This article comes out of a recent legal marketing success from one of our clients – an attorney in Philadelphia.

We seized an opportunity for our client, an attorney who has built a niche helping professional poker players and gamblers with tax problems, to be interviewed for an article on a popular website targeted at the poker industry.

Here’s how it happened:

Step 1: We set up a Google Alert for terms relative to his practice and specifically from certain (web sites) domains that are very well known in the industry.  It just so happened that this development hit 10 minutes or so before our scheduled daily Google Alert email.  The opportunity could come from any source, though really, as long as it’s fresh.  It could be an instance where an attorney learns about a new industry development or an impending change in the law and can quickly offer a “take” on recent happenings in a certain industry.

Step 2: Receive and interpret the development.  Again, speed is crucial here, but you don’t want to be sloppy.  Do a little research if you don’t already know the implications the breaking development poses to your client base.

Step 3: Work with your legal marketing contact or online marketing company to identify appropriate media outlets to pitch a story or quote to.  Find the appropriate (online or print) editors/reporters to contact.  In this case, we and our client were both very familiar with the online poker industry, so we were able to have an email drafted and out to the online editors of all the major poker news websites within 15 minutes.  The email contained a brief write-up on our attorney’s topical familiarity and a list of industry publications he had been published in before.  We expressly stated interest in being quoted for their article on the breaking topic.

The speediness in response is crucial.  It will be difficult, if not impossible to get a quote opportunity if the news is stale and the news sources have either already picked an expert or been contacted by a deluge of attorneys looking to be their expert.

Step 4: An editor/reporter “bites” and contacted our attorney to set up a phone interview.

Step 5: Our client responded immediately saying that he was available for interview.

Step 6: Reporter interviewed our client.

Result: A third party endorsement better than any advertisement at a quarter of the price.

Cost: 20 minutes of our lawyer’s time.

Value: Like gold.

Some Thoughts:

Our client has given ‘sound bytes’ for articles before. He knew that it’s important to be responsive and give a couple really juicy, compelling quotes.  Think of the quotes ahead of the interview; even write a couple down.  The catchier the quote, the more you’ll stand out in the article and the more likely that reporter is to call you next time they need an interpretation or opinion.

If you have enough time to plan this campaign out in advance, have your legal marketing team or online marketing rep. develop a press kit for you that you can send along as an attachment to an email for reporters.  It should contain links and names of other articles that you have been quoted in, a brief CV, and headshot (they sometimes publish them).

So remember – it’s important to have your legal marketing department or online marketing team informed on latest developments, changing laws, and any breaking news in your niche practices/industries.  If keeping them up to date is too time consuming for you, make sure they are keeping tabs on it themselves – either through Google Alerts, Twitter, or online news.