The most important aspect to remember about any court reporting firm marketing idea is that you have two separate audiences: 1) the court system and government entities and, 2) private attorneys. This is important because the two audiences require different marketing approaches and tactics.
Most court systems and government entities rarely hire reporters as employees. If a government agency or court system does not hire them directly, they require a firm to sign a contract. Essentially, therefore, acquiring a courthouse or government agency as a client for your firm requires that you obtain a government contract. This requires extensive, complicated negotiations.
Private lawyers and law firms, on the other hand, regularly hire court reporters for both in and out-of-court proceedings. Because of the frequency with which they hire reporters and the ease of contacting these firms, they should be your main target audience.
Volunteer at Legal Aid Events
Most large cities have a legal aid office which provides legal services, including court representation, to low-income individuals. These agencies host fundraisers and other events to acquire the grants and donations they need to continue operating. Other lawyers comprise the majority of the guest list for these events.
Offering to volunteer at a legal aid event puts you directly in the path of dozens, if not hundreds, of local attorneys. You can volunteer by providing the money to pay for the food at the event, staffing the event or handing out gift bags at the end of the night. Another option is for you to provide two to three hours of your reporting services as an auction item.
Deliver Information Packets to Mediation Firms
Mediation is the process in which disputing parties try to settle their disagreement outside of court. If it fails, the parties usually go to trial. Mail local mediation firms packets of information about your firm's experience, education and hourly rates. Although mediation itself is private, meaning no court reporters are allowed, a mediator may be willing to hand your information to parties or their lawyers who are unable to reach an agreement.
Join the Bar Association
Although you can't join your local or state bar association as a lawyer, you can join them in outings and other events. Contact your local association to see how you can host an event or participate in their big yearly gathering. You can encounter dozens of lawyers at a single event.
Volunteer at Mock Trial Competitions
Many law schools enter their students into mock trial competitions. Sometimes, the young lawyers division of the local bar association provides high school students with the same opportunity. These "mock trials" follow the same pattern as a real trial and serve to hone student's argumentative skills. Local judges or lawyers often preside.
You can find local mock trial competitions by contacting a nearby law school or the young lawyers division of the bar association. Offer your services for their competition. Remember, even though these students are not yet lawyers, they will be someday. It is quite likely they will remember the reporter they met at their mock trial competition. At the very least, you'll meet the attorneys and judges also volunteering for the event.
Hold a Typing Competition
This marketing idea is easily integrated with another tactic. Offer to host a competition to see who can type the fastest: you, another reporter in your firm or an event attendee. You'll likely need to provide a traditional keyboard for the game, but doing so will attract more participants, meaning your firm's name is seen by more potential clients. This is a great event to add to a bar association or other legal get-together.
Planning Your Marketing Method
Be creative with your marketing idea, but try to incorporate it into an event which a lawyer or firm will already attend. Lawyers tend to be busy and adding your firm's name to an event instead of trying to get on an attorney's schedule makes it more likely you will catch their attention.