Last month, one of the UK’s most important legal directories, the Legal 500 UK, launched its annual rankings. Even in the digital age, these directories are still considered to be of huge importance to the legal profession and many man hours go into putting submissions together. It is quite understandable therefore that law firms want to shout about it when they receive positive rankings. Unfortunately these publicity efforts can go too far, with legal journalists finding their inboxes jam packed with self-congratulatory press releases full of ‘delighted’ and ‘proud’ lawyers.

On the week the rankings were published, journalists took to Twitter, bemoaning the avalanche of press releases they were receiving. There is often pressure put on marketing departments to send these out, but please remember, journalists are just not interested in news like this and won’t cover it. Occasionally a regional paper might be happy to publish something on a local firm but generally speaking it’s a waste of time and only demonstrates you don’t understand the media. The same is true of press releases about awards – journalists won’t cover these stories, not least because they are generally run by competitor titles.

By all means, get the news up on your website and make sure the directory credentials are all over your marketing material. Given clients are increasingly unlikely to be scrolling through the directory websites when deciding which lawyer to use, the use of directory quotes and logos on your marketing material is where the value of being ranked lies. Shout about these accolades on social media and make sure you make a fuss about positive rankings in your internal communications but hold off sending anything to journalists until you have some targeted and substantial news to offer.