Lawyer Marketing Expert, Qamar Zaman reveals Secrets for Law Firm to Get More Cases!
In a world that’s more social than ever, the role of public relations in organizations has never been more important. The wrong tweet by a company’s CEO can send stock prices crashing, while a mention by a superstar influencer (think someone like Kim Kardashian) can raise brand awareness in ways that PR professionals working with tight budgets can only dream of.
The need for PR also stems from changing consumer behavior, as more people are actively searching for your products and services on the Internet, reading product reviews, and sharing their customer experience with their online social circles.
Law firms and attorneys are just as affected by this paradigm shift, with today’s clients making a conscious effort to explore their options for providers of legal services. Many attorneys view PR as an unnecessary expenditure that costs too much money, while those who understand its value still want to see numbers and figures to quantify its potential.
As it stands, the global PR Industry is valued at $14 billion as of 2016, but as the role of public relations becomes more prominent, many companies are making the mistake of taking a traditional approach to measuring the ROI of public relations results.
But focusing on the dollar side of your return on investment raises several issues. While there’s no way to guarantee the success of a PR campaign, when it is successful, it raises brand awareness in ways that are hard to quantify. This creates a return on investment that’s beyond the traditional method of measuring ROI on a dollar for dollar basis. After all, how do you quantify improved brand image brought about by positive representation on digital and traditional media?
So what then are your options for measuring the ROI of your public relations results, and what do you need to accurately quantify your success?
- Set Realistic Goals
A public relations campaign is only measurable if it’s guided by a strategy. A clearly defined strategy will allow you to identify ideal techniques for reaching your goals. If you’re not sure about your PR goals, just ask yourself what you wish to accomplish with your law firm’s PR campaign.
At the same time, it’s important to set realistic PR goals. Otherwise, you won’t accomplish your objective, much less measure your campaign at all. It’s better to under-promise than over-promise on goals your law firm has no means of achieving.
- Get Feedback from Clients
Your clients will be the best people to ask if your PR efforts are working and if they understand what you’re trying to do for your firm. More importantly, do they view your public relations in a positive light?
The simplest way to answer these questions is to just ask your clients. Where did they hear about your firm? What part of your communication efforts resonated with them the most? Did they get enough information from the message/s they came across?
- Track Press Mentions
Another way to gauge your PR’s success is track the amount of press mentions law firm is getting. Of course, these press mentions are more effective if they appear on publications relevant to your potential clients. In addition, press mentions are more valuable if they’re positive in nature. Bad publicity might generate short-term brand awareness, but the larger your company, the more damaging it will be to your brand.
- Conduct Market Research
In many ways, the goals of public relations closely resemble AIDA marketing and communication model—AIDA stands for “Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.” With PR, it’s to generate awareness, shape customer attitudes and opinions, and inspire action.
Comprehensive research will prove critical in this area. Before launching your PR campaign, identify and track your target audience to see if your PR strategies have a direct or indirect effect on turning them into leads or clients.
- Build Relationships
At the core of public relations is the process of building relationships—it’s about “relations,” after all. A good PR campaign will seek to create networks with influencers, media outlets, and journalists. In contrast, a great public relations campaign is about building long-term relationships with leads and clients.
Whereas some PR teams often focus on selling the brands they represent, effective PR teams seek to demonstrate how their company’s products and services can serve the media, and through the media, serve the final customer.
- Compare the Cost of Advertising
If you paid for a placement on a newspaper like The Washington Post or placed an advertisement on CBS, did you get your money’s worth? In other words, was the coverage of the ad comparable to its cost? It might be that you ended up paying too much for ad space but did not receive a proportionate level of coverage.
- Analyze Competitors and Compare Your Content
Besides the cost of placing ads, it’s also important to evaluate the quality of your ads. It helps to ask yourself these questions when evaluating the quality of your placements:
- How do your ads stack against competing law firms?
- How often do your ads appear compared to your competitors?
- Where do your competitors’ ads appear?
- Are you also placing your ads where your competitors’ ads are?
- What kind of messaging do the ads have?
- Whom are the ads targeted to?
These factors can be used to give your ads and ad coverage a rating (say a scale of 1 to 5), which will then allow you to measure the effectiveness of your PR efforts.
While ROI is an important factor when determining how much time and resources you should invest in public relations, measuring the dollar for dollar return of your PR efforts is not the only way to determine the bottom line. The nature of PR might be hard to quantify with traditional number crunching, but you can still evaluate the value of PR by looking at how it builds brand identity, helps you identify competitors, and builds meaningful relationships with potential clients.
About Qamar Zaman
Qamar Zaman is a Dallas based SEO & Lawyer Marketing Expert and CEO for Submit Press Release 123