In recent years, the dominance of earned media on digital platforms and social media has exponentially raised the importance and profile of the public relations industry. PR is now a major component of the integrated marketing mix, and PR firms have rapidly grown in size, scope, complexity and specialization. Our attorneys have played a seminal role in the industry’s evolution and growth.
Our multidisciplinary practice addresses our clients’ legal and business needs in three interrelated areas.
Client Contracts and Marketing Law Compliance
We are highly attuned to the day-to-day needs of the work that PR firms perform for their clients. As media and publisher platforms continue to evolve daily, clients count on us to take into account this shifting landscape when negotiating and drafting their client contracts, media agreements, influencer agreements and music agreements. We also review and advise on the promotions and campaigns that PR firms undertake for their clients to ensure compliance with the latest guidance from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as well as with copyright, trademark, privacy and other laws.
We understand the business value of attracting and maintaining talent, the largest line item in a PR firm’s operations budget. We advise clients on the full range of best employment law practices, including onboarding new employees, wage and hour issues, restrictive covenant issues, and how to best retain and incentivize talent at every level in the firm.
We work with clients to ensure that their corporate structure provides maximum flexibility and tax efficiency. We also work to ensure that the operating and shareholder agreements meet the needs of the owners as those needs evolve over time. Clients also turn to us for strategic matters — alliances, joint ventures, financing arrangements, succession planning, next-phase and exit strategies — either as part of an internal sale or a third-party merger or acquisition.
Our capabilities in all three of these areas are many and varied, including comprehensive coverage of the following issues:
- M&A Opportunities in a Dynamic Sector: In a lively mergers and acquisitions market, we arrange and execute carefully calibrated transactions involving PR firms and related marketing-oriented companies. Our long history in the marketing ecosystem gives us keen insight into the granular workings of this dynamic sector. Having represented every type of buyer, seller and investor, we can take a 360-degree approach to our client’s growth and stature in the marketplace. We conduct deep dives into our clients’ businesses, identifying ways to enhance the value of their firms, often with eventual sale in mind. Learn more >
- Incentive Compensation Programs to Accelerate Growth: The crafting of executive compensation programs is crucial to managing a PR firm’s most important asset — talents of its people. We structure these programs in ways that align the interests of the firm’s executives with those of its owners, giving all key personnel a stake in the firm’s ongoing success. Learn more >
- Adjusting to a Hybrid Workforce: The long-lasting result of the COVID pandemic has been a sustained shift toward a hybrid work model where employees continue to work remotely several days a week. We regularly advise clients on hiring and retention efforts as well as the impact of various federal and state laws in a hybrid environment. Learn more >
- Empowering a Diversified Workforce: In the face of their clients’ insistent demands for diversified teams working on their businesses, PR firms turn to us to develop and enhance their efforts to hire, nurture and promote diverse talent. With an eye toward maximizing employee retention, we train firm management in the fostering of a respectful and inclusive workplace. We also advise on best practices for ensuring pay equity and providing equitable opportunities for advancement at all levels of the organization. Learn more >
- Oversight of Influencer Marketing: The widespread use of influencers on social media and experiential platforms (such as gaming and the Metaverse) raises a number of compliance issues. We advise PR firms on adherence to the ever changing and most up to date FTC disclosure practices for engaging both influencers and the vendors that provide influencer content. More generally, we help firms to navigate the complex rules governing social media marketing, and to institute best practices for policies and procedures in this legally fraught area.
- Data Collection and Privacy Laws on the Rise: The collection of personal data — email addresses, persistent identifiers, social media information, to name a few — is subject to a rapidly growing patchwork of state, federal and international privacy laws that require additional disclosures and new consumer rights. As these laws frequently relate to marketing activities conducted by PR firms acting on behalf of their clients, we advise clients on their data collection practices and strict compliance with all applicable laws, and creation of internal compliance procedures, both in the context of the firm’s client contracts as well as the firms’ ongoing policies and practices.