It is one of the easiest ways to amplify and validate a brand’s value propositions.
WHAT’S THE DEAL?: Media coverage increases brand awareness and thought leadership development. It is a critical third-party endorsement of your products and services. It’s often seen as a reliable, trustworthy, external source validating your brand.
Here are three top strategies for media relations and gaining coverage:
- Know the media who covers your space – locally, nationally or both. Take time to understand them and any outlets they represent. Build relationships with these professionals and share relevant information. It’s likely that they need content, or will need content at some point, so nurture your relationships and share what you have.
- Have an opinion, articulate it and share it. It’s how you differentiate yourself from others. Successful business leaders clearly have opinions on the dynamics and happenings in an industry, so don’t be afraid to exercise your voice.
- Leverage within your network – Tap customer, supplier and vendor insights and create space for them to share their advice with you or media partners.
NOW WHAT?: You’ve earned media placements and coverage, and now it’s time to use it to expand your brand:
- Link it. Or more accurately, get linked. This is a great way to fortify a brand’s digital footprint. Media coverage is a digital stake in the ground that shows you exist. Having hyperlinks to your website or social profiles will enhance your searchability and SEO, drive traffic back to you and have algorithmic benefits. While you can’t always control whether the coverage includes links, it’s important to build the relationships and ask. Sometimes there are affiliate marketing services in play, so be aware and get educated on what is required to play in that space.
- Pitch it. Share your news with other sources. Identify those outside of your direct industry or trade (i.e., don’t pitch to a direct competitor of the news source) and use the news you’ve generated to create credibility and interest. This could be in another vertical market or even something more mainstream. Working with industrial clients, there’s often a specific niche or market we’re pitching to and then leveraging to get other coverage. When our clients get coverage in an über-specific magazine, we then pitch it to more general publications. Leverage your coverage to generate more coverage.
- Share it. One of the best ways to leverage your coverage is to share it on social media. Make it easy for stakeholders to find your coverage and interact with it. Post the content to your social channels and encourage the client to do the same on their personal pages. The more they engage with the posts, the more potential it will have to be seen. Your news source will also appreciate this, as you’re ultimately driving views back to their website.
- “Own” it. While you can’t literally own the coverage, you can claim and showcase it. Post it on your website and press room, link to it in newsletters, include it in corporate presentations. You’re increasing the chances of other people viewing it this way. Not all stakeholders will see the coverage in the news or follow you on social media, but the more you repurpose and utilize the content, the more people might lay eyes on it and learn more about your brand. I believe that including it in direct marketing is a fantastic way to grow your business. Send email updates to your customers, potential customers or stakeholders and share your coverage.
- Celebrate it. Using your coverage internally is a great way to motivate your team – either as an agency or as the client. Getting media coverage is sometimes an uphill battle, so celebrate the wins. Print, frame and post it in the office to showcase the outcome. You can also use this to reward success. Sometimes people need an extra push, so give them a goal to work towards. That can be a physical or financial award, or it can be one of pride and honor around the office.
MIGHTY RESULTS: How a business should leverage media relations depends on the company and their goals. Public relations professionals must learn their clients’ operations deeply to better communicate their ambitions. Media coverage can help newer businesses open doors or help more established businesses solidify their position in the market – it all depends on the objectives, strategy and execution.
Paul Oakley is an invaluable advisor for organizations seeking to engage key stakeholders who matter most. For nearly 25 years, he managed PR, public affairs, sustainability, corporate and marketing communications programs for a range of domestic, international and global brands. Oakley honed his skills working with nonprofits, start-ups, mid-cap companies and Fortune 50 leaders. Oakley earned his reputation delivering award-winning results and building high-performance agency and in-house communications teams worldwide. He lived and worked in the United States, Europe and South America, and worked extensively in Asia.