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Attorney Tv Advertising: Attention Through EducationBy Expert Author: Stam Bett
Attorney TV advertising has long been a subject of controversy, and not without reason. The rationale goes that TV advertising threatens the credibility of the entire legal profession, and with all the terrible law firm ads making the rounds on the Internet these days, it’s hard to argue the point. TV advertising still reigns supreme as the king of advertising media, but attorney TV advertising seems like a curious mismatch: two great tastes that adamantly refuse to go great together. Is it truly a lost cause? Is there no way for legal professionals to advertise on television without making yet another lawyer joke?
As it happens, there is indeed a way – and it’s so far removed from the usual methodology behind TV advertising that it’s no wonder why so many law firms still get it wrong. Advertising is normally a no-holds-barred grudge match for the audience’s attention, waged against all the other commercials advertising the same thing – and the flashiest, funniest, or cleverest commercial wins. But when people are looking for legal services, they’re not looking to be entertained: the last thing they want is a clown representing them in court, especially one that made fun of their legal troubles on nationwide TV. The thing about legal services is that you can’t sell them the same way you might sell fast food or used cars, and it’s foolish to even try. But your advertising doesn’t need to be flashy or funny or even clever to be effective: it just needs to educate your audience.
Has a commercial ever convinced you to buy something you didn’t even know you wanted? Many prospective clients simply don't realize what options they have when they’re faced with legal issues, or even that they’re facing them in the first place. Your TV ad has the potential to change that. When your TV ad tells people something they don’t know, they sit up and listen – and you can be sure they’ll remember who told it to them. Even prospective clients who already understand their legal situations will be impressed when your attorney TV advertising sums up exactly what they know: it’ll be clear to them that you know what you’re talking about, and they’ll be more likely to bring their cases to you.
There are other benefits to getting your audience’s attention through education, including:
• Maintaining your dignity as a lawyer. One thing’s for sure – your ad will never end up the next viral video sensation. But people will remember it, and for the reasons you want them to. Personal injury and mass tort firms in particular can get a lot of mileage out of this, since they can inform people about dangerous products or medicines making the rounds.
• Clients will come of their own accord. You don’t even need a sales pitch with an ad like these. Informational ads speak of honesty and integrity, things that stand in stark contrast to the public perception of the legal profession: people will come to you because your ad will make it clear you’re not just another “shark” out to make a quick buck.
• Standing out from your competition. When everyone else is doing the same thing, just doing something different sets you apart from the crowd.
Of course, the one problem with trying to run an informational commercial is that you can’t cram a lot of information into a 30-to-60-second ad spot. This is where attorney TV advertising can get a little clever. Instead of trying to pack your commercial with as much information as possible, present only whatever information would be of immediate interest to your prospective clients, and invite them to call your office or visit your website if they have any questions. It’s important to have a professional-looking website to support your ad: visitors should be able to find answers to their questions quickly and easily.
Information is the most powerful tool – a truth which applies to advertising as well. By keeping your audience well-informed, you’ll also keep clients coming in.
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