By: 5 January 2024
The power of PR for injury lawyers

Natalie Rodgers, Scala.

Public relations have become a powerful tool in a law firms’ marketing arsenal. In this article, leading legal PR and marketing communications consultancy, Scala, explains why it’s so powerful and how law firms who fail to engage effectively could be losing out. 

Scala’s expertise for managing effective legal PR campaigns was recognised recently at the Personal Injury Awards 2023. The company took home the ‘Marketing Campaign of the Year’ award for their PR work in relation to the high-profile sentencing of child serial killer, Lucy Letby, and their long running maternity safety campaign work relating to the Nottingham maternity scandal. 

Personal injury and clinical negligence law firms are increasingly finding themselves vying for clients and quality cases. This means that to maintain a competitive edge it’s necessary to adopt a range of client acquisition strategies to ensure a steady flow of cases.  

“Implementing highly coordinated PR campaigns can have both an immediate and long-lasting impact on a firms’ marketing objectives” explains Scala’s managing director, Natalie Rodgers. “PR is far more than simply creating a one-off piece of coverage; it is integral to establishing credibility, raising brand awareness, building trust with the public, and winning new work. Here at Scala, we understand the necessity of PR for injury lawyers, with years of experience cementing us as an industry leader in this niche sector.” 

As a non-practicing solicitor, having qualified in 1998, Natalie is acutely aware of the overriding need to protect the interests of the client involved in a story where there are ongoing legal proceedings.  


Why is PR Important for injury lawyers? 

Personal injury and clinical negligence law firms do not shy away from investing in a range of lead-generation strategies to attract work. Websites, social media, PPC advertising and (for some) a heavy reliance on CMCs for cases. The costs involved can be eye-watering.  

PR should be on every lawyer’s radar. Coverage on TV, radio and online media brings with it a whole host of benefits. This extends beyond the initial broadcast or publication, it serves to: 

  • Enhance credibility and establish expertise within your target market. 
  • Establish direct connections with potential and existing clients. 
  • Distinguish you from competitors, aiding clients in recognising your unique value. 
  • Drive traffic to your website, improving its SEO performance. 
  • Elevate Google performance by incorporating backlinks from reputable media outlets. 
  • Attract new social media followers and boosts engagement. 
  • Produce compelling and educational content. 
  • Elevate the skills of key staff, transforming them into brand ambassadors for the law firm. 
  • Yield a positive ‘halo’ effect for the entire firm, especially beneficial for firms with a multidisciplinary offering. 
  • Maintain a lasting online presence, consistently delivering positive results over the years. 

Moreover, PR can educate the public about personal injury law, legal rights, and the importance of seeking professional assistance.  


How do injury lawyers effectively use PR? 

There are numerous different factors that need to be considered when beginning, running, and assessing the PR strategy. 

  1. Establish objectivesIt’s essential to set clear and measurable objectives. Whether the aim is to enhance brand visibility, manage a crisis, or establish the organisation as a thought leader, having well-defined goals serves as the guiding compass for the entire PR strategy.
  2. Continual assessment-  Organisations continually need to adapt their working styles to survive in today’s market, and PR efforts must evolve as well. Regular assessments of media coverage, social media mentions, and key performance indicators offer valuable insights.
  3. Crisis managementOrganisations must be prepared for unforeseen challenges. PR plays a pivotal role in not only responding promptly to negative events but also proactively building a crisis communication plan.
  4. Remain consistent – From press releases to social media posts, organisations must maintain a cohesive and authentic narrative across all communication channels.  
  5. Integration with other departmentsPR should not exist in isolation but be seamlessly integrated into broader business strategies. Whether it’s marketing, sales, or overarching corporate objectives, PR efforts should complement and support these initiatives.  


What are the common PR opportunities for injury lawyers? 

