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Podcast Episode 194: Content-Fueled Business Development: How Lawyers Can Harness the Power of Earned Media to Fuel New Client Relationships

by Guy Alvarez • July 20th, 2023 • Podcast

In this episode of the Legal Marketing 2.0 Podcast, Guy is joined by John Hellerman. John Hellerman is the President of Hellerman Communications, an award-winning corporate communications agency positioning professionals to win business and navigate crises. John and his firm specialize in strategic marketing and content development, crisis and litigation communications, and social influencer and stakeholder relations. He helps the world’s most elite professionals and their firms build and protect their most lucrative relationships.

1. How Lawyers Can Effectively Position Themselves as Thought Leaders in Their Respective Market Niches

Reporters and other types of content producers can benefit from the skills that John’s clients’ attorneys have to give in order to better develop their stories, the topics they write about, and the messages they convey to their readers. People with this legal knowledge are needed. Additionally, comfort must come first. That implies knowing your area of expertise and your market niche. This also implies knowing what your customers, clients, and prospects are most interested in learning about, which might be a variety of topics. 

However, for a lawyer who specializes in employment law, the topic can include sexual ration policy, a compliance program, or healthcare benefits. They are experts in codifying what people can talk about, especially for partners. For instance, reading the news, studying the news, keeping up with hot subjects, and coming up with comments on what matters to your clients are all good examples.

2. Key Strategies Lawyers Can Employ to Leverage Earned Media and Reach a Wider Audience With Their Knowledge and Insights

There’s a simplistic formula for how lawyers can reach a wider audience. It’s identifying a hot topic, creating content around the hot topic, publishing the content around the hot topic, and then sharing that content. That is the most important thing in terms of leveraging the earned media into a wider audience. 

John was quoted in the Wall Street Journal where he gathered that reaching a wider audience comes from not just appearing in the Wall Street Journal, but then sharing that article with your entire network, relevant prospects, and clients. Posting it to your bio, and making people aware is a great way to leverage coverage.

3. Advice For Lawyers Who are Interested in Using Earned Media or PR, But Are Unsure About Where to Start

Find four to six rivals by researching your niche. At least two of them should be aspirational. Look to see what subjects they discuss and in which media they are featured. Then, take a look around and choose some role models that you might want to imitate. From there, a public relations team that is already in place, as is the case with many of these large corporate law firms, or an agency like Johns, can help develop content ideas and launch a campaign with attainable goals for everyone.


Embracing earned media as a lawyer is powerful. By strategically engaging with the media, lawyers can establish themselves as thought leaders and trusted authorities in their fields, attract new clients, and fuel business development efforts. It’s essential to proactively seek out media opportunities, share valuable content, and consistently nurture your reputation to maximize its impact on your professional growth.

You can find John Hellerman on Linkedin & Twitter.

Check out our newest ebook, A Law Firm Guide to Digital Marketing Analytics, here.


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