If you, a family member or someone you know has been involved in a serious accident or catastrophic event the news media may contact you. But if the circumstance are such that you or a family member may have a potential legal claim for injuries, damages, or other harms and losses then you may want to think twice before agreeing to an interview.
It may be wise to delay speaking to the news media until you have had a chance to discuss your legal options with a media-savvy attorney who can help determine the best course of action.
Very few law firms have a full-time, in-house media relations department. Even very large, well-established firms whose clients or attorneys have been interviewed by the news media in the past typically do not have an in-house media relations manager. Seattle-based Davis Law Group is one of the rare exceptions.
Although the vast majority of Davis Law Group cases never appear on the news, the firm has in-house media management staff to help supervise cases in which media coverage is unavoidable or necessary.
The in-house media/public relations team creates individual, case-specific media plans; handles all interview requests; provides media training to clients; and is present to provide emotional support to clients during interviews. An attorney is always present when clients are interviewed by members of the media. Click here to see a few interviews featuring Davis Law Group clients and/or attorneys.
The media management team also helps clients that wish to maintain their privacy (do not want to give interviews) by acting as a protective buffer from the media. In many cases it is better for the attorney to speak to the media on your behalf.
Davis Law Group creates a media plan for all clients with newsworthy cases or whose accident story has already appeared in the news. Basic plan components include: media assessment, message map, talking points, media calendar, press releases, media alerts, privacy requests (if you do not want to speak with the media), media statements, sample interview questions and answers, etc.
Here are a few of the media management services provided by Davis Law Group:
When our clients have unplanned contact with a member of the media (radio, tv, newspaper, online, blogs, etc.) they should not answer any questions. If contacted by the media, clients should contact our public relations manager using a 24×7 mobile phone number. The public relations manager then contacts the media to gather information about the potential media opportunity. The PR manager, the attorney, and the client then determine the best course of action—to give an interview (or not), issue an official statement, etc.
Davis Law Group manage media opportunities and interviews for our clients. The lawyers and our in-house PR team should be making choices on which media outlets, reporters and stories are right for the case. Frequently our office will decline all interview requests until and unless the client and the case are ready for media exposure.
A press conference is an official an interview given to multiple journalists at one time in order to make an announcement or answer questions. When circumstances require it, such as when participating in multiple interviews may be too stressful for the client or surviving family members, Davis Law Group will organize a press conference.
If participating in an interview and/or answering questions may be too stressful for the client, Davis Law Group will assist the client in creating a written statement to the press.
Davis Law Group helps prepare clients for interviews by giving them talking points, interview tips, and by conducting practice interviews.
Davis Law Group prefers that our clients are interviewed in our office. This allows us to maintain control of the environment and easily end the interview if necessary. An attorney and/or a member of our media team are always present for client interviews.
Our clients do not have to talk to the media if they do not wish to do so. For many clients our job is to insulate them from the media. In many cases it is better for your attorney to speak on their behalf.
Our office will gather copies (print, video, etc.) of all media coverage related to our client’s accident or legal claim. At the conclusion of the case we provide clients with a complete news coverage archive.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident related to a public safety issue you may need the assistance of an attorney that can also manage media relations. Contact Davis Law Group at 206-727-4000 to discuss your legal options and a possible media strategy.
A Television, Radio & Newspaper Interview Guide for Victims & Survivors of Serious Accidents
This FREE report outlines the specific pros and cons that news media coverage may have on the outcome of potential legal claims. It also addresses the type of media management services that a law firm which has extensive media experience should provide for clients for whom media coverage is a serious consideration.
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