Raising visibility, building your brand

Q. My firm has a blog. Is there any need for public relations?

Both are important and are complementary to each other. However, earned media, such as being quoted or getting your article placed in a major publication, can appear more credible versus owned media - content you control and push out through a channel such as a blog.

According to PR Daily, owned content doesn't have the built-in reach and engaged audience of established publishers. Additionally, earned media placement on trusted outlets can validate your owned content and give your brand third-party credibility.

Another benefit is that, oftentimes, traditional earned media appears in print as well as online, so you catch readers who prefer to get their information delivered in a certain format.

It is helpful to work with public relations consultants to help raise your visibility in earned media, as they are the experts who have relationships with reporters, editors and producers and can get your content noticed and published, so it doesn't disappear into a black hole. Reporters, editors, and producers also reach out to PR consultants when they need expert sources, often when a quick response is needed.

I am frequently asked if there is a return on investment with PR. My answer: absolutely. I've seen numerous instances when an attorney appeared in the media and got a client as a result, times when an appearance in the media helped with referrals, and occasions when an appearance contributed to winning a potential client's business in a beauty contest with another firm.

Blogs are a great way to share firm news and content and keep your website updated. Both earned media and blog posts provide content to share on social media. The more you can get out there, the better for search engine optimization (SEO) and visibility, and for building a brand presence. Earned, owned and paid media contribute to an ideal marketing mix and digital marketing strategy.

-----

Q. How do SEO and PR converge for attorneys?

I consulted with SEO and social media expert Francis McGovern, founder of Qlegal, to answer this question. According to Francis, it's important to speak in a language your audience understands. SEO is all about connecting your firm's story and service offerings to what your clients are searching for. The best SEO for law firms involves a layer of public relations. It involves storytelling that never ends.

SEO consultants can work closely with PR consultants to leverage news mentions or articles for the firm. These can be reworked into blogs or resources on a client's website, or posted to social media with hashtags and keywords.

There are examples in which a published article was tweeted out about a subject that resonated with an attorney's audience, leading to interviews, article quotes and speaking engagements that can be leveraged for PR.

Search is an ever-changing field of questions and answers. There is always the need for more content and more PR. Attorneys who understand that will always do better when it comes to SEO.

-----

Ellen M. Keiley is president of EMK Consulting Group. She can be contacted at ellenkeiley@emkconsultinggroup.com.

Published: Mon, Mar 16, 2020