Marie Rourke, originally published for SmarterMSP
Before the Internet, blogging, and social media, businesses relied heavily on advertising and public relations to build brand awareness. The joke among marketing leaders to clients was, “You either pray for space or pay for space—or both.”
Fast forward from Mad Men to 2018, and advertising still plays an important role in the marketing mix and social media’s relevance is undeniable. Yet for many, it’s the “earned” media placements secured by PR that businesses covet the most. Why? Because it’s not perceived as pay for play.
A feature article or mention of your company in a newspaper or magazine can provide external validation for the products, solutions, and/or services you provide. Furthermore, these earned media placements tend to boost company rankings in popular search engines, such as Google, and Yahoo!, as they carry more weight than paid or placed media, including press releases and company blogs. And last, but not least, when placed properly, these articles and placements are read and seen by customers and prospects, which results in increased relevance and could lead to more business or new relationships.
So, how do you go about engaging the press and getting your name and the company brand out there? My first recommendation, hire an expert. If you can’t afford one now, make it a priority for next year. Whether it’s an in-house hire, an outsourced firm, or a freelancer, the investment should be easy to measure. In the meantime, if you’re going to go DIY, here are a few tips:
Two final considerations, or best practices, before you talk to the press:
Avoid the pass, anticipate the ask, and have a closing statement ready that reiterates what you want to communicate to the readers. Once you’re done, be done. Resist the urge to talk more, and simply say thank you to the reporter and let them know you’ll be on the lookout for the coverage.