When PR is Boring

By: MJ Pedone

Over the past year, I have been assisting several attorneys with their social media and public relations (PR) efforts. Prior to that, I hadn’t worked on legal PR. My specialty is in Entertainment PR working with athletes, entertainers, celebrities and exciting brands so working with legal professionals was challenging mainly because most people aren’t interested in the law. Lets face it, most rather read about Derek Jeter and his stellar career or Michael Jordan leading the league in scoring than about the law. I was certain I would do my best to make law topics a little more interesting and relevant to people that find the legal system nothing short of boring.

So like everything else, I was up for the next big challenge and delve right in with the persistence of a few of my attorney friends.

Here are a few of my tips that will help make boring topics more interesting:

  1. Make it Relevant – While law (or any topic) may not touch someone personally, they are almost always indirectly affected by it. Our ultimate challenge: Find that human/emotional connection! Provide an example of how a subject that initially may seem unrelated or “foreign” is quite relatable and significant. Example: What does Donald Trump, Walt Disney and Henry Ford have in common with Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson? They all filed for bankruptcy. 
  2. Weave in a Story – A story lifts your topic and associates it with something inherently more interesting. As an example: “Each year Waterford Crystal designs a fabulous new pattern for the famous Times Square Crystal Ball that drops on New Year’s Eve. The company declared bankruptcy in January of 2009. As we put one of the worst economic years on record behind us, we celebrate by lavishing attention on a colorful crystal ball that is produced by a company that fell victim to the recession. We came into the year broke and we should remember that as we exit it, even if they say things are looking up.” – Nick Obourn, The Culture Spoke, 12.30.09.
  3. Thread in an Inspiration – Some people are motivated by inspirational thoughts. Example: Bankruptcy is not an end. It is a fresh start. It is the beginning of your next chapter in your life.
  4. Enlighten with Statistics – There is nothing like a startling statistic to open a reader’s eyes or even just make them feel appreciative of their situation the very day they read the post or tweet. Example: Did you know that one in three of your neighbors are struggling with paying their credit card bills and will most likely file for bankruptcy in the next 24 months?
  5. Humor – Depending on the sensitivity of the topic, a little levity can go a long way. Consider reserving humorous jokes for Friday and be sure to obtain approval from your client if you’re not certain of their style. Example: It is said that the world is in a state of bankruptcy — that the world owes the world more than the world can pay.

It can certainly be a challenge to spice up a mundane topic. However, taking time to discover ways to attract readers and encourage conversation increase brand awareness and stimulate conversations that wont be boring. People love to read a story that they can relate to and that they fine entertaining.

What topics do you struggle with when it comes to writing for your clients? Does this article stir your imagination somewhat? As always, I welcome any comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.

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