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Bottom line: Court filings in high-profile legal disputes can cause an uproar in the Court of Public Opinion. One of the core pieces of advice I give to attorneys and their clients when they are contemplating engaging the Court of Public Opinion, or when they’re already sucked into a high-profile case and they have to fight back, is that they need to be cognizant of how what they do in a court of law will…
Bottom line: When a media outlet gets something wrong about you or a client, you must fight back—especially when that error can cause damage to your or your client’s reputation or business. At some point in his or her career, an attorney, his or her law firm, or his or her client will likely be the subject of bad publicity as a result of a media outlet getting something very wrong in its reporting. The…
Bottom line: Location matters when holding a press conference. When attorneys plan a press conference, the location of the press conference will go a long way in determining how effective the press conference will be—and how well-attended it will be by reporters.  My number one rule for a press conference in terms of location is never to schedule a press conference where you don’t have total control over the location. If you are an attorney and…
Bottom line: When attorneys hold press conferences regarding their clients’ legal disputes, they need not only be persuasive. They must be ethical and avoid defaming others. When attorneys hold a press conference regarding a client’s legal dispute, they are rightly focused on being persuasive and presenting their client’s story in a way that will help influence the Court of Public Opinion favorably. By doing this, hopefully, the client will be able to resolve his or her…
Bottom line: To maximize your odds of media attendance at a press conference, you must schedule your press conference at the right time. Thinking about holding a press conference to help tell your client’s side of the story of a legal dispute that he or she is involved in?  You’re going to want to pick the right time of day for the press conference to help maximize media attendance. When talking about the timing of press…
Bottom line: Don’t send multiple email attachments to reporters. Use shared folders instead. WHOA!  You weren’t really going to just email a reporter and attach a dozen documents to that email, were you?  Seventeen long years ago when I first started talking to reporters and working in public relations, there was a mindset that we really shouldn’t be sending attachments to reporters, especially if they hadn’t already requested them in advance.  Now, in the past 17…
Bottom line: Speaking in sound bites will help attorneys more persuasively advocate for their clients in the Court of Public Opinion. Are you working on a statement to a reporter about one of your clients’ cases? You better have a sound bite in there!  We all know what sound bites are.  Sound bites are those excerpts from interviews that are published by reporters that do a nice job of colorfully and efficiently encapsulating what the…
Bottom line: Thanks to “anchoring,” attorneys and clients who are able to engage the Court of Public Opinion before their adversaries do get to frame their legal disputes in ways that make it difficult for those adversaries to overcome. If you’ve done any reading and research about human psychology and persuasion, you’ve surely come across the concept of “anchoring.” Anchoring is the cognitive bias responsible for the phenomenon where when we as humans hear information…
Bottom line: Attorneys can help turn around negative media coverage of a client accused of wrongdoing by ensuring that photos of the client published by media outlets put the client in a favorable light (literally). Have you ever been retained by someone who has been accused of doing something wrong and who has already been the recipient of some unfavorable publicity? Whenever an individual is accused of wrongdoing, notably if it’s a criminal act, news…
Bottom line: There’s nothing wrong with following up with reporters after first contacting them about potential stories. But don’t go overboard. You finally listened to my advice about publicity and media relations. You proactively reached out to a reporter or media outlet about a legal dispute or case that you’re working on in the hopes of shining a public spotlight on the case or telling your client’s side of the story. But now what? Chances…