Media policy

Dinsmore values its relationships with the media

Dinsmore values its relationships with the media and understands the role that media coverage can play in shaping the perception of our firm by current and prospective clients, as well as many other audiences throughout our communities. At the same time, members of the media have a job to do, and their agendas and goals for covering Dinsmore and our clients may not always coincide with the best interests of the firm or those clients. In an effort to minimize the risk of miscommunication with the media, the firm has carefully developed a policy governing how to respond when contacted by the media. Its purpose is to maintain our collective relationships with the media by being as helpful as possible, while ensuring the firm’s messages and positioning are properly communicated.

 

Media inquiries generally involve either requests for interviews or comments about the firm, our clients and/or related legal proceedings, or requests to interview attorneys as subject matter sources. Each requires a slightly different communication technique.

Media requests regarding Dinsmore

At any given time, the media may be pursuing stories involving Dinsmore. They may be in search of positive firm topics (new hires, pro bono work, community involvement, firm donations), or they may be looking for information regarding sensitive internal matters.

 

If you receive a request from the media seeking comment on a firm matter, politely tell them that you will direct their inquiry immediately to the firm media representative and that they will respond as soon as possible. In addition to their name, number and media outlet, inquire about their deadline. All media requests relating to firm matters should be immediately referred to Jacob Bourne, Media Relations Manager (x4333).

 

Marketing will follow up with the member of the media to determine the nature of their inquiry and the information they seek. Marketing will then work with firm management to determine the appropriate response to the request.

Responding to contact from the media

 

Note:

It is possible that a reporter requesting an interview about a sensitive internal matter or a firm client will try to secure information from anyone who answers the phone. It is important to refrain from making any comments that could be used in their story. Stick to the “script” outlined above: take their information and assure them that they will receive a call back from the appropriate individual(s) in time for their deadline.

Do not engage in conversation or idle chatter.

 

Media requests to interview attorneys as subject matter sources

Having our attorneys quoted as trusted sources in the media on issues, topics and trends relevant to our clients’ business is crucial to maintaining Dinsmore’s positioning in the marketplace. Clients and prospects often rely on research when selecting counsel. A significant source of their research comes from media mentions of our attorneys. Attorneys who are quoted as subject matter sources are viewed as credible authorities on the topics on which they are quoted. The media acts as a third-party “endorser,” which enhances our attorneys’ – and thus the firm’s – reputation. It is extremely important for such interview requests to be handled quickly and efficiently, with the media’s needs in mind. If you receive an inquiry from the media seeking comment on a specific subject matter, issue or topic, attempt to communicate with the Marketing Department prior to responding.

 

Marketing will follow up with the member of the media to obtain more detail regarding the background of the reporter and the publication, the subject of their story, the information they seek, the kinds of questions they want to ask, and previous articles they have written. Additionally, Marketing will determine if any individuals or entities are the target or focus of the story and ensure that no conflict exists. If the subject of the interview is something that would concern a client, or if the reporter is asking about a sensitive client issue or an area that presents a potential conflict, Marketing will work with the responsible attorney to determine if an interview is appropriate. The client should always be apprised and should grant permission prior to any interviews that would be specific to the client or a client’s matter.

 

If Marketing determines no conflict exists, they will work with the attorney who received the media inquiry to schedule an interview, prepare the attorney with relevant background and provide media training as needed.

 

In the event it is impractical for the attorney to communicate with the Marketing Department prior to responding to a request to serve as a subject matter source, the attorney shall limit any response to an area that is within the attorney’s area of practice and shall ensure that any response does not conflict with the interest of a firm client.

If you have any questions about this policy or working with the media, contact Jacob Bourne, Media Relations Manager (x4333).

Media requests regarding a firm client

If the media requests information about a firm client from an attorney, the attorney may respond if the request relates to a client that the attorney is personally representing, the communication is consistent with the attorney’s obligations to the client and the client has provided consent to discuss the relationship or the matter. If the request relates to a firm client for which the attorney is not personally providing legal services, the attorney shall contact the attorney in the firm who is responsible for the client, as well as the Marketing Department.

 

If anyone in the firm is asked a general question about the firm or our history, they may always refer the member of the media to our website as another public source of general information.

 

 

Have you been contacted by a member of the media to provide legal insight as a subject matter source? Has a journalist asked you to comment on a firm or client matter? Are you interested in publishing an article you’ve written?

 

In these or other scenarios involving the media, please adhere to the firm’s media policy. This process helps us avoid conflicts of interest and potentially sensitive/negative matters. You can access the full policy here. If you have questions, contact Jacob Bourne, Media Relations Manager, or call him at (312) 837-4333.

Our media process

Inbound Inquiries

Inbound media inquiries generally involve either requests for interviews about the firm, our clients and/or related legal proceedings, or requests to interview attorneys as subject matter sources. The Marketing Department will be engaged to serve as a clearinghouse to vet inquiries, reporters and outlets to better prepare attorneys to respond to these opportunities. Please follow the approved process and engage the Marketing Department when the media calls.

 

*Media opportunities involving attorneys in the firm’s Chicago, Denver and San Diego offices will also be sent to those Office Managing Partners, who may serve as proxy to grant approval in instances where time is of the essence and time zone differences may affect PG Chair/Department Chairs’ ability to respond immediately.

 

Outbound Opportunities

Outbound media opportunities generally include attorney thought leadership and educational insight documented in the form of an article or legal alert. This material is visible to the public either through selected media outlets, the firm’s website or electronic communications sent to firm mailing lists. The Marketing Department will be engaged to serve  as a clearinghouse to ensure all thought leadership content is reviewed and approved by the appropriate Practice Group and Department Chairs.

