Tom Ciesielka is President of TC Public Relations (www.tcpr.net). Tom has over 25 years of marketing and public relations experience, working with individual lawyers and mid-sized law firms. He is also a former board member of the Legal Marketing Association in Chicago and has spoken at Chicago Bar Associations CLE programs. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
With bright colors and loud noise, fireworks are pretty hard to ignore. So what better way to attract media attention than having your own firm fireworks show? Figuratively speaking, or course.
Color is a natural attention-getter. Perhaps that’s why the phrase “raising a red flag” is used when something needs immediate attention. Media love to raise red flags and report on various international, national and local issues, which is why they are prone to pay attention if your firm is the one raising the red flag. When your firm discusses topics involving major issues and problems, or offers solutions to calm others’ anxieties, the media is going to want to talk to you. Think about some of the hot topics right now and what people are worried about. If you focus on solving problems, people will focus on you.
Just like the BOOM of a firework triggers a whiplash reaction, an exciting event or unique story has an all-eyes-on-you effect. Maybe your firm does some original research and then publicizes the shocking or interesting results (media love original research studies and statistics). Or perhaps you organize a Twitter legal quiz challenge asking law-related questions to your followers and offering a prize to the follower who gets the most questions right. These tactics can be silly or serious, whichever your preference. Cisco chose the silly route and received some serious national attention for this video created by one of their interns.
One of the great things about watching fireworks is that you don’t know what the next firework is going to look like. Keeping the media on their toes is an effective strategy to, well, keep them interested in you. Apple has of course done this effectively, since they keep coming out with new versions of the iPhone (to which I ask, when will it end? And to which I answer, most likely never). This strategy requires some planning ahead. Think about what you can do or say that can be divided into parts. You could use celebration months such as Women’s History or Black History and release a related yet unique legal fact each day. Or you can create your own recurring “holiday.” Maybe you establish that the first Friday of every month, your entire firm organizes an out-of-office event to connect with potential clients, such as a lemonade stand at the street corner near your office building or a legal trivia contest to find “America’s Next Top Lawyer.” The media will be itching to hear about what you have planned next.
Grab some matches and take hold of these tips for fireworks ammo. And don’t worry – these types of fireworks are legal in all 50 states.