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Get the most out of your local Law Society guidebook

Posted: 9 May 2018

You will by now have received your Local Law Society guidebook. Its aim is to be a practical guide to help you further enhance how you represent, support and promote your members.

Having had time to browse through it, the relationship management team thought it would be useful to highlight some of its key content. Over the next few months we will feature key sections to ensure you get the most from the resource.

This month we focus on using the media and writing to your MP.

Using the media

Pages 19-21 outline the importance of the media as a key communication channel. It can help you get in touch with potential members and communicate your key messages.

Remember that the media can allow you to reach hundreds of potential members very quickly and for free. Below are key bullet points from this section to help you. The guidebook also has some template press releases.

  • Take time to map your stakeholders - these are key people and organisations who will be useful to help you achieve your objectives.
  • Develop a personal relationship with the local media.
  • Plan your press releases - they can be about key events, training or just about your society and its value.
  • Establish a distribution strategy for your press releases - start with small media outlets and your content could spread.
  • Put your press releases on your website, tweet about them and include a link back to your website in your press release.
  • Have three key messages, about your society - these could be priding yourself on being local, at the heart of the community etc.
  • Remember to put the most important information at the top of your release - assume that it will be edited from the bottom upwards.

Contacting your MP

Pages 25- 26 include guidance on how to engage with your MP to influence policy. As a local law society, you are best-placed to give the views of the legal profession in your area.

  • When contacting your MP, connect your views with an action for the MP - an event, a recent report, a campaign you would like them to support.
  • Research the MP - this will help with tailoring what you say to them.
  • Be concise - say what you mean and be clear what you want them to do. Also include your address in the letter so they can check you are one of their constituents.
  • If they don’t answer your question arrange to meet them - they usually hold surgeries in their constituency.
  • The Public Affairs team can help you when you meet your MP.
  • There are a number of resources on the Law Society website to help you put together letters or emails to MPs.