Over the past three weeks, we have explored different aspects of publicity. First, we talked about the difference between advertising and publicity, where we identified publicity as “earned media,” also known as “editorial content.” This means that instead of paying for space for an ad, you offer a reporter or editor convincing data that your story is worth telling in news channels.
Then we talked about seven ways to identify newsworthy stories in your organization, and subsequently how to work with a reporter for a successful story.
In this final installment of the series, we will assume that you absolutely love the way the story turned out and will provide tips on how to leverage your media exposure.
So your dreams have come true. You have been featured in the Wall Street Journal. Or maybe it was just the Podunk Times…not your dream, but none too shabby either.
Because the secret is that it doesn’t matter as much where you were featured as what you do with the coverage after it runs.
Maybe there was a feature on one of your employees, your product or your service. Or, maybe you offered a “contributing article,” providing a first person testimonial — business problem/solution piece – that many business and trade publications seek.
These pieces have a shelf life far beyond their actual publication and can be repurposed for a variety of marketing endeavors.
Sure, some outlets obviously have more cache, but in my experience, clients and prospects are pretty impressed to see you featured in any publication.
But the question is…did they see it? After all, not everyone reads every page, every issue of newspapers and magazines. So even though you were possibly featured prominently, that’s only half the job. The second half is to merchandise it effectively.
1) Use the Article in Social Media
That very day, find the link from the news outlet’s website for use on all your social media channels. Encourage your employees to use the link as well, whether by retweeting what you send out, or sending it out personally so their own contacts can see it.
Twitter: Plug the link into bit.ly to shorten it for easy tweeting. Bit.ly is a cool little website that not only removes much of the web address gobbledygook — ideal to make it both palatable on Twitter as well as handy for retweeting — but also allows you to track how many times it has been viewed. Make sure your Twitter message includes more than just the link; add something like “Our founder interviewed in Jewelry-rama!” and then the link.
Facebook: You can post the whole link on Facebook because it will post a thumbnail of the headline along with a photo.
LinkedIn: Also will post the article and thumbnail if you post it on your profile. Another handy tip is to post it in groups to which you belong.
2) Create an “In the News” Page on Your Website
Your website probably has an “About Us” type page, which includes pages that allow users to browse your press releases as well as coverage you have earned.
Organize them chronologically and provide a link or PDF for the article. Another great idea is to gather the logos of all of the places where you have been featured and do a montage…even on your home page…with a banner that says “As Featured On…” You can set it up so that when they click on a logo, it takes them either directly to the article on that outlet’s site or a PDF of it on your own.
3) Use Reprints of Excellent Articles in Your Marketing Materials
Use the publication’s masthead at the top of the article for a professional-looking piece, and then distribute the piece in a wide variety of channels to get in front of your clients and prospects.
- Use it as a direct mailer to customers/prospects.
- Include it in sales presentations both internally and externally.
- Distribute it at trade shows.
- Include it in your press kit.
- Hang it in your office or store.
- Enlarge and mount it to use as a background for presentations.
- Use it as background material for local or trade reporters.
“Earned” media is valuable because of the “third-party credibility” offered by being included in a news source. Make sure that you do everything you can to capitalize on the coverage…both that day and on an ongoing basis.
Has your company done something creative with coverage it earned? Let us know in the comments section below!
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Series on Working with the Media
- Part 1: Top Story? Or First Commercial Break? How Advertising and PR Differ
- Part 2: 7 Ways to Identify Newsworthy Stories in your Organization
- Part 3: Telling Your Story: Tips for Working with the Media
- Part 4: How to Leverage Your Media Exposure: Making the Most of Your 15 Minutes of Fame
by Cathie Ericson