Be honest with yourself… You’ve dreamed (at least once in your life) that “if only my product or company could get on the TODAY Show, or Ellen, then we’d be really make it big.”
You need that confidence, plus a good dose of passion and hard work to make that kind of dream a reality. But what you don’t need is that one big media hit.
For my team, it’s more important that our clients win coverage across a variety of media that reach their target audiences over an on-going, consistent period of time. You don’t need one media hit, you need one a week or one a month.
And perhaps even more important than the press coverage itself is how you leverage it after the fact. The day’s news is just that—day’s news. Once your segment airs, it’s over and done. Magazines have the longest shelf life and certainly major online media coverage can live online for eternity, referring traffic to your site. But many times, that big moment in the spotlight can feel over before it even starts.
So, it’s really important to think about how you use your press coverage to extend attention on your brand. You want the right set of eyes seeing that winning article, or watching the informative segment featuring you.
I’ll give you a few examples of how to leverage a media win that has worked well for our clients in the past.
If you’re featured in a major magazine or newspaper, contact the publisher and make a bulk order. If you’re nice enough, you might even get the magazines for free. What will they do with 100 extra copies of an outdated issue anyway? Bookmark the page with a personalized note and maybe a quick sales sheet and snail mail it to key accounts, distributors and/or retailers. Let them know that as a manufacturer, you’re holding up your end of the deal by increasing consumer demand. It’s also a great excuse to be in front of those key individuals.
It’s never a good idea to promote a future live TV appearance, for example in an e-blast or on social media. TV can be unpredictable and it’s not certain if you’ll get cut at the last minute due to breaking news. That said, once your segment airs, take to Twitter. That’s usually the first place viewers go to talk about what they’re watching. Respond to everyone and direct them to the appropriate page on your site to buy.
Any online hit should be shared, shared, shared. Design an e-blast for customers around the article, craft social media messages to promote the coverage on your own platforms and work with the media outlet itself (and even complimentary outlets on social media) to see if they’re willing to share on their end as well.
Major attention at a national level would give your local media a timely reason to cover your story and news peg. Start with your biggest local media outlet and see if they bite on your pitch.
Capture Your Coverage
Whether it’s gathering clips for an upcoming presentation or snapshots of the media logos where you’ve been featured, the ongoing accumulation of your media wins can provide a shining example of how your brand is being received by the public. This can help you leverage your success and attractiveness to other buyers and top-level media. It’s also smart to have an ongoing record of coverage earned so you can quickly identify and diversify additional outlets to pursue.
A regular PR program will assist in building general awareness of your product or brand. The visibility from such a campaign can make your company look more established and larger than it is, something that can assist you in securing funding and customers as well as partnerships. Best of luck pitching, earning and leveraging that valuable media coverage.