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PRSA-NY Reaches out to Law Firm Media Professionals with its First Legal PR Meet the Media Event

Thursday, November 9, 2017  
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PRSA-NY Reaches out to Law Firm Media Professionals with its First
Legal PR
Meet the Media Event
By Stephanie Velarde

(R-L) Joshua Peck, David Graubard, John Morris, Andrew Strickland, Christine Simmons, David Marcus

PRSA-NY held its inaugural Meet the Legal Media Roundtable earlier this month in partnership with the Law Firm Media Professionals (LFMP). The panel of top legal journalists from The Deal, New York Law Journal, Law360, and the author of King of Capital gathered at global law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP. The event provided a thoughtful conversation about an exciting, but lesser known, sector of PR. The panel discussion covered a range of topics, from careers and pitching, to the media’s focus on cybersecurity and the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in journalism. Also, several “best practice” insights were shared by industry veterans in attendance.

When discussing the career outlook for legal PR, it was revealed that salaries are about 20% higher than other industry averages – and departments vary in size from one to roughly 10, at the largest firms, according to Joshua Peck, co-moderator and head of PR at Duane Morris LLP, a global law firm. Mr. Peck is also the founder and president of LFMP, an international association of in-house and outside media and marketing professionals. He is among the best-known legal PR professionals in the country, and was just named to a national list of “50 Game Changers in PR” by PR News.  

The trend of cybersecurity stories and the evolution of technology in journalism – the question of how far artificial intelligence (AI) will go – were hot topics. When asked by the audience if AI could possibly take over reporting, David Marcus, senior writer at The Deal shared that companies are already implementing this type of technology. When it comes to being able to keep up with the rapid need to put up stories, he said, “AI is already doing that, and that trend is not going to stop.”

While AI may be one legitimate way of curating a story, Andrew Strickler of Law360 reminds us that the fundamentals of a great pitch still work. His advice when pitching a story is to present an interesting perspective on an angle that no one is talking about. The panel agreed that content is always needed, but getting there at the right time helps a great deal.

Christine Simmons, a reporter at the New York Law Journal, shared that her biggest frustration with PR professionals is the lack of communication on embargoed content and timeliness. She shares that reporters are willing to work with you within your limitations. “We are not out to hurt anyone in PR, we just want to report on something new and interesting.”

Top Tips for Pitching Legal Reporters:

  • Present a unique or contrarian perspective
  • Don’t let your pitch sound too self-serving
  • Be aware of the deadlines
  • Communicate clearly on embargoes and follow the rules
  • Timing is everything - everyone wants to be the first to break the story
  • Present yourself as an expert

“I learned so much from the panel and the personal stories told by Joshua Peck with 20+ years of experience in legal PR. The format was interactive and engaging for everyone by opening the questions up after the first 10 minutes,” said David Graubard, co-moderator, and editor at Informa Global Markets.

Thank you to our insightful panel listed below, the volunteers, and our host Greenberg Traurig LLP who all made the event possible.

Panelists:

  • John Morris, Legal Writer, Harvard Law Alum, co-author of King of Capital
  • David Marcus, Senior Writer, The Deal
  • Christine Simmons, Reporter, New York Law Journal
  • Andrew Strickler, Senior Reporter for Legal Ethics, Industry at Law360

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