In the era of social media, news, especially bad or negative news, travels at light speed. To that end, litigation, which tends to generate much bad publicity for all involved, will always be a major threat to one’s reputation.
The practice of public relations (PR) is inevitably linked to managing relationships and reputation, especially in a crisis situation, like a legal dispute, by the need to persuade different target groups about a particular point of view.
Litigation communication or litigation PR, a sub-speciality of crisis communication, has been proven to be an effective management approach for this purpose.
In James Haggerty’s In the Court of Public Opinion, litigation PR is defined as the management of the communication process during the course of any legal dispute or adjudicatory proceedings so as to affect the outcome or its impact on the client's overall reputation.
This synthesis of the legal and public relations profession essentially harnesses the power of public relations during legal matters to win in the ‘court of public opinion’. This is especially important when legal and public perception issues collide.
In most situations, there is a need to create strategic communication solutions that will guide the reaction of the public, the press and others involved in the litigation, whether plaintiff or defendant.
As such lawyers should consider engaging PR professionals as a part of a holistic representation strategy. Litigation communication, in extended disputes or a trial, is a modern approach to reputation management outside the court room. We all know legal disputes in this region moves at snail’s pace. The pace could be a long and devastating crisis situation threatening reputations and livelihoods. A holistic representation strategy will only benefit clients.
Note to my readers:
A career change is scary and the new chosen path will require commitment and sacrifice. This kind of sacrifice sometimes include time with friends, family and, if you’re doing it while holding down a full time job, you will be sacrificing a lot of sleep.
I’m on this path right now, I decided to pursue a law degree. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and for some reason I’ve been taking opportunities to push it back just another year for quite a few years. So here I am, two (2) degrees later (a Bachelor and Master of Arts), I finally started last year, which means I’m a second year student...again! Third time’s the charm right?
Watch this space as i lose even more sleep to keep you guys posted on this exciting journey. So now you are in the know about why some of my pieces, moving forward, will address issues with legal themes.