Old skool City law firm fails to get a grip on this new PR thing
A generation ago, most law firm marketing techniques were no more sophisticated than the senior partner conducting a spot of schmoozing down the 19th hole.
Now press offices and business development teams have been carefully crafted, employing a phalanx of keen jargon-meisters to promote everything from partnership promotions, deal minutiae, office openings and even open-plan restructuring projects.
But some law firms have resolutely resisted the temptation to pander to the ever-growing needs of the legal profession media.
A last bastion of that stubborn stand against the tide of modernity has been the old-school-tie brigade at Slaughter and May. For years the firm refused to create a press office.
But even S&M has broken, recently appointing a “communications executive” to liaise with the media.
However, the road to PR heaven is paved with cock-ups. So it is fitting that Slaughter and May features in the launch of a new Legal Cheek occasional series — “Rubbish law firm press notices”.
The thing about PR press releases is that ideally the media will publish your message. After all, the “P” stands for “public”. That’s a fairly big clue.
However, Slaughter and May is perhaps the only law firm in the country that would fail to grasp that concept, earlier this week headlining a media missive announcing its involvement in a worthy social mobility programme as … “Confidential”.
Note to comms exec: press releases are meant to be for public consumption.