Bottom line: When it comes to marketing, law firms often get more mileage out of noteworthy achievements than they do from newsworthy ones.

Think newsworthy events at your law firm are the best way to move the needle with referrals and prospective clients?

Think again. When it comes to law firm marketing, NOTEworthy events can give you more bang for the buck.

Before I go any further, let me explain the difference between newsworthy events and noteworthy events.

Newsworthy events are the kinds of things that happen either with a firm’s matters and cases, or with the firm and its attorneys themselves, that rise to the level of being of interest to local, regional, or national media outlets.

We as lawyers often think about our cases as being the main drivers behind our firms’ public relations efforts and publicity efforts, and the general newsworthiness of the work we do. 

But sometimes, newsworthy events can come in the form of our firm merging with another firm, a new partner joining the firm, a new office opening, or some kind of high-profile, charitable endeavor. 

These newsworthy events will, by their very nature, be of interest to the media. They’ll also be of interest to your referral sources and your prospective clients.

Thus, they should be disseminated by you and your law firm to your referral sources and your perspective clients, and on your firm’s social media channels, its website, its blog(s), and through any other properties such as your newsletter that reach these key audiences.

But noteworthy events are a little different. 

Noteworthy events are the kind of events that are not going to rise to the level of newsworthiness. Reporters and media outlets aren’t going to be interested in the substance of what happened. 

But your referral sources and prospective clients might very well be.

For that reason, a noteworthy event could be more powerful in your law firm’s marketing efforts than a newsworthy one. 

For example, let’s say that you helped one of your clients defeat or win a tough motion. It’s the kind of motion that other attorneys might have difficulty winning. 

That is something that your referral sources are going to want to know about. It’s something that maybe even prospective clients might want to know about—if you can frame the development in a way that resonates with prospective clients based on the legal problems they are facing.

A noteworthy development could be as simple as the filing of a lawsuit.

Or the settlement or a resolution of a lawsuit.

Even in legal practices such as family law, elder law, trusts and estates, and others that rarely have newsworthy developments, the fact that you achieved a successful result for a client can be a noteworthy development that should be communicated to referral sources and perspective clients.

That’s because the development shows that you know how to handle the kinds of legal problems they are facing.

In their search for an attorney, that knowledge and “expertise” that you are bringing to those kinds of problems is likely to stand out.

Remember, most attorneys in their marketing, particularly on their websites, are focused on either talking about their qualifications or writing content that answers general legal questions.

But just because an attorney can answer general questions about a legal problem doesn’t mean that they know specifically how to handle the kinds of problems that would-be clients or would-be referral sources are facing.

Thus, by telling your key audiences —including referral sources and prospective clients — about noteworthy developments in your cases and in your practice, you are demonstrating to them your knowledge and your “expertise” regarding the same legal issues that they might be struggling with themselves.

Publicizing noteworthy events can even help you connect with reporters.

Reporters see the kind of work you are doing via your website, your blog, your social media feeds, and other communications channels you’ve established.

These reporters understand that by the nature of you doing this work and doing it well, you could be someone they turn to for comment whenever there is a high-profile example of the kinds of legal problems you help your clients with. They may come to you because you appear to be someone who has this knowledge and “expertise.”

Newsworthy developments in your firm and in your matters should be leveraged appropriately. If you think you have something that is newsworthy, make sure you tell the media all about it, assuming you’re doing so ethically and with your client’s permission. 

But noteworthy developments are just as important to publicize, and in some cases, could be more powerful marketing tools than newsworthy developments. 

Bottom line: When it comes to marketing, law firms often get more mileage out of noteworthy achievements than they do from newsworthy ones.

Wayne Pollock is the founder and managing attorney of Copo Strategies, a national legal services and communications firm that helps attorneys and their law firms engage the audiences vital to their success, including referral sources, prospective clients, and the media. Wayne was recently named by a leading legal industry publication to its inaugural list of Pennsylvania Legal Trailblazers. Contact him at or 215–454–2180.