What you do with a mention in the media is every bit as important as getting it in the first place.
Several studies suggest businesses plan to invest in public relations in 2018. Specifically, media relations, or earned media, is poised for new prominence. Even the advertisers are aiming for a bigger investment in PR.
If you are going to invest, then you want to get the most out of it. To that end, what you do with a mention earned in the media is every bit as important as getting it in the first place.
Here are some things you or your PR team should consider doing to extend your investment in PR.
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1) Share the news internally
In the fray that is the day in the life of marketing, we sometimes forget to share with the very people in the trenches with us. If you earn a mention, be sure to share it.
Maybe that means an email to the executive team, the sales team, or publishing a link to an internal site like Yammer or Slack. Whatever you do, get the word out to your base and encourage your teammates to share as well.
In my tenure on the in-house side, I’d create a simple monthly email summary of all the PR results and send it out once a month. Your own team does not see everything PR is doing — especially in larger companies — so it’s important to have a process in place for systematically sharing news.
2) Post it to the online newsroom
“As seen on TV.” Those four little words get to the heart of PR: 3rd party validation. It’s an essential part of persuasion and there’s no better place to showcase this than an online newsroom.
It might seem passé amid the shiny object syndrome that is digital media, but you’re missing a foundational element of a PR program if you don’t have an easy-to-find and neatly organized list of links where you’ve earned media.
This is important for continuing media relations efforts, especially for startups: reporters watch what other reporters produce.
3) Weave it into blog posts
If you did a media interview in the process of earning the mention, chances are the reporter didn’t include everything you said in the story. This is easy fodder to write a blog post on the same topic from a different angle and yet also weave in the story you worked so hard to earn.
The process adds value along the way and resurfaces the news in a helpful way. Every time you blog about the topic or a related one, you should evaluate whether a reference to that story makes sense. It probably does.
If you wrote a contributed article that was placed, consider republishing it on your blog later. I suggest writing different headlines and freshening up the copy with new data where applicable. You should also check the contributed guidelines from the publication that first published the article as often they require content to be exclusive for several days or weeks.
4) Share the content on social media (organic)
This seems like a no-brainer but some businesses don’t do it. In these cases, social media is usually an additional duty for one lonely marketer that is already overworked.
So, you work really hard to get this media mention and then don’t tell anyone about it. That movie got it wrong: they do not come just because you built it. If you don’t share it, why would you expect anyone else to?
Don’t just dump a link across a bunch of platforms with a sharing tool either. Instead, make a habit of carving out 30 minutes of time to compose a thoughtful status update in the native platform. Here’s an example:
- Use the headline for Twitter; include relevant hashtags;
- Cite interesting statistic for LinkedIn;
- Pull an insightful quote for Facebook;
- Post the image to Pinterest; ensure the description makes sense.
There are a lot of other sites worth sharing to as well, but it’s up to you to figure out which sites work for your brand.
The point is, with a little bit of effort, you can give people a reason to care that you are sharing this particular piece of content. If you are going to share it on social, make it worth your while by making it worth your audience’s while.
5) Pay to promote it on social media (paid)
Sponsored content and boosted posts are an easy way to facilitate reach and views of a media mention. You don’t have to spend a lot of money; a $100 behind a well-targeted ad has the potential to provide outsized performance.
Social media targeting allows you to put your news in front of people that would be harder or costlier to reach otherwise. For example, you can target readers of a trade publication, an association in your industry, or even fans of competitors by checking the right boxes at set up.
Generally, you should pay to promote content only after the organic distribution has run its course. You also need to monitor the activity to ensure the right people are seeing it – and respond to any comments. That’s an important consideration: people can and do comment on ads and it’s not always positive.
6) Pitch the story to an industry newsletter
Almost every industry or vertical market has a newsletter that rounds up news on a daily or weekly basis. These newsletters are looking for relevant content to share and it’s an opportunity to pitch yours for a little extra visibility.
Sometimes these are developed and published by independent media companies, trade groups or associations. If such a newsletter doesn’t exist in your niche (and you’ve done the due diligence) then there may be a sizable content marketing opportunity for you to do it.
Research by Salesforce shows businesses spend upwards of $150 to obtain a single email address from a prospective customer. If you have a truly useful industry newsletter, they just might give you that email address for free.
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7) Share with industry forums and peer groups
LinkedIn groups or industry discussion boards for marketers ought to be obvious possibilities to share news that’s fitting. Fitting is the operative word.
If you just show up and dump links, you’ll probably be ignored, or even removed from the group. You have a better chance of seeing results from sharing in groups in which you are an active contributor. In other words, you have to make some deposits into a bank account before you try to make a withdrawal.
This brings up an important point: if you are an active member of a mastermind group, closed networking group, or other (real world) business networking group, this could be a good place to make a contribution. People are more likely to be interested in news from a familiar or friendly face, and these sorts of groups are designed to help each other.
8) Lead nurturing and touch point
In B2B organizations, I’ve learned the sales people love an excuse to contact a customer without asking for something explicitly in return. A good news story about how you solve a problem is like gold for them. The better ones will write their own email, but if your marketing shop is charged with writing emails for the sales team, try writing one about your mention.
You can take this to the next level, by including the email as part of lead nurturing in marketing automation. Imagine the organization that sends you a helpful third-party article after a registration, rather than a pitch to sign up for a demo.
9) The de-clutter of reprints and direct mail
It takes a little longer and cost a little more to order reprints and mail them out to targets in your account based marketing (ABM) program. That’s why few do it and exactly why you should consider it. Being different is a big part of what good marketing demonstrates.
10) Bring your story to your next tradeshow
If conferences, tradeshows and events are a big part of your marketing effort, a print version of your story is worth bringing. In my observation, people still want something tangible – a brochure, a paper, a report – to hold in their hand and put into their conference bag.
Don’t believe me? Try it. Don’t put anything out at you next tradeshow and count how many times people ask for a brochure.
You can make your own hand out (but check the publication copyright rules) or make use of those extra glossy reprints.
If your shop really has its act together, you’ll send a note to the people whose badges you scanned with a link to the story within 24 hours. Research by Chief Marketer shows it takes more than 70% of B2B organizations four days to follow up after a conference.
11) Cite the story in new business presentations
There are many ways to include a good article in business or sales presentation. This could be a statistic in the story that helps make the case for your solution, a quote that helps differentiate your business or perhaps it’s part of a validation slide at the end. If the story helps enable interest or sales, then it’s worth considering how else it might be used.
12) Go earn another story
In the course of running through this process, new questions or ideas are bound to emerge. For a diligent PR professional, this could be the makings of a new story idea.
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If what you do with a media mention is important as the placement itself, then you begin to see why PR is an approach, and not a series of tasks to be done every day.
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