By Catherine Berce
Great news! A well-known magazine published an article about your company giving you major street cred in your area of business and making you the envy of all your colleagues. Take a moment to bask in your success. Okay, so that’s the end of the story–you get some good PR coverage in an industry magazine and that’s all until the next interview, case study or feature article appears, right? Or is it?
In public relations, one key thing to remember is that getting media coverage is just the beginning. Getting an article placed or a press release covered with a respected publication can lead to more opportunities when you use social media and well-timed follow-up to your advantage.
Use Hashtags to Increase Your Profile
A link to your article or other editorial content can be fed through your company’s social media channels to spark general interest and to position yourself as a thought-leader within your industry. Using hashtags and mentions on social media can help with positioning. For example, if you’re an expert on healthcare devices and your article is about how hospitals can reduce capital expenditures, tag your post with the link to your article with #healthcare, #budgeting and #ROI and @mention the media outlet in your post. Your post and the link to your article will come up in the search results for anyone who searches a social media platform with those hashtags and the @mention can spur the publication to retweet your post.
Include Links on Social Media
Social media interactions can lead to more visits to your article’s URL. A high click rate for your article is something that publishers love to see because it means more visits to their website. The number of visits to a certain URL is one of several factors that can be used to gauge an article’s success. If your social media post drives readers to a URL, chances are good that the publisher will want to work with you again in the future. Featuring your article on your social media channels also allows your followers to share the link with their followers, providing an infinite audience.
Develop a Relationship with Editors
Once the editorial content about your company has published either online or in print, it is a good idea to follow up with the publication to let them know you’re pleased with the coverage. If it’s an article that a magazine has published, an email to the media outlet also gives you the opportunity to suggest future collaborations and contributions. If it’s a press release, for example on a new product line that the publication has picked up, you can thank the media outlet for covering the announcement and ask them if they’d like to hear more about the new product line in a phone interview with your company.
Taking the time to contact publications every time they cover your business probably isn’t realistic. But it is a way to develop a rapport with the media and let them know that you’re interested in future opportunities. Like most things in life, growing your business often comes down to relationships and your ability to relate with people one on one, so follow-up emails and basic politeness go a long way in helping you to form a positive and collaborative relationship with the media.
As you can see, leveraging your media coverage can reap multiple rewards, beyond a single article in a single publication. Your diligence in using social media tools to promote an article or press release and following-up with media outlets can help you score added opportunities for interviews and articles, an invitation to speak at an industry trade show or conference, to lead a webinar or to submit answers to written questions. That’s why leveraging PR coverage to your advantage is so valuable–it’s a virtually cost-less way to grow your audience and profile. And the sky is really the limit.
— Catherine Berce is a PR Associate for Eclipse Media Group where she manages social media channels for multiple clients, ghostwrites thought leadership articles and writes press releases, blogs and other marketing collateral.