Every law firm maintains a disaster recovery plan in order to be prepared for natural or man-made disasters so that the firm can continue in operation.
However, most law firms fall short in maintaining a public and media relations plan in the event of a body blow to the firm. As we study each of the 41 major law firm failures over the past quarter of a century, we find that many of these firms failed because of ineptly handled media relations.
As well managed law firms prepare for every contingency to assure continued smooth continuing operations in the event disaster hits, we too often find inadequate preparation for media relations if some calamity should befall a law firm.
Media relations for law firms in crisis requires several steps: first, designating a team to deal with the issue; having regular meetings of the team. Second, war gaming various scenarios. Third convening the media relations SWAT team when crisis strikes. Third, developing a crisis communications plan. Next, communicating the plan to the law firm partnership and having the partners circle the wagons around that plan. Following that, open communications with staff must be conducted followed by communicating in one consistent voice to the media.
Preparing for media relations in the event of a law firm crisis and implementing such a plan when a crisis strikes can mean the difference between life and death.
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