Unless you’ve been hiding under the proverbial rock, then you are aware of the bitter court battle unfolding between Johnny Depp, and his x-wife, Amber Heard. If you’ve been following the sordid trial, you now likely know more about their marriage than you do those of your family or friends. And even if you aren’t personally interested in this current courtroom spare, loads of your potential clients are.  All around the world, viewers are glued to their flat screens or mobile screens, checking out the unfolding Depp/Heard saga.

As a law firm owner, you have the unique opportunity to leverage hot trending news stories or current events like the Depp/Heard trial to your firm’s advantage through Newsjacking.

WHAT’S NEWSJACKING?

Newsjacking is the marketing strategy of piggybacking on a current hot news story or trending topic, by injecting your firm’s comments/ideas or perspective in real-time media like TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, and the likes. The objective is to boost your own SEO standing and online presence by weighing in on a commonly searched current event or news story that your potential clients are already following. By blogging, commenting, or posting videos on popular and trending hot topics, you become part of the dialogue and can attract a wider audience and boost your SEO with trending keywords and phrases.

Let’s consider the Depp/Heard trial. If your firm handles defamation cases you could shoot a short video discussing how defamation cases are handled in your state – the elements to be proven, the burden of proof, etc., and push it out on your social media platforms. If your firm only handles personal injury cases, you could still news jack the Depp/Heard trial by commenting on some of the aspects of the trial that are similar to or different from what happens in the courtroom in a PI case.

The idea is to see a viral story and to quickly jump into the conversation and relate it back to your firm – whether it’s a big breaking national story or something breaker closer to home. If you handle motorcycle injury cases and your state is contemplating changing their helmet laws, weigh in on the issue. If you handle personal injury cases and there was a massive pile-up on the interstate, comment on some of the liability issues that might arise when multiple cares collide. If a parking deck collapsed and you handle premises liability cases, weigh in.

News stories are breaking all the time.

1. GET NOTIFIED WHEN HOT STORIES BREAK

Keep your eyes open for the opportunities. Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok highlight trending stories. Start looking for developing stories that align with your firm’s practice areas. Use Google Trends and Google Alerts to monitor stories and keywords. Look at Twitter’s trending hashtags for hot developing topics. Follow bloggers and journalists who cover stories in your field. Set up alerts for Major News Outlets. Check out RSS feeds.

2. BE STRATEGIC WITH KEYWORDS FOR MAXIMUM IMPACT AND SEO

Before you blast out a comment or video or blog on the hot story, do a Google search to help you identify the best keywords to use in your headers, titles, and copy. You want your firm’s voice to be heard above the fray – and even great content goes unnoticed online without strategic keywords –

3. BE QUICK ABOUT IT

News goes stale quickly. Today’s buzz is tomorrow’s noise. So, when it comes to Newsjacking, you need to be quick. This isn’t the time for professional videos shot in a studio. Grab your phone and push out your video asap. If you’re writing a blog – be succinct and share accurate content, but don’t try to create the “perfect” masterpiece. Your objective is to chime in and become part of the dialogue while the story is fresh and still trending.

4. DON’T STOP WITH ONLINE NEWSJACKING

In addition to online opportunities, think about how you can use developing news stories to your advantage on the local level. When hot stories break that are relevant to your firm’s areas of expertise, reach out to the local reporters offering a comment, or email them your online newsjacking efforts.  News reporters are often looking for credible sources to add depth to their stories. Developing a relationship with local news reporters will enable you to be one of their go-to sources for legal commentary – and raise your credibility and visibility with potential clients in your market.

People hire the lawyer they know, like, and trust. Newsjacking about current trending news stories with relevant commentary is one more way to differentiate your firm from the competition and raise the trust quotient with prospective clients.

Whether it’s a simple Tweet, a blog post or a short video start Newsjacking today to increase your firm’s brand awareness and online presence.

For an in-depth look at Newsjacking, check out David Scott’s classic book:  Newsjacking: How to Inject Your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage.

For more Strategies to help you stand apart from your Competitors and Sign MORE Cases, check out PILMMA’s 2022 Legal Marketing & Management Super Summit in New Orleans, June 27-29, 2022.  Designed specifically for Law Firm Owners, it’s 3 days jam-packed with the LATEST Legal Marketing and Management strategies.