In some situations, it can be helpful for a law firm to also have a public relations team, either in-house or working with them. Sometimes, there are attorneys that hold this dual role. When there is a high profile legal case such as a criminal or murder case, it may be a smart move to have a public relations person working alongside the legal team.
Public Relations Firms
Many are not entirely familiar with what a PR firm, like a public relations firm trusts, actually does. Their largest function is to protect a person or brand’s reputation from being tarnished. This is especially helpful when they find themselves under scrutiny during high profile situations.
PR firms can also help to build a person’s brand through effective promotion. When a client is faced with being painted unfavorably, public relations can utilize a variety of strategies to help maintain their image by doing damage control. They will manage the media by sending information to newspapers and digital media, write speeches, gather information around how the public will respond and communicate with the media.
Public relations may be helpful for a legal firm, as it will allow for the attorneys to focus on their client and strategizing around the legalities of the case, while PR manages the media and reputation of both the law firm and their client. It is now common practice for many law firms to have a PR team or person.
An Attorney Who Does Both
It is becoming more common for attorneys to actually also do damage control. Because of this, they also take on the role of public relations. Attorneys who are comfortable managing the media and able to offer their legal expertise on a regular basis are able to build their rapport and high-profile clientele.
Most of the time, attorneys are not in the media. High profile cases can use PR to help support the attorneys in how they want the media to interpret them. The OJ Simpson murder trial is a perfect example of the importance of a good PR person. OJ had attorneys who were comfortable with the media and able to manipulate them to their advantage. The prosecution had a much more difficult time with this.
With the profound amount of information that can be fed through the media, both on television and online, public relations are crucial for attorneys and their clients. This is especially true for high-profile situations. Public relations will be able to control the narrative that the public has access to when it comes to the legal case.