 

Please follow the approved process and engage the Marketing Department when a writing opportunity arises.

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Note:

It is possible a reporter requesting an interview about a sensitive internal matter or a firm client will try to secure information from anyone who answers the phone. It is important to refrain from making any comments that could be used in the story. Stick to the “script” outlined above: take information and assure the person he or she will receive a call back from the appropriate individual(s) in time for the deadline.


Do not engage in conversation or idle chatter.

Have you been contacted by a member of the media to provide legal insight as a subject matter source? Has a journalist asked you to comment on a firm or client matter? Are you interested in publishing an article you’ve written?

Media policy

Marketing understands the role media coverage can play in shaping the perception of our firm by current and prospective clients, as well as many other audiences throughout our communities. At the same time, members of the media have a job to do, and their agendas and goals for covering Dinsmore and our clients may not always coincide with the best interests of the firm or those clients. In an effort to minimize the risk of miscommunication, the firm has carefully developed a policy governing how to respond when contacted by the media. Its purpose is to maintain our collective relationships with the media by being as helpful as possible, while ensuring the firm’s messages and positioning are properly communicated.

 

Media inquiries generally involve either requests for interviews or comments about the firm, our clients and/or related legal proceedings, or requests to interview attorneys as subject matter sources. Each requires a slightly different communication technique.

Media requests regarding Dinsmore

At any given time, the media may be pursuing stories involving Dinsmore. They may be in search of positive firm topics (new hires, pro bono work, community involvement, firm donations), or they may be looking for information regarding sensitive internal matters.

 

If you receive a request from the media seeking comment on a firm matter, politely tell them that you will direct their inquiry immediately to the firm media representative and that they will respond as soon as possible. In addition to their name, number and media outlet, inquire about their deadline.

 

All media requests relating to firm matters should be immediately referred to Jenny Davenport, Chief Marketing Officer.

 

Marketing will follow up with the member of the media to determine the nature of their inquiry and the information they seek. Marketing will then work with firm management to determine the appropriate response to the request.

Dinsmore values its relationships with the media

Responding to contact from the media

Note:

It is possible that a reporter requesting an interview about a sensitive internal matter or a firm client will try to secure information from anyone who answers the phone. It is important to refrain from making any comments that could be used in their story. Stick to the “script” outlined above: take their information and assure them that they will receive a call back from the appropriate individual(s) in time for their deadline. Do not engage in conversation or idle chatter.

 

Media requests to interview attorneys as subject matter sources

Having our attorneys quoted as trusted sources in the media on issues, topics and trends relevant to our clients’ business is crucial to maintaining Dinsmore’s positioning in the marketplace. Clients and prospects often rely on research when selecting counsel. A significant source of their research comes from media mentions of our attorneys. Attorneys who are quoted as subject matter sources are viewed as credible authorities on the topics on which they are quoted. The media acts as a third-party “endorser,” which enhances our attorneys’ – and thus the firm’s – reputation. It is extremely important for such interview requests to be handled quickly and efficiently, with the media’s needs in mind.

 

If you receive an inquiry from the media seeking comment on a specific subject matter, issue or topic, attempt to communicate with the Marketing Department prior to responding.

 

Marketing will follow up with the member of the media to obtain more detail regarding the background of the reporter and the publication, the subject of their story, the information they seek, the kinds of questions they want to ask, and previous articles they have written. Additionally, Marketing will determine if any individuals or entities are the target or focus of the story and ensure that no conflict exists. If the subject of the interview is something that would concern a client, or if the reporter is asking about a sensitive client issue or an area that presents a potential conflict, Marketing will work with the responsible attorney to determine if an interview is appropriate.

 

If Marketing determines no conflict exists, they will work with the attorney who received the media inquiry to schedule an interview, prepare the attorney with relevant background and provide media training as needed.

 

In the event it is impractical for the attorney to communicate with the Marketing Department prior to responding to a request to serve as a subject matter source, the attorney shall limit any response to an area that is within the attorney’s area of practice and shall ensure that any response does not conflict with the interest of a firm client.

Inbound Inquiries

Inbound media inquiries generally involve either requests for interviews about the firm, our clients and/or related legal proceedings, or requests to interview attorneys as subject matter sources. The Marketing Department will be engaged to serve as a clearinghouse to vet inquiries, reporters and outlets to better prepare attorneys to respond to these opportunities. Please follow the approved process and engage the Marketing Department.

 

*Media opportunities involving attorneys in the firm’s Chicago, Denver and San Diego offices will also be sent to those Office Managing Partners, who may serve as proxy to grant approval in instances where time is of the essence and time zone differences may affect PG Chair/Department Chairs’ ability to respond immediately.

Our media process

If the media requests information about a firm client from an attorney, the attorney may respond if the request relates to a client the attorney is personally representing and the communication is consistent with the attorney’s obligations to the client. If the request relates to a firm client for which the attorney is not personally providing legal services, the attorney should contact the attorney in the firm who is responsible for the client, as well as the Marketing Department.

 

If anyone in the firm is asked a general question about the firm or our history, he or she may always refer the media to our website as a public source of general information.

Media requests regarding a firm client

Outbound Opportunities

Outbound media opportunities generally include attorney thought leadership and educational insight documented in the form of an article or legal alert. This material is visible to the public either through selected media outlets, the firm’s website or electronic communications sent to firm mailing lists. The Marketing Department will be engaged to serve as a clearinghouse to ensure all thought leadership content is reviewed and approved by the appropriate Practice Group and Department Chairs.

 

Please follow the approved process and engage the Marketing Department when a writing opportunity arises.