food for thought

Thought leadership: five ways to capitalize on your media hits

Credit: Steve Z. Photography

You’ve done the work. You’ve written a news release. You’ve created a targeted list of reporters who write about your industry. You’ve sent the release to each one individually with a personalized note explaining why your story could be of interest to them. You’ve followed up, and lo and behold, you landed a great story in the publication of your dreams.

In the PR world, this is what we call earned media. By sharing your news with reporters, they voluntarily decided to create their own content about your brand without any required payment or quid pro quo. This kind of exposure is gold. Because your news is coming from an unbiased, third-party source, it’s considered the most trusted source of brand recognition.

Now what do you do with that awesome media hit? Here are five effective ways to capitalize on your media hits for maximum brand exposure.

1. Get creative in how you share the news, be it print or online.

You landed a big hit and there’s your company name in glowing terms. You can do much more than simply post a link with a caption. Consider other ways you can repurpose that media story into multiple pieces of content to best leverage earned media. Not everyone consumes content in the same way. Some people may enjoy diving into a long-form story while others prefer small, bite-size snippets. By creating more types of content, you can better address the content preferences of a wide audience and keep the message fresh.

Did the media mention highlight your killer cocktail list? Share a well-composed reel/screen-recording that scrolls through the parts of the article you’re featured in. Maybe you landed a cover story for a targeted print outlet? Create an Instagram story of you sitting in a chair while flipping from the cover page of the magazine to your feature. If it’s a print piece, share a video of you excitedly picking up the issue from a newsstand.

2. Launch a paid social media advertising campaign.

Social media is a powerful tool, but with today’s advertising models, you can only organically reach so many people before it starts to fade. However, strategically placing advertising dollars behind your earned media post goes a long way in giving it the juice it needs to reach a wider audience. Social media advertising is also surprisingly affordable for brands of almost all budget sizes.

These advertising campaigns are especially effective because of how targeted you can get with your audience. Choose the age, geographic location and personal interests of your audience to make sure you capitalize on your media hits to the right people.

3. Encourage your team to share the story.

Not only is this great for boosting morale and motivating them to keep up the great work, but it also gives your employees a chance to share the story with their networks, thereby increasing your earned media reach. Simply send your employees a link to the story and ask them to share it on their social media channels with their own commentary to add an authentic touch. As we discussed above, organic reach on social media is hard, but turning your employees into brand ambassadors is an effective place to start leveraging earned media.

If your brand has social media guidelines for employees, remember to attach or link to those when you share the news. You should also include any relevant hashtags for employees to use to help capitalize on your media hits.

4. Place the earned media hit on your website.

If you don’t have a media kit on your website, now is the time to start. Your media kit should include links to your major earned media mentions, which allows other media and website visitors alike to see your brand as a leader in the field. For the particularly big hits, you might even consider adding the story as a featured spotlight or review section on your homepage.

As you continue to accrue earned media hits from targeted publications, you can also create a web graphic for your sidebar or footer that includes logos of all the prominent publications that have positively mentioned your brand. For new visitors to your website, this gives you an instant boost in credibility.

5. Tag the journalist or influencer who covered your news (and their publication!) on social media, and say thank you for the coverage.

This step is often overlooked, but it’s an important part of the process. PR is all about developing relationships, and part of building that human connection is showing your appreciation. Everyone wants to feel appreciated, and journalists and influencers are no exception.

Plus, engaging with the journalist or influencer on social media can even help further the conversation, and it will keep your brand top of mind for future stories and opportunities. Now, this all may sound great, but what if you’re still struggling to get that first earned media hit? Drop us a line, and we’d be happy to chat about how we can work together to create a media plan that gets your brand the exposure it needs and deserves. 

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