PR is a dynamic sector that can have a profound effect on a law firm when utilised in conjunction with expert opinion. Lawyers already go above and beyond, and making use of PR can ensure they are recognised for their efforts. It is also a way of supporting clients who want to share their experience. Essentially, PR is strategic storytelling that has the power to strike a chord and connect with people and policymakers. Here are some examples: 

Inquests and other public hearings 

There is often already media interest in an inquest and other public hearings. For firms involved in this work, they can be an effective way to highlight the importance of legal advice and representation, as well as a way of helping families to take control of their narrative in the press. It can also be a real opportunity for highlighting systemic problems or governance failures within clinical settings or by a public body. 

For example, Scala’s PR work during the sentencing of Lucy Letby helped steer the public conversation. Letby refused to attend her sentencing hearing and subsequently the government pledged to give extra judicial powers to force defendants into court; there was a call for a statutory public inquiry; and failures by the trust management.  

Campaigns to change laws 

A well-executed PR campaign can be highly beneficial for injury lawyers. It can enhance their visibility, reputation, and credibility. However, they can go far beyond simply aiding the law firm; they have the power to touch hearts and change lives. This can only be achieved with a thorough and diligent strategy, rather than a singular piece of content or a press release in isolation. 

A strategic PR campaign can often be an intense drive aimed at the government, utilising the press to raise awareness among the public, further compounding pressure. These campaigns can help tell the client’s story, and this storytelling opens the door for members of the public to understand your unique benefits. 

Some examples of Scala’s PR campaigns include: 

  • Campaign to change coronial law to require inquests for stillborn babies. 
  • Campaign to change the law governing crossbow ownership: Shane Gilmer (inquest) and his partner, Laura Sugden, were interviewed on ITV’s ‘This Morning’ (27/4/21). 
  • Campaign to change drink drive laws to cover incidents on private land: interview by BBC Look North with the mother of Harry Whitlam, a child who died after being hit by a drunk tractor driver. (5/11/19).  


Injustice and public policy 

In cases of injustice, injury lawyers and the clients they represent can find themselves at the forefront of a burgeoning scandal or part of wider public scrutiny. Lawyers are then able to directly impact public policy. However, without the public understanding their story and the case, the message can soon get lost in the current landscape of 24-hour news.  

Some examples of Scala’s PR impact on public policy include: 

  • Nottingham University Hospitals Trust (NUHT) maternity scandal: from managing the PR coverage that first exposed the maternity scandal in 2017, to using PR to place significant public pressure on the government to order an independent review into maternity services at the trust in 2022.  
  • Mum’s PR campaign to highlight inadequacies in mental health services following the suicide of her son, Haydon Croucher, in Milton Keynes: interview by ITV with Tracey Furness (13/5/22).  
  • Prosecution brought by the care quality commission (CQC) for failures in maternity care of baby Wynter Andrews (deceased) and her mother, Sarah Andrews: this story made the 6 o’clock headline news and received extensive UK-wide media coverage, including Sky News. (28/1/23).  


Legal comment/thought leadership 

Injury lawyers can contribute articles to legal publications, write blog posts on their website, or even author opinion pieces in mainstream media. This positions them as thought leaders, fostering credibility and trust among both potential clients and peers in the legal profession. 

In addition, journalists are always on the hunt for legal comments when covering hard-hitting trials, cases, and inquests. A lawyer’s sphere of influence is expanded dramatically when working alongside a specialised PR team. 


How can Scala impact your PR? 

Scala has years of experience in building successful and award-winning PR and marketing campaigns for lawyers, healthcare providers and professional service organisations. Our small but highly effective team works closely with legal teams to help identify suitable stories and engage sensitively with clients to support them in communicating their accounts and views on what has happened. 

First established in 2009 by dual-qualified lawyer and marketer, Natalie Rodgers, she has built upon her unique combination of skills to create Scala’s rapidly expanding team.  

If you would like to hear more information on Scala and our services, please contact us today and speak to a member of our team. 


This post is sponsored by Scala. 

Image: Natalie Rodgers, Scala
Guest Post
This post was created just for Claims Media by a guest contributor.