Top nine ways to make the most of your press coverage
What every business should know to max its media exposure
Earning press coverage is a hard-won accomplishment that often requires a lot of time and energy. Both startups and well-established business seek press coverage for their products and services, and a feature story in a well-respected publication can be much more effective in generating sales than traditional forms of advertising. Unfortunately, even if a newspaper has high circulation numbers or a TV station has impressive viewership numbers, that doesn’t necessarily mean that many people actually read or saw the story when it was printed or aired.
So how do you leverage that exposure for your business and make sure as many people as possible see your story? Read on for nine tips on how to get more mileage out of your press coverage.
- Get extra copies: This may sound like a no-brainer, but be sure to get extra copies if the article is in print. Sometimes reporters or editors will send you copies if you ask. If not, buy a few extra; it’s worth the cost. Give a copy to the person featured in the article and give a copy to that person’s boss along with a note about how great a job the person did. Send a copy to the president of the company or head of the division where the person works. There’s something special about seeing your name in print.
- Send out an internal email: Get an electronic version of the article and send it to everyone in the department of the person interviewed (or to everyone in the company, if appropriate). Praise the person who was interviewed and explain how important the publication is to the target market. You’ll raise awareness of media relations, demonstrate to others how valuable it is to invest time with the media, and get a little positive attention for you and your department.
- Send out an external email: Most sales groups have client email lists and love to have a reason to contact these folks. Being featured in the media helps to build credibility and critical third party endorsements for your brand. Write an email and make it available for each of the sales staff to send out to their customers and people in their network. By distributing the article you are setting up your company and the person featured as an expert and leader in your industry.
- Post a link on your website: If you don’t have a news page on your website, you need to set one up. This is a great place to post links to press coverage you’ve garnered, as well as a place to post white papers, press releases and other media resources like images and media contacts. This makes your information accessible to not only media but other people (such as potential clients) who want to know more about your company.
- Repost on social media: Post a link to the story on your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites and include appropriate hashtags. Not only are you showcasing the story to your followers, but many reporters and editors look to social media for story ideas, and a post or tweet could pave the way for additional placements. Don’t forget to tag the media outlet and reporter with a note of thanks for the story.
- Check into reprints: Many publications offer reprints of articles. These make great handouts at trade shows, company events or during sales calls and they are usually printed on nice quality paper with the publication’s masthead to give it validity. There is, however, a cost associated with doing this, so ask for pricing.
- Start a book of clips: Start saving this clip and others and compile them into an annual or semi-annual book that is distributed to internal decision makers. While we do much electronically, consider doing this in hard copy and hand deliver if possible. Include a report or letter at the front summarizing all the successes for the time period covered.
- Keep in contact with the report or editor: If a publication has shown interest in you in this instance, keep in touch. Offer experts on relevant topics or send them story ideas. They liked your idea once, so they are likely to be open to ideas later.
- Debrief with the person featured: Follow up with the person or persons featured. Ask them how it went from their perspective to learn more about what they expect. Offer any suggestions for improving interview techniques in the future. We are all extremely busy, so thank them for making time to participate.
Earning a feature story is a great success on its own, but a few simple, additional steps can make that story worth even more. Promoting the placement internally and externally through your communications channels will help to maximize the benefit of your hard work and ensure that even more people see it and learn more about your company.