TV and Content Marketing are Effective for Trial Lawyers

marketing shaft of lightMarketing initiatives by trial lawyers and plaintiff’s firms are now highly sophisticated and take advantage of broadcast TV and online content marketing to reach massive numbers of potential clients.

The rapid growth of broadcast legal advertisements alone has grown six times faster than all other industry advertisement from $531 million in 2008 to nearly $900 million in 2015, according to the report Trial Lawyer Marketing Broadcast, Search and Social Strategies.

The primary marketing tools used by trial lawyers are:

The product mass torts, asbestos, and data breach areas of law are the ones most effectively using these digital marketing, which have proven to be both recession-proof and politics-proof.

Broadcast Advertising

Legal broadcast advertising has grown more than 68 percent over the past eight years, doubling its share of the local spot television market during the same period.  Legal television ad spending, unlike other major TV advertising categories, such as automotive sales, restaurants, and product retailers, has consistently increased both before and after the Great Recession in 2008-2009.

Legal advertising is not only recession-proof, but also politics-proof, as it does not decrease during election years as it does for other advertisers, due to higher spot costs and lower spot availability.

Legal advertisers are more frequently securing highly desirable broadcast spaces with a high concentration of advertisements shown during syndicated talk shows and local news spots, which is the highest premium advertising spot.

Trial lawyers are primarily utilizing daytime and early morning spots, in efforts to target potential litigants as these spots are typically viewed by the most vulnerable populations.

Securing premium television spots is an effective approach for longevity because once a spot is secured, that legal advertiser often has the right of first refusal for future advertising space in that programming spot, allowing trial firms to gain more strategic advertising space once other spots become available and retain those advantageous positions in the years that follow.

Top Lawyer Advertisers

Of the near $900 million spent on broadcast advertisement, a few law firms are major players utilizing this venue, spending in excess of $10 million per year.

  • Akin Mears tops the list, spending over $25 million
  • Morgan & Morgan and Pulaski & Middleman spending over $24 million.

In addition, the major law firms are advertising in many markets, partnering with local firms for name recognition, regional trust, and knowledge of the local legal environment.

Three legal topics dominate the broadcast advertising market, including prescription drug claims with spending of $53.7 million, medical devices at $45.7 million in broadcast advertisement spending, and asbestos/mesothelioma with spending at $45.6 million.

Digital Marketing

Legal marketing blogger Victoria Blute says that many plaintiff’s lawyers and firms mistakenly rely on old-fashioned tactics like search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click advertising (PPC).

Successful attorneys have switched to content marketing:

As a result, trial law firms are beginning to create single topic, informational websites on specific torts to help consumers injured by dangerous drugs. The websites also connect those users to doctors, treatment centers, and legal options, while also collecting contact information.

Links within the content direct users back to the host law firms and collect contact information, which can be used to coordinate outreach to those potential clients who have searched or requested further information on the specific area of law.

Twitter and other Social Media

Trial lawyers and firms also utilize social media, such as Twitter, as a non-traditional means of advertisement by connecting to networks and conversations with key influencers, activists, journalists, and advocates of various legal topics.  Firms connect through social media for both publicity and information.

In asbestos/mesothelioma litigation, a large, longstanding Twitter network of online community of activists, advocates, and “super-tweeters” exists, according to Trial Lawyer Marketing Broadcast, Search and Social Strategies. It consists of mesothelioma survivors and caregivers, asbestos activists, cancer centers, doctors, and attorneys specializing in asbestos/mesothelioma litigation.

This network of 9,500 accounts produced 50,000 posts discussing the medical, social, personal, and legal issues surrounding asbestos and mesothelioma during a three-week period.

Trial lawyers and firms are able to connect with Twitter advocates, such as Linda Reinstein, a mesothelioma widow, who identifies herself as “dedicated to preventing asbestos-caused diseases through education, advocacy, and community action.”  Reinstein has a large follower base and a high volume of twitter activity.

By connecting to twitter advocates such as Reinstein, attorneys, and firms are able to share information, resources, and its services with survivors and advocacy groups and connect with key influencers such as doctors, treatment centers, other activists, and journalists by sharing the posts of users with large follower counts.

The Kazan Law Firm has sponsored the twitter account Meso Cancer Circle that provides a prime information resource for patients and survivors of mesothelioma, allowing them to join conversations and connect to medical doctors and the cancer research and treatment community.

Firms, including Cohen Milstein, Lieff Cabraser, Michelle Drake, and Nichols Kaster, receive the most monthly search keyword demand in the data privacy and data breach arena.  A strong expert core consisting of data security defense attorneys, data security academics, cybersecurity experts, journalists, and trial lawyers, dominate the social media conversation in this field.

Litigators and journalists share information, allowing news to flow between trial lawyers and the media to drive interest and traffic in data security lawsuits by publicizing legal services and information on cases being litigated.  Trial lawyers are also able to track posts of key influencers in the field to keep abreast of breaking news and contribute to ongoing online conversations.

Through the use of social media networks, trial lawyers and firms are able to establish credibility, publicize lawsuits, and connect to advocates for referrals and activism.

 

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Man Burned by Chemical Vapor Explosion Awarded $10M

Crystal Clear VOC concrete sealerA Cook County, Illinois, jury awarded a man $10,875,622 for second and third degree burns he suffered from an explosion in his home caused by the vapors of a concrete sealer he used in his basement.

The plaintiff Andrzej Plizga and his wife Katarzyna were represented by National Trial Lawyer Top 100 attorney Matthew Passen of the Passen Law Group in their lawsuit against the Euclid Chemical Company, manufacturers of the Crystal Clear VOC concrete sealer

Andrzej Plizga was using Crystal Clear VOC concrete sealer to seal the basement floor of his home.  The vapors from the sealer spread to a utility room in the home and were ignited by a water heater pilot light, causing the explosion that burned 65% of Plizga’s body.  The burns, mostly on his arms, legs and torso, required several skin graft surgeries and $1 million in medical expenses.  Also due to his injuries, Plizga is not able to return to his previous work as a brick layer.

Misleading labeling

In the product liability action against Euclid Chemical Company, Plizga concedes that the label on the containers of the sealer label it as “combustible” and contained a substantial amount of cautionary language such as “WARNING! FLAMMABLE” but warnings failed to comply with the Federal Hazardous Substances Act label requirements and state law requirements.

Plizga also asserted that the company’s use of acetone in the sealer formula was wrongful and based on profit gains even though safer alternatives solvents can be used, and are actually used in other products.  Plizga also proved that the warning label did not meet industry standards and did not properly warn consumers that their home’s water heater can possibly ignite liquid vapors, even though chemical manufacturers have substantial knowledge of this hazard.

The manufacturer argued that Plizga’s claim should have been rejected because he assumed the risk of using the product which was labeled “For Professional Use Only.”  It also argued that Plizga ignored warnings to read the Material Safety Data Sheet and product label before use, but Plizga said that he was never given a manual or instructions when he purchased the sealer, according to the Cook County Record.com.

Plizga was awarded $2.7 million for his medical bills and lost wages.  More than $8 million was awarded pain and suffering, loss of normal life, loss of society and disfigurement.

The case is Andrzej Plizga and Katarzyna Plizga  v. The Euclid Chemical Company,  Case No. 10 L 14488 in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.