Get the Most Out of Earned Media: Four Ways to Merchandise Your Media Coverage
As a PR pro who spends a lot of time pitching media, there’s no better feeling than helping a client land a killer media placement. Whether it is a top-tier national outlet (hello, Today Show!), local print, online publication or TV station, earned media coverage is a great way for businesses to reach audiences through stories that build awareness, credibility and third-party endorsement.
But even as I do my happy dance seeing the perfect media story come to life, the reality is the work doesn’t stop once the story is published in the newspaper or appears on the evening news.
Why is merchandising essential to get the most leverage out of positive media stories? Because with today’s 24/7 news cycle, you don’t want your news today to be forgotten tomorrow.
Shout it from the rooftops! Text all your friends! Wallpaper your office with the print copy of the story! (OK, well maybe don’t do that…) Here are some ways you should merchandise media coverage to increase the reach of your coverage.
- Tell your network—This goes beyond your mom (although remember to call her and send her a copy!) to include your internal team, employees and stakeholders. Colleagues can be some of your best brand ambassadors, so it’s important they know all the news happening about the company. Send the latest news clips in work emails/newsletters, and encourage people to share the news on personal social media channels.
- Post on your owned channels—This may seem obvious, but every company should have a virtual newsroom to archive links of media coverage. This could be an “In the News” page on the website and/or accomplished through covering articles on an organization’s blog.
And don’t forget social media. Use a variety of tactics to post organically as well as including paid, boosted posts to make sure your company’s news is reaching both your current fans as well as targeting potential customers.
- Enlist your sales team—Media placements can be a tremendous asset for your sales team. Make sure those in business development roles have the latest links to media placements to include in formal proposals or informally as they reach out and follow-up with prospects.
- Get visual—I love seeing framed prints of newspaper and magazine stories when I visit local businesses, so if you have a brick-and-mortar store or physical office space, make your media placements part of your office décor. Frame and post prints of rave reviews in your lobby, and include copies of publications that feature articles about the business in your waiting room. It will give customers fun reading material and remind them why they love working with you and your team.
Bottom line: It takes hard work to get positive media coverage, so you want to make sure you’re making the most of it. By taking time to thoughtfully merchandise your media coverage, you will multiply the benefits of that third-party coverage to reach your current and future customers.
Want to talk more about our recommendations for media relations, merchandising and how to get the most out of earned media coverage? Check out this blog post about measuring the effectiveness of earned media on the Approach blog, and approach us at email@example.com.