a staff member will be responsible for assisting and managing the public relations, content marketing, digital media, account services and/or creative/strategy for clients. This position requires fully developed specialty skills, a strong understanding of the industry landscape and an understanding of client priorities and objectives.
  • Serve as the account strategist/lead and oversee/play a clear leadership role on at least three clients.
  • Manage the implementation of work plans and ensure client deliverables are successfully met on deadline.
  • Play a leadership role in the sales process by identifying additional services to sell to existing clients and assisting with RFP responses, new business proposals, presentations, etc. with senior leadership or independently.
  • Display a strong understanding of and effectively communicate Ghidotti’s service offerings to existing clients.
  • Successfully supervise at least one junior staff member, including providing guidance on their professional growth.
  • Begin to play a role in the agency’s marketing efforts, guiding aspects of certain campaigns and/or helping to execute in their areas of expertise.

Account Services: 

  • Play a clear leadership role in the planning and execution of integrated marketing campaigns for clients.
  • Develop and write comprehensive strategic marketing plans for clients.
  • Handle vendor contracts and ensure proper billing.
  • Demonstrate a clear track record of successfully meeting deadlines and timelines.
  • Handle day-of logistics on behalf of clients, responding quickly and effectively.
  • Assist in providing leadership and professional development on client relations, helping team members improve their skills in managing conflict, presentations, sales, etc.

Client Strategy: 

  • Develop or oversee the visual content creation for client materials, including e-newsletters, website content, digital campaigns, marketing collateral, etc.
  • Oversee the development of marketing materials and branding campaigns.
  • Manage creative marketing campaigns on behalf of clients.
  • Demonstrate a clear track record of leading brainstorms, and providing and implementing creative ideas for proposals, presentations, etc.
  • Continually provide new and ‘fresh’ ideas for proposals, new business proposals and current clients’ marketing campaigns.

Apply for this open position by emailing Bethany Siems at bethany@ghidotti.com.

 

Media Relations Manager Job Description: 

In the Media Relations Manager position, a staff member will be responsible for assisting and managing the public relations, content marketing, digital media, account services and/or strategy for clients. This position requires fully developed specialty skills, a strong understanding of the public relations industry landscape and an understanding of client priorities and objectives. 

Main Responsibilities – General: 

  • Serve as the account strategist/lead and oversee/play a clear leadership role on media relations client accounts.
  • Display a strong understanding of and effectively communicate Ghidotti’s service offerings to existing clients. 
  • Successfully supervise at least one junior staff member, including providing guidance on their professional growth.

Main Responsibilities – Media Relations: 

  • Develop strategic media relations plans, direct management and outreach for client accounts with the supervision of Senior Leadership.
  • Perform with Senior Leadership to prepare a plan for strategic crisis communications.
  • Manage and facilitate the execution of media relations outreach for special events, programs and major initiatives.
  • Perform as spokesperson and coordinates official responses to media inquiries.
  • Conduct media training with clients in preparation for external media interviews. 
  • Support framing and development of main message points for better positioning prior to media interviews.
  • Prepare speeches, talking points and varied communications materials assisting client spokespersons.
  • Write pitches, backgrounders, press releases, key messages and blog posts.
  • Manage and monitor reporter hotline, client media relations calendar, metrics, media relations processes and press release approvals.
  • Propose ideas proactively for media pitches to stimulate media coverage.
  • Consistently pitch stories and secure strategic media placements assisting client reputation and business goals.
  • Manage and supervise media events along with initiatives defining company stories.
  • Identify proactive stories for trade, business as well as consumer media across multiple client industries.
  • Develop and maintain close media relations to improve press efforts.
  • Identify brands promoting opportunities and improve awareness of services and products.

Main Responsibilities – Client Strategy: 

  • Develop or oversee the visual content creation for client materials, including e-newsletters, website content, digital campaigns (webinar/live stream events), etc.
  • Demonstrate a clear track record of leading brainstorms and providing and implementing creative ideas for proposals, presentations, etc.
  • Continually provide new and ‘fresh’ ideas for new business proposals and current clients’ PR campaigns.

Apply for this open position by emailing Bethany Siems at bethany@ghidotti.com.

 

Rock Star Environment

We strive to create a fun, engaging atmosphere where high fives, chicken minis, and celebrations are commonplace. We lift one another up, honor achievements and reward hard work.

  1. Professional Enrichment

    Whether instructor-led, web-based or sharing during Fireside Friday, we are always learning more!

  2. Community Engagement

    We love the state of Arkansas. Our team enjoys outings to locally-owned businesses and pride ourselves on community involvement. In addition, employees are often offered free tickets to community events to get out and enjoy life with friends and family.

  3. Team Building

    Quarterly adventures for the team!

  4. Winter Recess

    We shut this place down at the holidays so we can all rest, relax and reinvigorate for the new year.

  5. Summer Fridays

    We get an early jump on the weekend every Friday during the summer.

  6. Volunteer Time Off (VTO)

    Along with your PTO, you also get VTO to use to support your favorite charity or organization.

Does this describe you?

Apply for one of our open positions or just send us an email letting us know why you should be part of this Rock Star team. Email bethany@ghidotti.com.