PR News presents the best of litigation and law firm communications with its 2011 Legal PR Award winners. From community relations and social media to corporate social responsibility, these organizations set the standard for legal communications. The winners of the Legal PR Awards were honored at PR News’ CSR Awards/Legal PR Awards luncheon on March 8 in Washington, D.C.
Duane Morris Alumni Program
Looking to tap a distinguished alumni network of more than 2,000 legal pros for business leads and valuable networking connections, in 2010 law firm Duane Morris created a feature- and news-driven newsletter, the “Duane Morris Alumni Spotlight.” The online and print Alumni Spotlight took the firm’s already rich content up a notch, with features about legal movers and shakers; a news and highlights section; and updates on past and current clients. After the launch of the newsletter last spring, daily visits to the Duane Morris Web site shot up from a handful to hundreds within one week. In addition, six new alumni weighed in with newsletter feedback and to update their information.
Hellerman Baretz Communications
Bracewell & Giuliani Presents Minute Mentoring with Dana Perino and Co.
Dana Perino, Pres. George W. Bush’s former White House press secretary, initiated the concept for what eventually became Minute Mentoring: rapid-encounter evenings for aspiring career women to pick up tips from those who have reached the heights of success. Bracewell & Giuliani would host what became a series of three Minute Mentoring events held in Washington, D.C. in November 2009; Houston in February 2010; and New York City in September 2010. The mentors were notable, including former First Lady Laura Bush. The results? Top-tier media coverage and, most importantly, almost 200 women benefiting from the bird’s-eye view given to them by 60 of the nation’s most prominent female professionals.
Legal PR Blog
Hunton & Williams LLP and Jaffe PR
Privacy Blog Influences Global Privacy and Data Security Developments
On Dec. 1, 2010, when the U.S. Federal Trade Commission released a long-awaited report proposing a new framework for privacy in the U.S., it was not surprising that on page 19 of the 122-page document, Hunton & Williams’ Privacy and Information Security Law Blog was cited as a source. The firm’s Privacy Blog has become a critical element in the global policy debate and a vital influencer for international data protection commissioners, lawmakers, global corporations, academics and reporters. The blog is one-stop shop for readers, with a news feed on privacy-related topics, easy-to-find, searchable topics and links to related publications and resources, as well as 2.0 sharing capabilities via Twitter and LinkedIn. With more than 200,000 total page views since it launched in January 2009, the blog has informed nearly 100,000 unique visitors from around the world.
From Branding to Business Development
Shapiro, Lifschitz & Schram (SLS) is a small, Washington D.C.-based firm with strong independent referral relationships, but it lacked brand identity. Enter Jaffe PR, which pinpointed the firm’s limited geographical reach and that fact that although clients were dedicated to specific attorneys at the firm, such dedication didn’t necessarily extend to the firm itself. Jaffe’s goal was to retain the firm’s local, D.C.-based feel while garnering national recognition. Messaging revolved around three key factors: experience, passion and solutions. Jaffe focused on targeted industries and D.C. area media, and launched the firm on an “in D.C. and throughout the nation” platform as well. Thanks to those touch points, new client wins, including ones outside the Beltway, are now a regular occurrence.
Holland & Knight
Spotlight Shines on Holland & Knight’s Kathryn Lehman Following 2010 Midterm Elections
As the 2010 midterm elections drew near and expectations of a Republican rout were rampant, Holland & Knight knew it was time to put partner Kathryn Lehman in the spotlight. A 15-year veteran of Capitol Hill before landing at H&K, Lehman has worked closely House and Senate leadership—many of them Republicans. She would be the firm’s top Republican, showing potential clients that H&K had access to the decision makers on the Hill. But there was one concern: Lehman was inexperienced with the media. Aimee Steel, PR manager at Holland & Knight, sprang into action, facilitating media training for Lehman—including how to properly conduct an interview, how to avoid saying too much and how to package herself as an interesting source. The training yielded great results, as Lehman appeared in outlets like The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and other top tiers. Lehman is now a go-to figure for political reporters in Washington, and she doesn’t shy away from the media—she craves it.
Social Media & Online Comms
Caffeine Communications/Warshafsky Law Firm
Don’t Risk It
Caffeine Communications was charged with driving the public’s awareness of personal injury law firm Warshafsky. Research conducted by Caffeine showed the need for a program that would keep drunk drivers off the road during Halloween (Wisconsin has the highest rate of drunk driving in the nation). Caffeine placed cars from drunk driving accidents throughout Milwaukee with signage as a reminder of the consequences of drinking and driving. Milwaukeans were invited to pledge not to drink and drive on Halloween on a dedicated Facebook event page, and people who pledged would be provided with a free ride home. As a result, Warshafsky’s Facebook presence was increased by 690 fans; media placements were secured with Fox, CBS, NBC and three local radio stations; and, most importantly, 600 Milwaukeans took advantage of a safe ride home on Halloween night.
Social Responsibility/ Philanthropy
Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith, PLLC
Business Builds Community, Community Builds Business
Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith, PLLC makes community stewardship, advocacy and philanthropy a key firm philosophy, mission and integral business practice. Corporate responsibility and philanthropy, rather than an aggressive guerrilla consumer marketing approach, serve as the firm’s marketing cornerstone in securing its positioning as a premier personal injury firm in Florida. In 2010, Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith was involved in several community outreach programs, such as Autism Speaks and a local holiday food drive. The results from such engagements are better than billboards: New client cases were up by more than 62%; referrals climbed by 15%; and the firm was recognized by several organizations for its community advocacy leadership.