Recently, two PracticeProfs clients had the distinct honor of being published in the Daily Report, a daily print and online publication serving thousands of attorneys and law firms in metro Atlanta and across Georgia. Having content published in a reputable and popular trade, local, or national publication is great for marketing and visibility. For law firms, it is a way to gain credibility and establish yourself as an expert in a specific business or practice area. Also, even though the article will only run one time (in that edition), the content will live on forever on the publisher’s website, in search results, and within your own marketing efforts. If you are interested in demonstrating your firm or company’s thought leadership by having your content published, PracticeProfs has some basic PR advice to get you started.
First, you need to work on your “pitch” – which is how you quickly present your article ideas to a very busy journalist, editor, or other staff member. Keep this brief. Prepare a few sentences (2-3 sentences plus 3-4 bullets if needed) that explain what you want to write about, why it is an important topic, and why their audience should care about it. Make sure you have done your research prior to pitching a publication, so you sound well-informed and you can field any potential follow-up questions from the editorial team.
When you are pitching a publication, it always helps to have a personal connection with someone on the editorial team, but it’s not necessary. Great ideas are more important, and good pitches will help you build those relationships over time. You absolutely should be familiar with the platform itself: the target audience, where is it published, how often, and overall editorial tone. Understanding these things will help you to better craft your pitch, and it will show the publisher that you are paying attention and not just blasting all local groups with the same idea.
Once the publisher gives you the go-ahead, it is time to draft your article. Take your time, stick to points that are timely and relevant to their audience, and avoid industry-specific jargon and buzz-words when possible. No one wants to read about another paradigm shift or synergy. Be cognizant of your tone and whether this is an informational or opinion piece. Pay close attention to the publication’s submission guidelines and format the article accordingly.
Keep in mind that your article may not be accepted the first time around. That is okay. There can be a number of reasons behind their decision:
- Other breaking news that preempts your article
- Recent article on the same topic – worth checking this in advance
- Too late for current issue, or held as future space becomes available – be patient
- Wind is blowing from the east vs. west
The decision-making process is not always clear, and if your article idea is not accepted you may not receive a response. Don’t press beyond a reminder email, and don’t be discouraged. You can try to submit it again at a later date, revise and resubmit, or send the article to a different publication. Just be patient and persistent.
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