7 Tactics to Help You Make the Most of Every Media Placement
So you’ve wowed a journalist with a couple of quotable quotes or published a provocative contributed article.
Awareness and credibility, here we come! Right?
Not quite. Publication is just the beginning. The bulk of the impact to your brand comes from how you promote the publication.
Media coverage serves as a bellwether for what matters in your space: if a reporter or editor cares, that means their readers do – and so will someone in your network.
Done right, promotion extends the lifespan of your media wins, better connects PR to the rest of your marketing activities, and attracts the attention of prospective customers, employees, and investors.
Here are seven ways to leverage media placements to grow brand awareness and win customer trust.
1. Update Your Press Page
Always keep your website’s “press” (or “news” or “media”) page up to date.
It’s one of the first places customers, prospects, and potential employees will look for confirmation that you do, in fact, know your stuff. (See Figure 1 for a great example of a press page.)
On your press page, include…
The publication’s logo. This instantly conveys authority and trustworthiness in your brand. If the New York Times deemed you worthy of including in a piece, odds are your top prospect will feel the same way!
A short description of the article, key quotes from your thought leader, or a compelling passage that leaves the reader wanting more. To write this, reframe your favorite part of the article or resurrect a talking point that didn’t make the final draft (provided it’s still relevant).
A link to the original article (usually via a “read more” button). It’s okay to paste the first paragraph on your press page, but journalists will feel rightfully miffed if you reproduce their work in full. The “read more” link ensures your page views become their page views.
Figure 1: NanoGraf, an advanced battery material company, keeps a mean press page.
2. Promote the Win Across Your Website
Don’t restrict PR placements to the press page alone – look for other ways to incorporate them across your website. This helps get them in front of more visitors and builds credibility as those visitors explore other parts of your site.
Logos on the home page. Just as you might feature a carousel of high-profile client logos on your home page, put together an “as seen in” visual with publication logos for an instant credibility-booster.
Suggested reading on blog posts. Quality blog posts always leave the reader wanting more. By linking related media placements within blogs, you give readers easy access to third-party (read: more trustworthy) perspectives.
Landing page content. Award badges or media logos near a call-to-action button can increase click-through rates. Test what performs best in various contexts.
3. Boost on Social Media
Social media promotion is split into two main categories:
Company (branded accounts for your company itself)
Personal (your executives’ personal profiles)
Company social profiles are extensions of your press page. If you’re crunched for time, try repurposing the short description as social copy (but don’t forget to add a link and tag the relevant thought leader).
Posts from actual people (not from the company account) add a personal touch to your PR coverage and help executives showcase their insight to their wider networks. To keep them authentic, ensure posts are in leaders’ unique voices and invite readers to check out the article in full. That drives traffic to media sites (which editors and reporters appreciate).
Social content also starts conversations between thought leaders and their networks. That goes a long way toward generating awareness and increasing credibility, and it can lead to a direct impact on sales and recruiting.
And remember images, which boost visibility, regardless of platform. If you have the capacity, look to combine executive headshots, publication or company logos, or compelling quotes in an image (or GIF!) (see Figure 2).
Figure 2: Sagent, a mortgage servicing SaaS company, develops custom GIFs that highlight key quotes in media placements and award wins.
4. Tell Employees on Internal Comms Channels
Promote PR wins across internal communications channels to keep employees in the loop and empower them to spread the word on their own (this can also be a great morale booster, which improves retention of top talent).
The “how” doesn't matter, as long as it works for your organization. Maybe it’s a note in a Slack channel for PR wins, a shout-out at the beginning of an all-hands meeting, or a special section of the monthly newsletter.
And include a call-to-action when sharing with the team. Do you want them to read and respond? Engage with a “like”? Share with a post of their own? If so, include suggested language they can reuse or repurpose to make the process as simple as possible.
By promoting PR wins internally, you’ll keep the entire team abreast of external recognition and invite everyone to take part in the PR party – not just executives or thought leaders.
5. Fuel Your Sales Team
Both fresh placements and older placements boost company credibility and advance your sales pipeline.
For example, a placement can help freshen up a stale conversation with a prospect (“I know you said you were struggling with X – I thought you might want to read our take on the issue, which just ran in [publication]”). There's nothing like a bylined article on a specific pain point to show you know your stuff.
The easiest way to get salespeople’s buy in? Make sure they have a say in what you’re pitching in the first place.
For example, ask them this: “If there was one thing you could share with a room of 100 prospects, what would it be?” If their prospects care about it, there's a good chance a reporter or editor covering that space will, too.
Finally, ensure your sales team has access to all PR placements (both as they happen and through a full depository – like a Slack channel or press page).
6. Use Placements as an Excuse to Strengthen Existing Relationships
While blasting your placement to your personal social media is an efficient way to get the word out, a few one-on-one notes can also go a long way toward building important relationships.
For example, after announcing a new tech integration, use any ensuing coverage as an excuse to reach out to key executives at your partnering firm. Even if they've already seen it, the conversation can build rapport and enthusiasm for the partnership.
You can also use coverage to affirm progress with key leaders or managers: “Thanks to your efforts, we hit this milestone – and the industry is taking notice. Couldn’t have done it without you all.”
Or, during a coffee meeting with someone you’re recruiting, you can use the subject of an article as a jumping-off point (“I was just speaking with a National Mortgage News reporter last week on this, and they were surprised to hear that…”).
7. Bolster Awards and Speaking Nominations
A strong run of media placements can build credibility among conference organizers and award committee members when included in a speaker submission or award nomination.
Here’s how to weave them in:
Warm intro: Use the placement as an excuse to send a “warm intro” to a conference organizer or awards stakeholder. This helps show authority on a particular topic and proves your message has traction.
Include the placement as part of your submission form: It could be the eye-catching spark that pushes your submission over the edge.
Media placements are validating. They show awards committees, trade groups, and conference organizers that you know your stuff.
These folks don’t want to be the test lab for your next hot take. By showing your ideas are well-formed, interesting, and applicable to others in your space, you make their job much easier.
Extend the Lifespan of Your Media Wins
Placement promotion is probably the last thing on your mind, especially if you’re a founder running your own PR program. But it’s important! The more widely you share your wins, the more people hear about your startup and the great work you’re doing.
By adding a few of these tactics to your playbook, you’ll extend the lifespan of your hard-earned media coverage and keep your company in front of the folks who need to hear about it.