“The last thing I want to do is talk to a reporter.” How many times have you heard lawyers at your firm say that or something similar? All too often law firms do not immediately appreciate the potential value of public relations, limiting its use to announcing new hires or highlighting a big win or transaction. But if handled correctly, and with appropriate direction and approval by clients, PR can not only help enhance and protect a firm’s reputation but also furthers client goals, particularly with litigation matters.

For example, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman was advising a plaintiff on what seemed a relatively straightforward litigation. The defendant, trying to increase the pressure on our client to abandon its suit, contacted a group of reporters, alleging that the plaintiff had committed a criminal act. The evidence on which the defendant relied had been fabricated by him, but on its face appeared incriminating, and news crews surrounded the client’s offices clamoring for a quote, titillated at the idea of a business scandal.