repair online reputation

Online Reputation Repair for Lawyers

Gone are the days when law firms could rest on their laurels. Those old-school firms built their stellar reputations for reliability and solid legal work slowly, and short of some kind of epic failure, they tended to hold on to these hard-earned reputations. Now, it’s difficult to imagine a firm without an online presence, and online reputations can be made and tarnished at the speed of light. 

As such, firms are far more vulnerable to their reputations taking hits, and sometimes, recon is necessary. If your online reputation is in need of repair – or you fear it’s heading in that direction – reach out to a seasoned legal PR company for the trusted guidance you’re looking for. 

Consumers Take Online Reviews Seriously

Regardless of your feelings about online reviews, you can rest assured that your prospective clients take them very seriously. Consider the following related statistics shared by BrightLocal:

  • Consumers place the most importance on reviews for specific industries, including service businesses like law firms. 
  • 98 percent of consumers hit up online reviews for local businesses at least some of the time. 
  • 76 percent of browsing consumers regularly read online reviews for local businesses.
  • 87 percent of consumers turned to Google to get a feel for local businesses in 2022, which was up from 81 percent in 2021.
  • Across all industries, Google is the highest-ranked review platform.

There’s no denying that reviews play a critical role in your reputation, and it’s not all about how glowing they are – they need to also be recent and plentiful. If your reviews start to go south in any of these categories, you could face a crisis of reputation. When it comes to your online reputation, being proactive is the name of the game, but if you hit a glitch, PR pros can help you with that, too. 

Build Up Your Firm

Before diving into repairing what’s wrong with your online reputation, it’s important to pause and consider the building blocks of a solid online reputation.

Hire Professionals

Your website should not be an afterthought. You are in the business of providing your clients with skilled legal counsel, and web designers are in the business of building sleek websites that run smoothly. Your website is the foundation of your online presence and reputation, so it’s a good idea not to get this one twisted. If at some point, damage control does become a concern, there are PR pros for that, too.

Don’t Skimp on SEO

If you don’t pay adequate attention to search engine optimization, you’re not going to make it through the gatekeepers, and if you don’t show up, you’re not going to have much of a reputation to protect. Again, this is what professionals are for.

Think Local

It’s important to make your mark in terms of local search results. This can mean anything from claiming and thoroughly completing your Google Business Profile to securing your place in local directories and claiming profiles across the internet. When a local prospective client is looking for skilled legal guidance, you want to stand out, which makes having your local search game on lock paramount.

Reach Out for Reviews

Reviews are the name of the game, and if it’s difficult to leave your firm a review or if it never occurs to your clients to do so, you are missing out. You can put reputation management techniques into practice by proactively seeking reviews and ratings directly and by doing so on multiple platforms across the internet. You’re going for authentic reviews that are a genuine reflection of your client’s experiences, which makes incentivizing them a no-no that could test the boundaries of professional ethics and that may not be in line with the conditions laid out by the platform in question. 

What you can do, however, is work closely with a trusted legal PR company that has the know-how and savvy to help you generate reviews, promote your firm, and polish your reputation. It’s also important to note that the more robust your presence in the world of online reviews is, the better prepared you’ll be to do damage control if the need arises. 

Keep Things Social

If your firm hasn’t taken the plunge in terms of social media, it’s time. The bottom line is that if you’re ignoring social media, it’s ignoring you – and that spells a missed opportunity. The best advice is to find your social media groove and roll with it. Social media affords an unprecedented platform to share your voice, to show what it is that makes your firm tick, and to hit hot topics while they’re still in the collective conscience. In other words, you shy away from social media to your own detriment, and if you’re not sure how to get started, legal PR professionals are standing by to help. 

If you haven’t been as vigilant about your online reputation as you could have been, there’s no time like the present to tweak your efforts. 

Your Online Reputation Repair Kit

It’s all well and good to know what you should be doing to bolster your online reputation, but even if you have all these ducks in a row, there’s no guarantee that you won’t hit a snag or two along the way. If your online reputation has taken a hit, there are several proactive steps you can take to help you steer out of it – and to help you prevent further reputational mishaps. 

Right Your Wrong

If your reputation was tarnished by a mistake, blunder, or any other mishap on your part, the best response is an honest one in which you take responsibility for the error of your ways. As a law firm, however, it’s naturally important not to go overboard with this. For example, apologizing for the outcome of a case could lead to liability concerns as well as issues that relate to inflated expectations. Suffice it to say that, when it comes to the law, it’s important to tread lightly and to have a legal PR specialist at the ready. If, however, you made a legitimate error, take responsibility, do what you can to fix it, and sincerely apologize. 

Ask Nicely

After addressing the matter online to the best of your ability, you can also request that the person who posted the damaging online review or comments take them down. You might be surprised by how effective a sincere apology can be. If your efforts get you nowhere, however, take heart and keep being the best your firm can be – with an eye for future 5-star reviews across the board. 

Redouble Your Online Efforts

If you have a PR snafu out there, and it seems to be the only thing garnering attention in relation to your firm, redoubling your efforts elsewhere is the best defense. The more active and interesting your firm becomes on social media platforms, for example, the more likely you are to grab attention elsewhere – overshadowing that reputation-harming review in the process. 

Bolster Your Content

An excellent means of polishing your online reputation is increasing your output of useful, well-written content, such as in the form of a blog. Consumers who are in the market for an attorney are looking for legal guidance that’s written in a language they understand, for encouragement, and for hope, and a legal blog provides you with a golden opportunity to hit all three. The more you have to offer prospective clients in terms of content, the shinier your reputation is likely to be.

Don’t Count Out Video

Video is definitely having a moment when it comes to online presence, and this trend is not expected to go away anytime soon – or ever. If you have someone at your firm who’s especially good at this kind of thing, let them have at it – scripts that are professionally written for your firm are an excellent starting place. Finding your online comfort zone can feel daunting, to begin with, but your firm will almost certainly warm to it, and the benefits in relation to your reputation can be considerable.  

Keep Your Ear to the Ground

Finally, it’s not enough to simply do damage control. It’s far more productive to keep a weather eye on what’s being said about you online. By doing so, you afford yourself the space to tweak your reputation repair efforts moving forward, which can go a long way toward protecting your firm’s good name. 

Repair and Protect Your Online Reputation with a Focused Legal PR Company

As a law firm, your reputation is your calling card, which makes avoiding tarnish critical. Whether you’re looking to maintain, grow, or repair your reputation, the legal PR pros at Newsroom PR have the tools to help. A primary component of every firm’s reputation is its online presence, which means there are ample opportunities for bolstering yours, and we’re standing by to help you find the best path forward for you. For more information, please don’t wait to reach out and contact or call us at 213-422-2738 today.