Are Law Firm PR Pros Overpaid or Underpaid?

I posted here a couple days ago about the new survey of compensation paid to law firm media professionals. It found salaries ranging from $50,000 to $375,000. That prompted a follow-up post from Mike Mintz at the Martindale.com Blog and an invitation from Mike to post about it in the Legal Management forum on Martindale-Hubbell Connected. I took him up on it, and you can find that forum post here. (You have to be registered to reach that, but registration is free.)

The gist of my post is to ask whether law firm PR professionals are overpaid or underpaid or whether law firms even need PR pros on staff. My opinion is that a skilled and knowledgeable communications professional can be highly valuable to a law firm. That’s not to say there aren’t incompetent PR folks out there. As a former newspaper editor, I’ve encountered my fair share of clueless PR folks. But as I say in my forum post,  in an age of social media, law firms do themselves a disservice not to use a communications or media professional.

Feel free to share your thoughts at the Connected forum or right here.

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  • As someone who works as both a law firm media professional and a legal newswire editor, I see both sides of the fence on a regular basis. It is glaringly obvious when someone sending out press releases doesn’t understand how to work with the media. Even with a routine press release making mistakes just makes the firm look bad. The most glaring include sending huge attachments (or attachments at all), copying every journalist and editor on the email so they know you couldn’t be bothered to at least try to make it look like you were sending it to them individually, and off-topic pitching. I recently had the PR person for a leading national pancake chain gleefully ask if I would mention their national free pancake event on my legal newswire.

    These little mistakes add up. Newsrooms are short-staffed today as it is, and reporters have even less time to deal with PR people who don’t play by the rules. You get even less of a chance these days to make a good impression if you’ve done a poor job even once. More than ever, the rules of working with journalists and bloggers are crucially important, and a good law firm PR pro will know that.

  • Kevin: You’ve certainly established yourself as one of the PR pros who gets it. Still, I wish someone had told me about the free pancakes.

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