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The Perfect PR Campaign: What Clare Rodway Taught the LFMC

On the 29th of May, members of the Law Firm Marketing Club were invited to participate in a comprehensive Marketing Development Program session led by Clare Rodway from Kysen PR.

In an hour, we delved into various aspects of acquiring press coverage, with Clare expertly dissecting each stage. We covered a lot of ground within the hour and Clare broke down all the stages of acquiring press and advised on how different 'types' of journalists operate - hugely useful stuff.

Here's what we learned...

  • Understanding the value of third-party endorsements in legal PR is essential. When legal developments are covered by the press, the information is perceived as more credible and valuable because it’s not directly controlled by the law firm.

  • While advertising and self-promotion on social media give firms full control over the message, audiences know these are paid placements, which can diminish their impact. This highlights the importance of leveraging media relationships to enhance the authenticity and reach of your firm's messages. Clare emphasised that knowing how to effectively navigate these media dynamics is crucial for any successful PR campaign.

  • Integrating public relations with other marketing channels can significantly enhance a firm's visibility and influence. When planning a campaign, it's beneficial to synchronise messages across various platforms, such as social media, newsletters, and events. For instance, promoting an event should not only involve direct invitations but also related press releases and media coverage to drum up interest. This approach ensures that the target audience repeatedly encounters the firm's key messages, reinforcing their impact and increasing the likelihood of engagement. Clare pointed out that understanding the rhythm of PR activities, which often requires quick turnarounds to capitalise on breaking news, is essential.

  • While internal marketing efforts might focus on long-term planning and coordination, PR demands agility and the ability to respond promptly to news opportunities.

  • The foundation of a successful PR strategy begins with three essential steps: defining objectives, identifying target audiences, and agreeing on key messages. These elements are crucial, as they determine the direction of all subsequent actions. For instance, if a business faces recruitment challenges and aims to enhance its employer brand, the focus should be on a legal audience. Conversely, if the goal is to penetrate a new market sector or strengthen existing positions, the target audience might include various corporate entities, requiring tailored messaging and media outreach to specialised press.

What types of journalists are there?

  • News journalists thrive on breaking stories and covering current events with speed and accuracy. They prioritise timeliness and factual reporting, aiming to provide up-to-the-minute information to their audience. When working with news journalists, PR professionals must be quick to respond and provide relevant, newsworthy content that aligns with the journalist's beat and audience interests.

  • Feature journalists, known as "feature creatures," are inclined towards in-depth storytelling and exploring topics from various angles. They prioritise depth, context, and human interest in their articles, often delving into long-form narratives or investigative pieces. PR professionals engaging with feature journalists should offer compelling story ideas, access to relevant experts or sources, and a willingness to collaborate on crafting engaging narratives.

  • Investigative journalists, characterised as lone wolves, are committed to uncovering hidden truths. They operate independently and meticulously research complex issues, often taking months or even years to develop a story. When interacting with investigative journalists, PR professionals must approach with caution and transparency, providing credible information while respecting the journalist's need for autonomy and confidentiality. Building trust and demonstrating expertise are crucial in establishing successful partnerships with investigative journalists.

Interested in Clare's session? the full recording is available to LFMC members on the hub, now.

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