You’ve worked hard to create and write a story, securing the all-important quotes, sourcing quality photos and diligently contacting the media. Journalists have picked up your story and you are thrilled. But don’t crack open the champers just yet. After getting media coverage, you still have work to do.
For those who haven't reached this stage yet and are struggling to get some media coverage, don't hesitate to read our previous blog giving 4 good tips to generate coverage.
Having secured some lovely local media coverage for a client up here in the Yorkshire where I’m based, on sending links to the online articles, I was asked ‘can I share them on LinkedIn?’ Yes, you can and you absolutely should.
However, before you do anything else, be courteous and THANK the journalist who covered your story. They didn’t have to. They probably had a choice of hundreds (maybe thousands) to cover that day but they chose your story. So, be nice, send an email, tweet them, or if you’re that way inclined, send a card (or your product if it’s gift-able like food or drink). At the very least say ‘thank you.'
Share your media coverage on social media
OK, now you’ve done that, you can focus on promoting your coverage. Share links to the online articles across all your social media platforms. Reference the journalist who wrote each the article as a way of continuing to build the relationship. For example, find the Twitter handle of the reporter and cite them in your tweet saying something like ‘great write up on [insert story title] by [insert name] in [insert publication name].’
The power of social media in today's digital age is unprecented
Share links on your personal Facebook page. Tell your friends and family. If you have a blog or an email list, share it there. Ask your followers to help share the article. If there is an option to comment on the article, ask them to do so.
Whilst the journalist has written the piece, it is up to you to help promote it to get maximum exposure. Online publications often track the success of an article by its reach, so not just how many people read it but also how many times it’s been shared or how many comments it has received. If your story is successful in this way, chances are, you’ll be favoured when it next time comes around.
Link your media coverage to your website
Make sure any coverage includes a link back to your website like this article I wrote for the Guardian on ‘Why I named my business after my pet pig’. At the bottom of the article is a link to my website. Not only can this send traffic back to me but also by doing this, I am using my PR efforts to help improve my website’s ranking on search engines like Google.
When you search on Google, it returns results based on how it indexes information. It's a complicated beast and forever evolving the way its maps this. In recent years, Google has placed more emphasis on the quality of the content and also the authority of other external websites that refer to that content.
Google places a lot of trust in what it calls ‘authority’ sites and these are simply high-quality websites that are respected by knowledgeable people in that particular industry. They are websites that provide really good, useful, quality content to users which means they deemed of high value as they often result in high social media shares. Authority sites publish trustworthy information and also link to other trustworthy places on the web. News publications are such sites.
Having links to your website from external prominent publications are absolute gold dust for your search ranking. On your website, you may have a page which you reserve for news or you may choose to include links to articles in a blog post or simply find relevant content on your website where you can include a link to the coverage.
Don’t forget the actual real-life people
Don’t forget the people who come to your website off the back of your online media coverage have visited because they are interested in your services or product. This is your target audience – don’t let them leave! Have an email opt in on your website so that anyone clicking through from the article can give their email address so you can keep in touch.
Also, remember to share your media coverage internally. Send the link to your employees – make them feel proud to work for you. At networking events, use your news coverage as a recent example of a success story. Media coverage is a third party endorsement of your work. It’s not just you saying your business is great, it’s someone else saying it is amazing!
The rules about sharing media coverage
A little note of caution. Be aware, in the UK, there are rules about what you can and can’t share with regards to media coverage.
In general, if you don’t use a media monitoring agency, you don’t need a licence to share links to online publications (unless the publisher terms and conditions state otherwise).
For further information on this, there is guidance on the Chartered Institute of Public Relations website.
A few other things to consider. Think about adding an ‘as seen in’ logo to the front page of your website to showcase your coverage. You may also choose to add links to the coverage to your LinkedIn profile. It’s also worth saving any relevant quotes and information in the story as you may be able to use it again or ‘repurpose the content’ for marketing materials, blog posts, tweets etc.
An 'as seen in' section on your site increases credibility of your brand
So, securing media coverage for your business is not the end of the process. An extra 30 minutes of follow up can make sure your hard work has maximum impact.
Ok, now you can crack open the champagne and toast a job well done!
Written by: Katy Pollard, Founder of Listening Pig PR @listeningpig
Helping small businesses get press coverage in a no nonsense, down to earth way. She lives in Yorkshire with a menagerie of animals including pet pig, Gwen. She blogs at Little Pig Blog: http://www.listeningpig.com/little-pig-blog/