You’ve gotten that big story in an important media outlet. It’s a hard-won accomplishment that took a lot of energy. So now your done, right? Time to move on to the next project.
Not so fast. If all you do is get the story printed, you’re leaving a lot of opportunity on the table. The next, and perhaps most important, step is to make the most of the coverage you’ve received. Here are nine tips on how to get more out of your press coverage.
- Get extra copies: This may sound fundamental, but be sure to get extra copies. 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 or head of the division where the person works.
- Send out an internal email: Get an electronic version of the article and send it to everyone in the department of the person interviewed. Include the management team, other key managers, and employees in your department on the email. Praise the person featured 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 excuses to contact these folks. Write an email and make it available for each of the sales staff to send out to their customers and centers of influence. By distributing the article you are setting up your company and the person featured as an expert on the topic. BMO Private Bank has an external email template that’s used when an executive is published. The story or a link and a summary of the article is then sent to the sales force to distribute to their email contacts.
- 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 these types of articles as well as posting white papers and press releases. 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. Microsoft does this particularly well by retweeting links to articles that profile their products and executives.
- 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 publications 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. All of us are extremely busy, so thank them for making time to participate.
Earning a media story is a great success on its own, but a few simple, additional steps can make that story worth even more. Promote the placement internally and externally through all the communications outlets you have to maximize the benefit of your hard work.
Rhiannon Hendrickson is the founder and CEO of Orapin Marketing + Public Relations, which helps purpose-driven businesses increase awareness and attract clients and partners. She has worked with organizations of all sizes across myriad sectors to develop memorable and effective communications programs that generate awareness, engagement, and, ultimately, support for those that are making a meaningful impact.