To manage the media response and prevent potentially lasting and costly damage to the corporate reputation, litigation communications should be an essential part of a company’s approach to a high-profile legal case. In order to effectively deploy a litigation communications strategy, some key steps include:
• Retaining litigation communications counsel as early in the process as possible and creating the communications strategy so that the corporate position can be articulated from the very start of the case.
• Protecting attorney- client privilege.
• Constructing a separate engagement with a litigation communications firm that is separate from the client’s normal public relations firm;
• Making sure that the litigations communications firm is hired by the law firm, and reports to the lead attorney.
• Making the litigation communications firm part and parcel of the litigation team.
• Developing a close working relationship with litigation communications counsel to craft the most effective arguments outside the courtroom.
• Understanding the milestones in the case in order to be prepared for media queries and news coverage.
• Monitoring and reacting quickly to changes in the way the case is being reported or to shifting public sentiment.
These tips were written by Amy Greenfield, Esq.,founder and managing partner of the law firm Van Prooyen Greenfield LLP and Lori Teranishi, COO for Van Prooyen Greenfield LLP and director of the firm’s San Francisco office. A larger version of this article is featured in PR News' 2008 Crisis Management Guidebook. To order a copy, visit http://www.prnewsonline.com/store/12.html.