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Legal Marketing & Consulting

Media Relations Co. Embraces ‘Reputation Management’ For Firms

Posted Jan 7, 2010 5:32 PM CDT
By Rachel M. Zahorsky

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Sending a press release into the ether is no longer enough.

These days, for a law firm public relations campaign to be effective, an entire strategy needs to be in place to communicate across platforms, including advertising, Internet marketing, strategic planning and firmwide brand recognition.

That’s the impetus behind one company’s effort to say goodbye to law firm public relations of old and welcome in a new era of so-called “public reputation management.”

“As of today, law firm public relations as we know it is dead,” Jay Jaffe, president and CEO of Jaffe PR, said in a press release. Jaffe PR, which the company defines as "public reputation" on its new site, is formerly known as Jaffe Associates and has long represented law firms and legal associations.

Particularly when compared to the corporate world, "law firms are unsophisticated buyers of these services,” Jaffe told the ABA Journal. “They want a bunch of things, but they don’t really know what to call it.”

Many lawyers don't have the time and expertise to manage their practices and successfully market their firms, while others promote individual practice groups without building a cohesive brand.

As the legal business paradigm continues to change, from associate structures to controlling costs, lawyers need to be more thoughtful and take hard looks at their business models and client development. “As a result, they will realize that marketing isn’t a frou-frou business expense,” Jaffe says. “It’s really a part of the mix of how to run an organization.”

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