WASHINGTON, Dec. 9 2004 – LAWFUEL – First with law news — The second annual edition of PR’s Return on Investment: The Annual Law Firm Media Performance Report provides revealing new data on how law firms manage media relations during a crisis, as well as how global, national, and regional firms incorporate publicity
campaigns as part of their marketing.
The report was written by Levick Strategic Communications, LLC, the
leading legal profession communications firm, with empirical research by CARMA
International, Inc. the pioneer media research company.
For one major law firm, the “return-on-investment” in media relations was
measurably dramatic. Based on CARMA’s analysis of positive and negative
coverage, Vinson & Elkins substantially decreased the volume of hostile press
it might have otherwise received as a result of ongoing inquiries into its
representation of Enron.
V&E’s overall favorability rating was 43 (on a scale of 1 as most negative
and 100 as most positive). Though still on the negative side, a 43 during
such a high-profile crisis suggests a strong and smart media strategy.
Significantly, the research showed a direct correlation linking the firm’s
rating to the participation of spokesperson Harry Reasoner. The more the firm
responded to media inquiries, the better its rating became.
Such data is a unique confirmation of the common wisdom proffered by
communications counselors — that the best way to deal with the media is to
engage it head-on.
PR’s Return on Investment also updates the data published in last year’s
report on total media volume for national and international firms as well as
in eight separate city markets: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San
Francisco/Palo Alto, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Houston/Dallas, and Boston.
Many of the same trends uncovered last year for 2002 recurred in 2004 for
2003. For example, law firms with one or more signature practice areas
generally out-performed other firms in the media as reporters typically
gravitated to brand-name practices for expert commentary.
For the second year in a row, Jones Day amassed the largest total number
of media placements: over 2,000 (in which the firm name is used). It is the
only firm in the study to surpass the 2,000 mark as the nearest competitors
each posted around 1,700 placements. Most impressive, Jones Day upped its
2002 totals by around 300.
“A closer look at the data suggests why,” said Richard Levick, President
of Levick Strategic Communications. “The firm has invested in media outreach,
not just for its offices in the larger cities, but in cities like Pittsburgh
and Columbus, Ohio as well. It shows a real commitment by the firm to
integrate marketing and business development.”
The research on V&E and Enron is one of three new reports based on CARMA
research. The others analyze the use of media in promoting national mergers
and in growing New York offices.
Quantity and quality of media placements were tracked for the merger of
Piper Rudnick with Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand and for the
merger of Bingham McCutchen with Riordan & McKinzie. The data shows
significant increases in total positive coverage when multiple spokespersons
talked about why their mergers are important to clients instead of only
discussing the strategies behind the mergers.
Media performances were also analyzed for three San Francisco firms with
major New York offices: Morrison & Foerster; Heller, Ehrman, White &
McAuliffe; and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. All three firms generated a
fairly unusual volume of articles about their New York offices because the
challenge that drove them to seek such exposure — the difficulty of
establishing a brand in New York — is itself a newsworthy story angle, at
least for legal reporters.
For a copy of the full report, contact Ashley Perry at [email protected]
or visit the Levick web site at http://www.levick.com.
About Levick Strategic Communications
Levick Strategic Communications, LLC is a global leader in corporate and
legal communications. Founded in 1998, the firm revolutionized law firm
marketing and litigation communications. Levick has handled the media on the
highest-profile matters, from Napster and Guantanamo Bay to the Catholic
Church controversy and the Rosie O’Donnell Rosie magazine lawsuit. In
February 2004, Levick published Stop the Presses: The Litigation PR Desk
Reference. Richard Levick was recently named by PR News as the Public
Relations Professional of the Year for U.S. Agencies.
About CARMA International
Founded in Washington, D.C. by Albert Barr nearly two decades ago, CARMA
International, Inc. pioneered the commercialization of customized media
analysis. Today CARMA is the world leader in media research, with an
unmatched global presence. This background enables CARMA to provide expertise
on a local and global level, while offering clients in nearly every industry a
comprehensive, integrated and consistent approach to global media measurement.
CARMA analysts assist PR professionals with maximizing the effectiveness of
their outreach while providing strategic insights for future planning. CARMA
is a privately held company headquartered in Washington, D.C. and can be
reached at 202.842.1818 or http://www.carma.com.
Web Site: http://www.levick.com http://www.carma.com