How to make your media coverage work harder for you by Victoria Ash of RCR

At RCR we often meet businesses that invest considerable time and cash in generating coverage in the national or trade media.  They get news stories published; they’re quoted or interviewed as industry experts; and they write opinion pieces on topical issues.  We love these kind of companies – they are out there building their reputations and getting noticed, and harnessing the ‘third party endorsement’ of being associated with reputable publications or broadcast media.

But we get frustrated when these companies don’t make that media coverage really work for them.

The reality is that generating the article, TV or radio appearance should only be the starting point for an integrated marketing strategy.  Yes, your contribution will be read by a percentage of the publication’s readers (or viewed/heard by a cross-section of the TV or radio station’s audience) but how else can you use your media coverage to maximum marketing advantage?

Here are some simple suggestions for how you can bring your PR to the attention of a wider audience to whom it might be relevant and interesting, and use it generate profile, reputation and leads.

1. Press cuttings book

Make sure a good copy is in a high quality folder that can be read by anyone coming to your office.  And consider framing really great pieces for the walls of the reception or meeting rooms – or the loo!

2. Marketing materials
If you’re sending out packs of information to prospects, consider including good copies of some of your most relevant/recent coverage.  You can also send DVDs of TV coverage if it’s good enough but this is quite costly – it’s better to direct people to view it online (see 3 below).

3. Web site ‘Media Coverage’ section
Create a section on your website where visitors can read/view your coverage in the media.  This can be presented as

a.      a link to a pdf copy of the article

b.      a link to the publication’s website if the article is available online

c.      a link to video of TV appearances (you can also post these on YouTube)

In this way, visitors to the site will get a great impression of your credibility and reputation.

The secondary advantage of regularly updating the content on your website in this way is that it will make the website ‘stand out’ more to the search engines, such as Google.

4. Encourage your clients and contacts to read or view
Some of them may possibly read the original in the publication, or watch the broadcasts live, but you can ensure a much bigger readership with tactics such as:

a. Emailing individual contacts with a personalised message, such as: “in case you missed it, we thought you might be interested to see a copy of this article by our colleague John Smith – we feel that some of the points he raises are relevant to your business.”
Rather than send an attachment which can get filtered out by spam filters, include a link to the article on the website.  This has the added bonus that the recipient may then visit other pages on the website while they are there, and learn more about you.

b. Putting a link to recent articles at the bottom of everyone’s email as part of the standard signature. Change this regularly to keep it fresh.

5. Use the coverage as content for your e-newsletter
If you have an e-newsletter (or a print version) you can either reproduce the article in full or, better still, summarise it in a short paragraph and then include a link to it as in 4a above.  Again, you’ll be driving traffic to your website as well as getting a wider readership for the article itself.

6. Increase readership through social media
If you use Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn as part of your marketing strategy this is great content to include in your social media activity, giving you something new to say, and getting more people to read your article.  Flag up the article’s contents and who should read it, and then include a link to your website or the publication.

For more on this article contact vash@rcrpartnership.com