Contributed Content and Thought Leadership: Two Ingredients for Great Media Coverage

Creative business corporate work concept: tablet computer PC, modern black glossy touchscreen smartphone with news internet web site, stack of newspapers, cup or mug of fresh coffee and metal ballpoint pen on wooden office table

Marketers are often on the lookout for opportunities for free publicity, and why not? Marketing can be expensive, and it’s hard to beat free when it comes to getting bang for your buck. While some businesses have found success in outlandish publicity stunts, we certainly don’t recommend such a dramatic approach, especially for those working in more conservative industries—e.g. healthcare, financial services, etc., where so much of the organization’s focus relies on promoting an image of safety and responsibility. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still opportunities for free or inexpensive publicity, even in super conservative organizations. Here are a few tips we and our clients have had steady success with:

Go Where the Journalists Are Looking

If you’re looking for media exposure that is not necessarily local, use tools like ProfNet and HARO to learn about reporter, editor and producer needs at a wide range of publications and media outlets.

When responding make sure that you:

1) Think carefully about the value you can provide the media outlet’s audience and craft your response based on their needs

2) Be very detailed in your response; journalists will often pull information directly from your response.

Offer Contributed Content

Consider offering contributed content – content that you write and which will appear with your byline and a reference to your organization – to media outlets. Not only is there no cost associated with this, aside from the time to write the piece or what you might pay a freelancer to do it for you, but an added benefit is that this type of exposure can help boost the thought leadership of your organization and its professionals—and drive traffic to your website.

Focus on Thought Leadership

Develop a reputation as a trusted go-to source by providing high quality, relevant, non-promotional materials; being timely in your responses and follow-through and not badgering the journalists with constant emails seeking information, asking for links to the published material (you can Google and find it yourself if they don’t automatically do this) or asking to see the piece prior to publication. When reporters learn they can trust you to deliver quality input they’ll reach out to you when they’re working on pieces that fall into your area of expertise.

The next time you’re putting together your marketing goals for the year and evaluating how they mesh with your available budget, think about some of the opportunities that exist for free or inexpensive publicity. You might find you can achieve more for less simply by being a little creative—but always on point!

Recommended Reading:

The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement

Best Practices in Influencer Marketing

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