Consider these publicity ‘gifts’

Tom Ciesielka is President of TC Public Relations (www.tcpr.net). Tom has about 25 years of marketing and public relations experience, working with individual lawyers and midsize law firms. He is also a former board member of the Legal Marketing Association in Chicago and is on the Public Affairs Committee of the Chicago Bar Association, where he has spoken at CLE programs. Reach him at tc@tcpr.net.

It’s the time of the year again when people are giving gifts to each other. There are various ways to promote your firm or your own individual practice through gifts that you buy, but you can also give people other types of “gifts” that could also help your reputation. Here are two ways you can do that:

Tips. Set aside some time today to think of ways you can help your clients and even other attorneys by creating a tip sheet. One example of a tip sheet that would be very helpful would include some legal tips for starting up a business. Many people have no idea what the legal ramifications are of various decisions they’ll have to make, and your tip sheet could prevent a lot of headaches and court dates. Another tip sheet could be about zoning issues in your community. Some towns change the rules, but the residents aren’t aware of the changes or what the legal expectations are. If your specialty is technology, you can create a tip sheet about effective legal disclaimers for websites. The possibilities are endless; all you have to do is think about your area of expertise and come up with a simple list that will help people. It will also help you to clarify what you want to focus on so that you can craft effective promotional messages in other areas of your publicity plan.

Packages. If you’ve already written blog posts or articles, or if you’ve created video or audio pieces, then package them up and offer them for free. For instance, if you’ve done articles on copyright law, put them together in a PDF that you can send to people or post it on your website for people to download. If you’ve done videos, put them together in one section of your website or on YouTube or Vimeo and send the link out to your social networks. Compilations are a great way to stay in touch with people and make it easier for them to get all the information they want in one place.

Whatever you do to help others and share your expertise will help your reputation and strengthen your professional network as well.

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