The 5 Biggest Mistakes Lawyers Make When Advertising On TV

The 5 Biggest Mistakes Lawyers Make When Advertising On TV

Television advertising can be very complicated to say the least. If you’re not an experienced media buyer, it’s almost inevitable you’re going to be taken advantage of and more than likely, waste thousand of dollars in the process. As complicated as buying television airtime is, some lawyers insist on handling their own advertising, with that in mind, Legal Pro Media offers some advice that might just save you a few dollars. Click on the next button below to get started…

Crucial Mistake #1:

Not subscribing to Nielsen Media Research. although it will cost you for a years subscription, not having Nielsen Research is like being an electrician and not having a voltage meter. Even though Nielsen rating research is controversial, at present it’s all we have to get a somewhat accurate view on which TV programs are being watched and how many people are watching. If you’re going to buy your own Broadcast Media, do yourself a favor and take an advertising course at your local university and learn the basic concept of ratings analysis. And of course, subscribe to Nielsen.

Crucial Mistake #2

Having a poorly produced, uninformative TV commercial is a killer. Far too often lawyers take the easy way out on having a TV commercial produced. A smart TV rep. convinces the lawyer to buy a schedule and in return, the nice TV rep. offers to produce the lawyer a nice flashy TV commercial. Keep in mind that TV reps work for the TV stations, they are sales people, not experienced legal advertising professionals. They have about as much experience with lawyer advertising as the butcher down the street. Your copy is being written by an overworked 22 years production assistant who has only written copy several times and probably has no idea how to make a results generating commercial for a lawyer. Starting to make sense? By all means make sure your commercial is professionally produced and accurately broadcasts a simple concise message. When your script is written, make sure it can be understood by a 6th Grader. Years ago when my daughter was in grade school, I would always let her read the scripts and if she understood, I knew it would be understood by the general public. Remember, your commercial is no different from one of those expensive store-front signs, except thousands more people will be seeing it. Your commercial reflects you and your firm.

Crucial Mistake #3

Spending too much money on cable TV. Cable TV can easily be very alluring, it’s cheap and you can target very specific demographics. Those are the better points of cable. Now, here are a few other things to consider; cable is fragmented and the reach is horrible. The penetration rate in most markets is around 62% including premium subscribers. Tier position is a crucial factor most lawyers have no idea about. If the networks you purchase are not on the first or second tier, you’ve basically given your money away. A good rule of thumb is, if you’re budget is 10K per month, only spend 10% of that budget on cable.

Crucial Mistake #4

To continuing doing the same thing over and over when it’s not working, and believing it when reps tell you, just give it a little more time. Keep in mind, if you’re a PI, Bankruptcy, or SSI Lawyer, more than likely you want direct response. Direct response means direct response. Chances are, if you haven’t received any positive response to your TV commercials within two weeks, you’re not going to. Don’t be afraid to stop and analyze the situation; figure out the problem and only then continue to advertise.

Crucial Mistake #5

Not having an adequate budget to compete with the competition. One of the first things you should do is get a full competitive report for legal spending in your market. Lets look at an example:

Suppose you’re in the Little Rock Arkansas market and your wanting to advertise several PI commercials. You’ve done your research and found that on average, 25 other firms are advertising on TV.

The top five are spending 25K per month, while another 15 are spending between 14K-18K and the remaining 5 are spending anywhere between 8K-14K. If you consistently see the same lawyers advertising on TV then it’s only common sense to assume it’s working.

As a rule of thumb, never spend less than the lowest spending lawyer and also keep in mind that the lawyers who are spending less, have more than likely been advertising the longest so in a sense, they have made somewhat of a TOPA, “top of mind awareness” in their market so they have the luxury of not having to spend as much as the younger lawyers who may have only started advertising within the past few years.


Television advertising works but only if used properly.

The five crucial mistakes we’ve discussed in this article are only a fraction of the information needed to competently purchase lawyer advertising. Unless you’re willing to dedicate a good amount of time educating yourself on the subject, you could easily waste thousands of valuable advertising dollars.

If you’re like most lawyers and don’t have the time or desire to spend countless hours doing advertising research and taking media courses’ to learn about media analysis, consider working with Legal Pro.

Legal Pro Media works side by side as your marketing partner and can guide your legal advertising in the right directions. If you’re interested in finding out how you can retain Legal Pro Media and start benefiting from all the services we provide for our clients, click here.

Steve Moundzours, Legalpro Media

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