Should You Use Your Attorney Video as a PR News Release?

Press releases have their place and value in attorney marketing.

It’s known to get results…sometimes.

It’s known to promote yourself too.

It’s a way for a law firm to tweet their own horn, literally.

It also has a downside. A big one.

It’s self-promotion.

It’s patting yourself on your back.

It’s showing off.

It’s bragging. It’s often pompous. It’s often self laudatory.

You can come up with lots of adjectives to describe law firm press releases and they would probably all be true.

The question then becomes “Should you use this style of press release marketing with your attorney videos?”

Let’s examine a recent press release put out by a law firm here in New York following a settlement result.

New York Medical Malpractice Lawyers at [REDACTED] Settle Multi-Million-Dollar Lawsuit

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwire – December 13, 2012) -  The New York medical malpractice attorneys at [REDACTED] represent clients who have been injured or worse because of negligence on the part of medical professionals who are supposed to treat them. The firm’s Web site can be found at the URL of [REDACTED]. The firm hereby announces that it has agreed to a settlement with regards to a New York medical malpractice lawsuit that pertains to an infant who was badly injured as a result of alleged negligence on the part of the defendant. The settlement amount for the case was $7,300,000.00.

This particular press release goes on for another four or five paragraphs. It’s all self-promotional. It shows how great the law firm is and what wonderful results they obtained on behalf of injured victims and brain injured babies.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe the firm should promote its great successes. In addition, a $7.3 million settlement is a fantastic result that should be discussed and promoted. Those results are clearly remarkable and there are many ways to promote that type of settlement result.

However, is this the best way to do this?

Let’s say you are at a dinner party and you meet someone new for the very first time. You innocuously ask them what they do for a living and they proceed to spend the next 30 minutes telling you all about themselves. They tell you how great they are. They tell you what wonderful things they’ve accomplished. They tell you how wealthy they are and on and on…

How does that make you feel?

How does it feel when you can’t get away from this boor and no one to rescue you? This person is monopolizing your time by telling you all these things about him and his business. By the time you extricate yourself, you feel like you just lost valuable time you’ll never get back again.

You truly didn’t want to know everything about him. Nor did you really care.

Take that scenario and ask yourself whether the same thing could be said for a law firm that uses attorney video in a self-promotional press release. You might wind up with a viewer who has the same exact feeling.

On the other hand, press releases have a place and time and can be very effective. However, they can backfire. You decide.

Have an opinion? Tell me about it below. I’d love to know.


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2 Responses to Should You Use Your Attorney Video as a PR News Release?

  • Barry Doyle says:

    It’s really a matter of style – what content you deliver and the manner in which it is delivered.

    Press releases over the internet tend to be stuffed with key words and are filled with plenty of self-praise.

    On the other hand, a video which tells the story of how you achieved a particular result can answer the questions of 1) do I need a lawyer, 2) does this guy know what he is doing well enough to help me, and 3) am I going to like working with this guy.

    Case results should be a fertile ground for good video material, but if you deliver it the wrong way, it can certainly tunr off potential clients.

  • Barry, you’re absolutely right. The big problem I always have with press releases is that they are self-promotional. There are many other alternatives to get out the same exact message without sounding like you are bragging.

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Gerry, I've read your book and watched at least 100 of your videos, and follow your blog, so "I feel like I know you already!".

I wanted to introduce myself, I work for an attorney, David Aylor, in the Charleston, SC area. I do all his in house marketing, and most recently have focused on video marketing, using your approach.

We started exploring the strategy last July, started filming by September, and published the first video to YouTube Nov. 1. I am now publishing 2 videos per week and the response had been great.

I want to share with you how we have be utilizing the material on Facebook, to build a community of "friends" of the law firm. These are previous clients, referral sources, friends of the staff, other attorneys, new media (radio, TV, and print) as well as other prominent folks in the community.

I really was against the idea of Facebook marketing at first (because I think there's alot of hacks and snake oil salesmen in the "social media/SEO marketing" world). But I was very wrong, the content we are creating is being liked, shared, and commented on, and Facebook's strong community platform (and it's EdgeRank algorithm) is giving us a great way to keep our "inner circle" close to the office, and relevant in the minds of them and their friends.

This was the first video we posted to Facebook-
"Can My Facebook Profile Be Used As Evidence In Court?"
95 likes, 25 comments, 27 shares

The local NBC anchor actually saw it in his Facebook feed from a friend sharing it, and interviewed David Aylor for a 6 o'clock news story on Social Media and Privacy in the legal system. (you can see here if you'd like

I would love to show you more about how I'm strategizing these videos for YouTube use as well as Facebook now. I think there are definitely some areas of practice and law firms that it wouldn't work for, but I'm sure there are a bunch that would benefit from it.

Thanks for all you do, and I hope I get the pleasure of meeting you soon!

David Haskins