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Have any of your lawyers been approached by a media outlet claiming that they have been short-listed for a ranking or award you haven't submitted for? Has your firm been offered interviews by publications you've barely heard of? If so, you could have been targeted for 'pay-to-play' PR.

Also known as Pay for Placement, "P2P" and paid exposure, we are talking about editorial, advertorial and other opportunities that involve an element of payment to the outlet. This can be in the form of a paid-for article, an article or quote accompanied by a paid-for advert or an award 'win' that involves a paid-for advert.

As the media landscape continues to shift, these 'opportunities' are on the increase - so, what is the right tack to take? Should you pay-to-play?

Here at Commspromise, we advise our clients not to and here are some of the reasons why:

Firstly, we believe that you should maximise your PR spend by generating no-strings-attached coverage. When your firm already pays an in-house PR team or agency, why pay twice?

We advise focusing on high-quality, independent media outlets. P2P media are not well thought of in the market and usually offer zero visibility.

Traditional, 'organic' coverage is powerful. Readers understand that it is an independent endorsement from a legitimate journalist and that will always enhance your firm's reputation more than any paid-for coverage would.

Some P2P offers will be scams. If you have suspicions, ask outright if there is a cost involved now or later.

Outlets that contact lawyers directly often raise a red flag. This can be a marketing ploy to sell the idea to a lawyer who may not have come across the P2P industry before.

It can be helpful to have a standard advice email ready to send to any lawyers who are targeted explaining why you think it is bad value to agree to any deal.

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