How to Get the Most Out of Your Law Firm PR Pitches

Date: April 11, 2024

So your firm has a fresh news release, one full of insightful takes on trending topics and captivating sound bites from senior partners. How do you ensure that this story gets in front of as many people as possible? That you can share your knowledge and authority with as many potential clients in one go? In most cases, it all starts with your pitch. 

Pitches are critical to the PR process for your law firm. It is your opportunity to showcase what is special about your firm and what you can provide to the journalist, the outlet, and its readers. With so much riding on one email, it can be daunting to know where to start. In order to get the most out of your pitches, we’ve compiled a list of top practices to keep in mind when sharing your next hot story.

Curated Media Contacts

Before you can even begin pitching, you need to determine what outlets you’re aiming for and who you should be reaching out to. Research journalists that frequently cover legal topics and identify trusted law editorial outlets. Utilizing media databases will ease this curation process, providing you with the emails needed to reach your top contacts and allowing you to narrow your search to the geographical location your firm serves.

With your media list prepared, ensure that it is easily accessible and offers ample space for note taking. Tracking your outreach will not only cut back on your mental workload, but it can also save you from accidentally pitching a busy journalist twice. 

Time is of the Essence

The editorial industry is often working months in advance, which means that your PR team must do the same. Brainstorm guest blogs topics that are time-sensitive (such as slip and falls during the icy winter months) and pitch them early—this way, the journalist has time to fit it into their editorial schedule and post it at the most opportune time. 

However, as much as we like to plan ahead, there will always be last-minute stories. Try and pitch your firm’s breaking news as soon as possible to receive coverage while the content is still fresh and relevant. Even in these instances, though, it’s still possible to be timely. On media databases like MuckRack, many journalists will share their preferred times to receive pitches, which you can follow to be confident your email has a higher chance of success.

Make it Personal, but Prompt

When it comes to actually drafting your pitch, it can be tough to find the correct balance of succinct and detailed. Journalists are busy, so keep your email between 2-3 short paragraphs, with all the key details right at the beginning. This should include the name of your firm, the main topic of your story, and why it’s relevant to the outlet. Your hook or story title, along with a ‘Pitch’ signifier, can also be shared in the subject line so it grabs the journalist’s attention.

From there, feel free to share a brief outline of your story, so that if the writer is interested, they can learn more in your initial email and cut down on the back-and-forth contact. Mention in more detail what the story discusses and provide further information about your firm and its history. And, as simple as it sounds, always ensure you are addressing the journalist by their preferred name with correct spelling. A small mistake like this is easy to make when you’re sending multiple emails a day, and can prevent your pitch from being read right off the bat.

Consistency is Key

Your work isn’t done once you hit send. Pitching is almost never a “one and done” scenario. In fact, PR Daily has said that only 45.3% of pitches get opened. Of those opened pitches, only 3.15% receive a response at all, and sometimes that response is going to be a ‘no’. So it’s crucial to stay consistent with your outreach. Sometimes this requires a pivot in tactic; a new journalist, a new outlet, or a new spin on the pitch altogether. 

However, if you don’t hear back right away, that doesn’t mean your story is destined to fail. It’s easy for a busy journalist to miss an email with a slammed inbox, so follow-up on your pending pitches. Be sure that respect of others’ time and boundaries always comes first with this practice, though; if the journalist hasn’t responded after two check-ins, it might not be in the cards for you. This is where your curated media list will be helpful, waiting for you to dive right in to the next pitch and start the cycle over again.

Nurture the Relationship

As important as it is to share your firm’s stories and news with as many outlets as possible (and thus reaching as many new audiences and potential clients as possible), it’s just as important to form working relationships with the journalists and editors you’re pitching. Some of this does come with time, but it’s also more than that: your attitude, your content, and your reliability all play a role.

This is where all of your past work comes around: the extra time you put into pitching a relevant journalist, and slowing down to confirm your email is free of typos and grammatical errors; the forethought you had to share a captivating, well-written story in advance with consideration of an outlet’s editorial schedule. All of these little steps combine to create a positive working experience that can lead to repeat placements and opportunities.

Knowing all of this information, you may be ready to dive right into your law firm’s PR efforts. But if you, like many lawyers, are strapped for time, calling on a specialized PR agency to handle the nitty gritty details may be the best choice for maximizing your firm’s results. Contact us today to learn how our law firm digital PR and SEO services can help.